Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Watts featured in new Black writers anthology

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Local writer, poet and journalist Thurman Watts’ writing is featured in a new anthology of Black writers titled “Black Fire — This Time.”

Watts’ contribution is a short story entitled, “Mbombe’s Glass.”

The anthology focuses on the history and legacy of the Black Arts Movement and features the writings of several Bay Area poets, along with more than 80 other contributors from across the country.

The 500-page collection provides a new generation with the powerful voices of the Black Arts Movement and beyond.

The foreword by Ishmael Reed, a poet and MacArthur “Genius” fellow, describes the work as a 21st century “update” on the state of Black writing arts, building upon the traditions of Alain Locke’s The New Negro (1925) and Amiri Baraka and Larry Neal’s Black Fire: an anthology of Afro-American Writing (1968).

Edited by Dr. Kim McMillon of the University of California, Merced, and with an Introduction by Dr. Margo Natalie Crawford, the theme of this anthology is “Black is Beautiful, Black is Powerful, Black is Home.”

The collection bridges many of the founders of the Black Arts Movement, including Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Sonia Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti, Amiri Baraka, Wanda Coleman, Dudley Randall, Eugene B. Redmond and Askia Touré. It also features contemporary established writers in the tradition such as Brian G. Gilmore, extending to Ishmael Reed’s “younger generation”— Karla Brundage, Allison E. Francis, Tongo Eisen-Martin and C. Liegh McInnis.

The book is also distinguished for its inclusion and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community to provide a more complete view of the myriad perspectives on Black Identity and writing.

On Saturday July 16, at 1 p.m., Watts will join a virtual online conversation and reading with other contributors to “Black Fire–This Time.” The event is presented by the San Francisco Public Library and can be live streamed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjVWjsjgY54

“Black Fire —This Time” was published by Willow Press on March 15. The book in paperback retails for $34.99.

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