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Celebrating Bob Kaufman

November 7, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

November 7, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Raymond Foye Hosts an Evening of Poetry, Film, and Music

Bob Kaufman’s life is written on mirrors in smoke. —Jack Kerouac

So much did he embody a French tradition of the poet as outsider, madman, and outcast, that in France, Kaufman was called the Black Rimbaud. —David Henderson, poet

Howl! Happening is pleased to announce the launch of the City Lights publication of the Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman (1925-1986) with an evening hosted by Raymond Foye. The celebration features poet David Henderson performing with bassist William Parker and trumpet, flute, and reed player Daniel Carter. The program also includes poets Maria Damon, Patricia Spears Jones, Kaye McDonough, Uche Nduka, Anne Waldman, and others.

Bob Kaufman was an important figure in the poetry of the Beat Generation. Born in New Orleans of African American, Creole, Jewish, and Native American heritage, Kaufman embraced jazz, surrealism, and the poetry of Lorca and the Harlem Renaissance. He had a significant career as a merchant seaman and labor organizer before appearing on the Beat scene in San Francisco in 1958. His books include Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness (New Directions, 1965), Golden Sardine (City Lights, 1967), and The Ancient Rain (New Directions, 1981), as well as two broadsides from City Lights, Second April (1958) and Does the Secret Mind Whisper (1959).

The Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman brings together his complete surviving works, including a significant body of unpublished poems and work written in the final years of his life. Edited by Neeli Cherkovski, Raymond Foye, and Tate Swindell, the anthology was published by City Lights Books in 2019.


Featured reader David Henderson is a poet and writer who co-founded the Black Arts Movement in New York in the early 60s. He co-published Umbra magazine, an important literary journal of the 60s, which featured Bob Kaufman. He has published numerous books of poetry and has taught at schools and universities throughout the United States, including the University of California, Berkeley. His biography of Jimi Hendrix, ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, is in its third edition, and his collaborations with Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra have recently been re-released in deluxe packages from Columbia Legacy, and Evidence.

David Henderson will be accompanied by bassist and composer William Parker, and trumpet, flute, and reeds virtuoso Daniel Carter. William Parker has been the organizer and guiding light behind New York’s Vision Festival, which he founded in 1996. He has over 50 releases and has appeared as sideman and collaborator with Cecil Taylor, Charles Gayle, John Zorn, and many others. He is also an author and publisher. Daniel Carter has been a vital member of the free-jazz scene in New York since the 70s. His collective groups include Test, Other Dimensions in Music, Ghost Moth, and Dissipated Face.

Read the Brooklyn Rail article HERE


November 7, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm