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Searching for Eastman

by Charles C Smith

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african american, canadian
list price: $19.95
category: Poetry
published: 2021

searching for eastman is a multidisciplinary performance in 4 acts, based on the interpretation of four of Julius Eastman's compositions through poetry, theatre, music, dance, video and digital. ("Julius Eastman [October 27, 1940 - May 28, 1990] was the great Black American composer, pianist, vocalist, and dancer whose work fell under minimalism."--Wikipedia)


These pieces are: (1) evil nigger; (2) prelude to st joan; (3) stay on it; and (4) gay guerrilla.

"searching for eastman is a choreopoem whose roots trace through the African griot tradition, the harlem renaissance (e.g. the work of Langston Hughes with jazz and Kurt Weil), the black arts movement (e.g., Amiri Baraka's work with sun ra). It is a form of dramatic expression that combines poetry, dance, music, and song...(as) first coined in 1975 by Ntozake Shange in a description of her work, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf."

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Contributor notes

charles c. smith is a poet, playwright and performer. He studied poetry and drama at New York City University and Herbert Berghof Studios, and drama at the Frank Silvera's Writers' Workshop in Harlem. His play Last Days for the Desperate won an award from Black Theatre Canada. He has published four books of poetry, including Travelogue of the Bereaved (Mawenzi House), has edited several collections of poetry (including the works of Dionne Brand, Marlene Nourbese Phillips, Claire Harris, Cyril Dabydeen, Lillian Allen, George Elliott Clarke, Clifton Joseph), and his writings have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, Quill and Quire, Descant, Dandelion, Fiddlehead, Anti-Racism in Education: Missing in Action (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives), Amethyst Review, Bywords, Canadian Ethnic Studies and others. He lives in Toronto.

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