Tuesday, October 2, 7pm – Poetry
L.E. Scott & Lamont Steptoe
African American jazz poet L.E. Scott was born in Cordele, Georgia (USA) and at the age of 12 moved with his family to Trenton, New Jersey. Scott left the States after returning from the Vietnam War and has lived and worked in more than 50 countries over the years. He has published more than 15 books of poetry and has read his work in countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Cuba, France, Greece, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
Scott has worked with an array of poets and musicians around the world, including: the late Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Bobbi Sykes, John Encarnaca and Apirana Taylor. His work has been published in such periodicals as The Black Scholar, Essence and Chelsea and included in anthologies such as Fingernails Across The Chalkboard and Gwendolyn Brooks and Working Writers and World Words. L.E. defines his work as jazz blues, a repetition of sound that he trusts more than the creation of defined words. The sound is a human tongue drum, licking the flesh, sticking deeply in your ears to suck the taste of your mind and leaving in your consciousness the agony of a stolen race from Africa. Scott has been living in Australasia for many years, working with aboriginal poets/writers from Australia and Maori poets/writers from Aotearoa/New Zealand. He is a former editorial adviser for Kalimat, an Arabic/English literary magazine based in Sydney, Australia. Currently he is on the staff of Tu Mai, an indigenous Maori magazine based in Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand, where he lives.
Lamont Steptoe author of Meditations in “Congo Square” ($11.95 Whirlwind Press)
Lamont B. Steptoe was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and/or editor of fifteen poetry collections, the latest of which is Meditations in Congo Square, and publisher/founder of Whirlwind Press. He is the winner of an American Book Award and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
“Most poets are simply that. Sonia Sanchez and Lamont B. Steptoe answer to a higher calling: Prophecy! In Meditations… Steptoe is the Necromancer, translating the language of the dead to the living, whether they be recently departed of Ante-Bellum spirits. While our age of obesity, self-gratification, and credit cards whistles past the graveyard, Lamont reads this burial ground like an Alufaa would read cowrie shells. Yes, there is the Philadelphia of Brotherly love, the old Quaker City that infuriated George Washington by offering refuge to fugitive slaves, but there is the other Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly death, whose atrocities are still being unearthed. Lamont B. Steptoe is the poet of hidden Philadelphia. His brother – Philadelphia poet of death, Edgar Allan Poe – would be proud.” – Ishmael Reed