Last night the Saint Marks Poetry Project hosted a pre-publication celebratory reading from The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas, co-edited with the great Laura Vrana and forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press. We had a large and enthusiastic audience. Lorenzo's brother, Cecilio, was in attendance, and at least one "Umbra Alum," to use Harryette Mulen's line.
Steve Cannon was there, closing another circle of legacies; when Steve taught at Lincoln University, one of his students was Gil Scott-Heron, and when Gil taught at Federal City College, I was one of his students.
The readers were all in magnificent form, and the hats alone were worth the price of a ticket.
Tracie Morris closed things out with a moving recitation of poems by Lorenzo, exploring the corners and interstices of the works in a revealing way that was the perfect note to end on.
Then Erica Hunt, Lydia Cortes and I retired to a nearby establishment that is apparently noted for having the world's smallest martini glasses.
Thanks again to this remarkable company of poets: Lydia Cortes, Charles Bernstein, Patricia Spears Jones, Erica Hunt, William J. Harris and Tracie Morris. I'll be posting a recording soon -- and as publication date nears we'll be organizing more events.