April Fools’ Day – Everyone’s Holiday

While some don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, Passover or an Eid, April Fools’ Day is one for us all. If we’re honest, we have to admit we are all, at some point, very foolish people. We make decisions based on fleeting desires. We give in to ease and make choices which do not relfect ourContinue reading “April Fools’ Day – Everyone’s Holiday”

Remembering Chinua Achebe – Part 1: Reflections by Chris Abani

It is hard to imagine a world without Chinua Achebe. So, over the next couple of weeks, I will post some reflections here on the life, work, and death of this essential writer, Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe. His death on March 21, 2013, last week, in Boston, is an enormous loss to the world ofContinue reading “Remembering Chinua Achebe – Part 1: Reflections by Chris Abani”

Picasso, Windows, and Hope

On this Good Friday, 2013, when North Korea threatens the world with bluster beyond its means, when Syria lurches into a second year of war, and countless other human failures seem to overtake us, I’m drawn to Pablo Picasso and one of his paintings which always gives me hope. Picasso’s “Studio (Pigeons)” painted in 1957,Continue reading “Picasso, Windows, and Hope”

Gospel of Dust & The Next Big Thing

When a poet-friend “tagged” me for The Next Big Thing, I didn’t think I’d do it. It felt a little like a chain letter and I recall not liking the pressure chain letters contained. But I guess I’ve softened and come along to the point that I’m posting some reflections on the questions The NextContinue reading “Gospel of Dust & The Next Big Thing”


To truly recite a poem, you have to know and feel the poem. That knowledge and feeling flowed abundantly yesterday at Washington D.C.’s Banneker Academic High School. They rocked their POETRY OUT LOUD program. I was honored to be a judge for the second time and I sat amazed at these students, their passion forContinue reading “Banneker H.S. & POETRY OUT LOUD”

“The Legend of Cool ‘Disco’ Dan” — A Documentary of Sadness

I think of graffiti art as urban elegy. It’s the voice of the unheard, an epitaph of those who feel silent. As many readers of this blog know, Cool “Disco” Dan is a famous graffiti artist in Washington, D.C. who has been a subject in my poems. He began back in the 1980s and hasContinue reading ““The Legend of Cool ‘Disco’ Dan” — A Documentary of Sadness”

Dr. King’s Essential Question: “Where Do We Go From Here?”

It’s a tough question. It’s a question we can only answer if we admit that our country and the world must be better. It’s a question about directions. Because our present moment is not peaceful or just, the question is still essential: “Where Do We Go From Here? Dr. Martin Luther King‘s final book takesContinue reading “Dr. King’s Essential Question: “Where Do We Go From Here?””

Emily Dickinson’s Poems Set a High School Classroom Ablaze

I have often been amazed at what can happen in a classroom. Today, again, was one of those remarkable days when something powerful takes place. The responsible party– Emily Dickinson. The unsuspecting students– three classes of eleventh grade boys, young men in appearance and intellect, but young and “not quite ready” for the shock EmilyContinue reading “Emily Dickinson’s Poems Set a High School Classroom Ablaze”