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Major Jackson with Kalamu ya Salaam

February 29 @ 7:00 pm

City Lights and The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University present
Major Jackson with Kalamu ya Salaam
in an evening of reading and discussion

Major Jackson is a poet and professor at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of six collections of poetry: Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems 2002-2022 (W.W. Norton, 2023), The Absurd Man (W.W. Norton, 2020), Roll Deep (W.W. Norton, 2015), Holding Company (W.W. Norton, 2010), Hoops (W.W. Norton, 2006), finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry, and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia, 2002), winner of the 2000 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Award Circle. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. His prose is published in A Beat Beyond: Selected Prose of Major Jackson (University of Michigan, 2022). His poems and essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry London, Orion Magazine, The Yale Review, among other fine publications. Major Jackson also became the host of The Slowdown, a poetry podcast.

Kalamu ya Salaam is a poet, author, filmmaker, and teacher from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. A well-known activist and social critic, Salaam has spoken out on a number of racial and human rights issues. For years he did radio shows on WWOZ. Salaam is the co-founder of the NOMMO Literary Society, a weekly workshop for Black writers. He is the moderator of Neo-Griot, a Black literature information blog. He is the author of over 18 books which include: Be About Beauty, New Orleans Griot: The Tom Dent Reader, Magic of Juju: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement, 360° A Revolution Of Black Poets, What is Life? Reclaiming the Black Blues Self, Amongst others. He was the editor of The Black Collegian magazine for 13 years and has written for many publications including Negro Digest/Black World, First World, The Black Scholar, Black Books Bulletin, Callaloo, Catalyst, The Journal of Black Poetry, Nimrod, Coda, Encore, The New Orleans Tribune, Wavelength, The New Orleans Music Magazine, The Louisiana Weekly newspaper. He is co-founder/editor of Runagate Press

About Poetry Center at San Francisco State University
The Poetry Center, founded in 1954, presents and documents the work of outstanding contemporary poets and writers, creating and preserving original new and historic audio and video recordings, while assuring public awareness of and access to live performances and archival resources. The Poetry Center organizes some 20–30 public readings, performances, and poetry-related talks each year, on the San Francisco State University campus and at other Bay Area venues, featuring poets and writers from across the literary spectrum. Our Reading Series is one of the longest consistently-running such programs in the country, with roots in the 1950s San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. New program videos alongside historic recordings from seven decades are being migrated to online access at Poetry Center Digital Archive.

This event was made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.


February 29
7:00 pm


City Lights Bookstore
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City Lights
261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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