Bleeding Every Word: A Collection of Poems, Rants and Interviews

 
9780615720814: Bleeding Every Word: A Collection of Poems, Rants and Interviews
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Foreword I have never met Monte Smith in person. I met him and first heard his work on an online radio show. He read a poem from his book, “Don’t Shoot the Hostages,” and, while I can’t recall which poem it was, I do recall that my reaction was so gut-felt, I could barely breathe. His poem and his passion broke my heart, made me furious and excited. I cried and smiled and listened. My mind said, “Pay attention! You are hearing one of the best poets writing today.” My mind also said, “I wish I’d written that.” That same night, too inflamed to sleep, I sent emails to everyone I could think of who reads and loves poetry. I sent emails because, if I’d run outside and yelled, "THIS IS THE REAL THING PEOPLE--THE REAL THING! READ IT AND WEEP! READ IT AND START A REVOLUTION!” they would put me in a strait jacket and haul me away. I can count on one hand the names of new poets who have so impressed me that I couldn’t wait to read their books and begged for a pdf to tide me over until I received the real thing. That is what I did. I wrote to order a book and, while waiting, couldn’t wait so I asked if he could send me a pdf. I had to read more, experience more of this electrifying new poet. I received the hard copy book—a beautiful book, by the way—and, inside of a week, it was dog-eared and spine broken from being read again and again. Now, I am presented with this new book, BLEEDING EVERY WORD. Monte Smith’s voice is again crystal clear, marked with pain and anger and disillusionment and betrayal and love, yes Love with a capital “L.” Because in all the other tonalities of his voice, the overriding tone is LOVE—for what should be, what could be, what needs to be. His voice is that of a father, not only of his own daughter, but the father in protest that so have had and, sadly ignored, laughed at, or killed. He is that knowing/seeing father as Malcom X was our father, as Bukowski was our father, as Baldwin and Emmett Till were our fathers. His work carries inside it the sadness and outrage of years that hosted the deaths of The Mississippi Five and those who died at Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, Matthew Shepherd and Harvey Milk, the Shafia Sisters, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins. When he reacts to global war, you hear the gunfire, feel the ugly heat of battle for the sake of battle, war that lines the pockets of the privileged. He writes about these things, he tells us, ...because western civilization equals white domination...because the mark of the beast isn’t 666, it’s the cross around your neck...because there’s blood in this poetry and I want you taste it. When he weeps in frustration at the emotional and material poverty of his world, he grabs his readers by the shirt collars and demands that they have the good graces to weep with him. If what he sees and makes us see, does not make us weep, we have no souls. He feels the kind of poverty that we know exists in places like Reading Pennsylvania, Bennett Freeze Area, Arizona, Pico-Union District, Los Angles, CA, Calhoun, West VA and Aulander, North Carolina. He feels the poverty of the mind and soul that is all around us everywhere. He says: “Now, since nobody can buy shit, everybody is realizing they don’t look like the people in the movies, they’re not eating in the same restaurants they see celebrities eating in on TV and everybody hates themselves. He says: Look around, this human eat human system isn’t meant for the living, it’s beating, raping and choking everything pure in the hearts of our children, in return killing anything good they had worth giving. Look around, everything alive isn't living... it's more like barely existing. I can tell you very little else about this alarming, amazing, wonderful poet. Read this book, then read it again. Then, for gods sakes, put the book down and go DO something about our world. Martina Reisz Newberry Palm Springs, CA June 2012

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About the Author:

About the Author Monte Smith is a writer, educator, and activist for social justice based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Monte began his writing and activism in the late 1980’s, working and writing literature for the revolutionary groups Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP) and the Anti Racist Action (ARA). In the 1990’s, Monte created Third World Citizens, a Hip Hop collective that later spawned the careers of DJ Faust, DJ Klever, and DJ T-Roc. As a freelance music journalist, Monte worked as a frequent contributor for URB, SUBCULTURE, and HEADZ magazines. Over the years, Monte has interviewed Maxine Waters, Black Moon, Old Dirty Bastard, DJ Qbert, KRS 1, The Beatnuts, Smif n Wessun, Crazy Legs, Black Thought, Poet 99, Aceyalone, and AZ—to name a few. A fearsome competitor on the slam circuit, Monte has won The Alabama Grand Slam, the Roanoke, Virginia Slam (twice in a row), and the infamous Rough Rhymes Competition. As a featured performer, Monte has headlined across the United States—from Atlanta to Boston to Los Angeles and back. His most notable performances include Mango’s in Washington, D.C., and two performances at the world-famous Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC. He has also been a featured poet on Def Poetry Jam’s website. In addition to featured performances, Monte has performed with Amiri Baraka, J-Live, Talib Kweli, Little Brother, Mr. Complex, DJ Vadim, Abstract Rude, Saigon, Tanya Morgan and El Da Sensei. In 2002, Monte established the now-infamous Red Bull Word Clash, which quickly became the largest street poetry competition in the world. In its four-year existence, the Word Clash drew competitors from all over the globe. The incendiary documentary of the Word Clash won the audience award at the 2006 New York City Indy Film Festival, and garnered accolades from such diverse news outlets as Greensboro’s Triad Style and the Greek daily Eleftherotypia, which devoted a full page to coverage of the Word Clash.

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Smith, Monte
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