the louderARTS Project

Quraysh Ali Lansana

Quraysh Ali Lansana is the author of the poetry collection southside rain (Third World Press, 2000); a children's book, The Big World (Addison-Wesley, 1999); and a poetry chapbook, cockroach children: corner poems and street psalms (nappyhead press, 1995). He is the editor of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill's African American Literature Anthology (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2001), and is a co-editor of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature (Third World Press, 2002). He is also the editor of I Represent, and dream in yourself, two collections of literary works from Chicago's award-winning youth arts employment program, Gallery 37 (Tia Chucha Press,1996 and 1997, respectively). Passage, his poetry video collaboration with Kurt Heintz, won the first ever Image Union/Bob Award from WTTW-TV(PBS). He is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the 2000 Poet of the Year Award, presented by Chicago's Black Book Fair; the 1999 Henry Blakely Award, presented by Gwendolyn Brooks; and the 1999 Wallace W. Douglas Distinguished Service Award, presented by Young Chicago Authors. His most recent publication credits include Illinois Voices: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Poetry, Essence, Off the Cuffs: A Police Poetry Anthology, African Voices, Obsidian III, and Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam. His poetry has been performed as theatre with Chameleon Productions and Carving Mahogany, and broadcast on National Public Radio. He is an original member of the Funky Wordsmyths, a "hardhittin blak poetry and music" ensemble, which featured the late Oscar Brown III. He has collaborated extensively with musicians in jazz, blues, reggae,and traditional West African idioms. He has been a literary teaching artist and curriculum developer for over a decade, and has led workshops in prisons, public schools and universities in over thirty states. He is currently an editor at Holt, Rinehart and Winston and serves on the advisory board of the Academy of American Poets's Operation Seed Online Poetry Classroom. Quraysh is a former board member of Chicago's Guild Complex, a NEA award-winning literary center, where he was also artistic director. He is a departmental fellow in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Quraysh lives in Brooklyn with his wife, storyteller/educator Emily Hooper Lansana, and sons, Nile Elazar and Onan Jahleel. is a former board member of Chicago's Guild Complex, a NEA award-winning literary center, where he was also artistic director. He is a departmental fellow in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Quraysh lives in Brooklyn with his wife, storyteller/educator Emily Hooper Lansana, and sons, Nile Elazar and Onan Jahleel.





from moses poems:
the harriet tubman series

the leaving

my lord she gone
again we's in the middle
of pitch black sky

moon sees us only
we pray starin back
from the murky river

thirteen of us i think
nigga runaways crossin
wide water with no ripple

all cold and shiver
she gone again my lord
why here? aint the red sea

where she go when she go?

harriet

truth

massus metal weight
push in my headbone

i was round thirteen
den dem say i'se dull

now i know de lord
hear me in prayer

much mo' like talk tho
we's all de time talkin

when i wash my face
i says lord make me clean

when i take up de broom
lord sweep sin from my heart

when de blackness come
i go where God wants



harriet

paregoric

shush now chile
dis stuff keep you down
for a while dat other
stuff keep you down
a while longer


harriet

heaven

i'se a jus tryin
ta'get to de promise lan
one soul at a time



© Quraysh Ali Lansana



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