Amiri Baraka at Bohemian Caverns and Participating in the DC Public Library Read-in Celebration

“Who stole the Indies, the Philippines, Manhattan
Australia & The Hebrides
Who forced opium on the Chinese” – Amiri Baraka

This last weekend I went to Bohemian Caverns, one of my favorite jazz spots on the U St. corridor, which has seemingly not been over-gentrified like other places and still has a very old-school down-home vibe. Appropriately, this is the venue Amiri Baraka chose to perform his powerful spoken-word poetry in accompaniment with the New York Band. I had the chance to speak to Amiri after his performance and he told me DC is one of his old stomping grounds, introduced me to his granddaughter, and we talked a little about the Dean of my MFA program, the super cool Paul Vangelisti who Amiri said was “one of his boys. I know all ’em Otis boys!” Starstruck is not even close to what I felt. Lots of things were rushing through my head like how I had listened to recordings of his and there I was talking to him. I also thought of how half of Diane di Prima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik was about how much she was in love she with him — LOL! One of the pieces he performed was his incisive poem, Somebody Blew Up America, which was awesome!!

Amiri performing

Last week I also went to my first Silk Road Society function, a contemporary artist talk at the Ralls Collection in Georgetown. Not a bad event to introduce me to the society and nice to meet other art-minded people in the District. I also had my FIRST Georgetown Cupcake — wow delicious! A little smaller than other cupcakes but really, a delicious treat — not just hype!

Warm lights from the Ralls Collection

Also on Saturday, March 10, 2012 I will be part of a performance at the Cleveland Park Library for the DC Public Library Read-In Celebration!! We are up for the 4pm time slot. Grateful and excited to be “acting” the one-act play by my best friend the hilariously insightful writer, Kelli Herod. “Break Up, Break In, Break Out” got 2nd place in the 2010 DC Shorts Screenplay Competition was then adapted into a play and won 2nd place in the 2011 DC Black Theater Festival Doug E. Doug Comedy Competition and as a film was an Official Selection in the 2011 Utopia Film Festival! After the DC Public Library Read-in Kelli will also be participating in the 2012 DC SWAN Day festivities on March 31st.

It shouldn’t be too far a stretch as this character was inspired a bit by yours truly (HA!) though it’s a relatively new thing for me to “act” — an unfamiliar creative form for me. That same evening, after the Read-in, Kelli will also be showing her movie for my parent’s film club!


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