Radio Café on WBOI.FM__Poet Jayne Cortez transitions
Radio Acoustic SpokenWord Café
Last September the Acoustic SpokenWord Café began broadcasting an hour-long show on Fort Wayne’s public radio station — WBOI 89.1FM. The show which debuted with three local poets as hosts — Curtis Crisler, Emmanuel Ortiz, and Kétu Oladuwa — features poetry and spokenword mixed with a healthy brew of eclectic music. In November Emmanuel relocated to Minneapolis leaving Curtis and Ketu to continue the program which airs Saturday night from 11PM to 12AM.
Radio ASWC comes with a healthy disclaimer: there may be language that isn’t suitable for the genteel heart or the ears of young folk, but the fare is real and honest. Featured artists have included Gil Scott Heron, Sekou Sundiata, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Gwendolyn Brooks, Haki Madhabuti, Nikki Giovanni, Black Ice, Nikky Finney, Black Ice, Martin Espada, Lemon, Black Star, and too many more to name here.
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Poet Jayne Cortez transitions at 76
Poet Jayne Cortez transitioned Friday, December 28, at age 76. Ms. Cortez was an uncompromising poet penning subjects that were always hard hitting and relevant to the human condition, and geared to the conscious awakening of Afrikan people. Born May 10, 1936 in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, she grew up in California. She was the author of 10 books of poems and performed her poetry with music on nine recordings. Ms. Cortez presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. Her poems have been translated into many languages and widely published in anthologies, journals and magazines, including Postmodern American Poetry, Daughters of Africa, Poems for the Millennium, Mother Jones, and The Jazz Poetry Anthology.
But true to her Black Arts Movement calling, Jayne Cortez did more than publish her work. According to Wikipedia, the online peoples’ encyclopedia, “She was organizer of ‘Slave Routes the Long Memory’ and ‘Yari Yari Pamberi: Black Women Writers Dissecting Globalization,’ both conferences held at New York University. In 1991, with Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo, she founded the Organization of Women Writers of Africa (OWWA). She is president of this literary organization. She appeared on screen in the films Women In Jazz and Poetry in Motion.”
Ms. Cortez married jazz innovator Ornette Coleman in 1954 and divorced him in 1964, and is the mother of jazz drummer Denardo Coleman. In 1976 she married sculptor Mel Edwards.She lived in Dakar, Senegal, and New York City, where she transitioned.
Her signature style was to recite her poetry with music, usually a live jazz band, a style that could be compared to spoken word. In later years her touring band was called the Firespitters. Cortez, who performed throughout the world, won an American Book Award in 1980 for her book of poems Mouth on Paper.
Resources: Black Enterprise http://www.blackenterprise.com/lifestyle/poet-jayne-cortez-passes-away-at-76/;
Wikipedia Jayne Cortez http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayne_Cortez