Sword Songs: Selected Poetry of George Edward Tait

 
9780615453392: Sword Songs: Selected Poetry of George Edward Tait
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Sword Songs: Selected Poetry of George Edward Tait represents the completion of a poetic trilogy that commenced in 1983 with the publication of At War, and continued in 1992 with the publication of At Arms. The book is a further example of poetry being utilized as a weapon of culture and a tool of liberation.

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About the Author:

George Edward Tait was born in Oakland, California and raised in Harlem. He graduated from Pace University in 1968 with a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a minor in French Language and Literature after being a member of the literary society and The Pace Press. From 1968-1972, he taught and tutored English at Queens College while conducting Creative Writing workshops. After defining poetry as the music of literature and music as the poetry of sound, Tait became a bandleader and from 1972 to 1977 spearheaded a group called Black Massical Music. In 1975, Tait founded The Society of Afrikan Poets and produced a seven year series of weekly poetry readings entitled Black Words for a Wednesday Night which ended in 1982. This series featured such world renowned activists, artists, poets, and scholars as Amiri Baraka, Black Rose, John Watusi Branch, Elombe Brath, Cheryl Byron, Ben Caldwell, Jayne Cortez, Fatisha, Ruth Garnett, Hattie Gossett, Ted Joans, Gylan Kain, Basir Mchawi, Rosemari Mealy, Queen Mother Moore, Abbey Lincoln Aminata Moseka, Duma Ndlovu, David Nelson, Jemisi Obanjoko, Abiodun Oyewole, Raymond Patterson, Louis Reyes Rivera, Carlos Russell, Sonia Sanchez, Abiola Sinclair, Sekou Sundiata, Dr. Lonnetta Marie Taylor-Gaines, Leon Thomas, Quincy Troupe, Ron Welburn, and Preston Wilcox. In the summer of 1982, two of Tait s poems were published in Steppingstones: A Literary Anthology Toward Liberation, edited by James B. Gwynne. And while teaching at Malcolm-King College (1981-1986), his first volume of poetry At War was published in 1983, the same year he was named The Poet Laureate of Afrikan Nationalism by leaders of the nationalist community, a title he still holds twenty-seven years later (2010). Other poetry titles include Poet Laureate of Harlem, Poet Laureate of the National Conference of Artists, Poet Laureate of the School of African Philosophy, Director of Literary Services for Afrikan Poetry Theater, Poet-in-Residence of the Genesis II Museum of International Black Culture, Poet-in-Residence of Harlem Branch Library, Poet-in-Residence of Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, Resident Poet of Attitude The Dancer s Magazine, and the Personal Poet Laureate of Herman Ferguson. Several of Tait s poems and articles were published by the New York Amsterdam News between 1979 and 1997. During this period, another volume of poetry At Arms was published in 1992 in addition to his work being included in Herb Boyd s landmark anthology Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America (1995). In 2001, he was a contributor to the anthology Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, edited by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera. And in 2003, his chapbook The Baker s Dozen: Selected Dance Poetry of George Edward Tait was published by Dance Giant Steps. Tait insists that the poet must be historian, journalist, and prophet. As such, he has incorporated these three aspects in a soon-to-be published metaphysical opus entitled Sunsight: Contemporary Patterns of Cosmic Phenomena. Also, in the year 2010 he completed the third part of his monumental trilogy, Swordsongs: Selected Poetry of George Edward Tait, which commenced with At War and continued with At Arms. Swordsongs is scheduled to be released in 2011. The year 2010 additionally represents Tait s 50th year as a poet and his 40th year conducting poetry workshops. George Edward Tait is a multi-talented musician, educator, storyteller and activist who has performed his poetry thousands of times for over a quarter century in a variety of venues, including colleges, community centers, libraries, and theaters.

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