Video: A Reading with Keorapetse Kgositsile and Jazz Musician Oliver Lake

by Sampsonia Way    /  June 20, 2012  / No comments

Keorapetse Kgositsile. Photo from video by Jim Mueller

On April 24 City of Asylum/Pittsburgh (COAP) presented the third installment of its Reading of the World series. The event featured a reading by Poet Laureate of South Africa (2006), Keorapetse Kgositsile, a solo jazz-poetry performance by saxophonist and composer Oliver Lake, and a collaboration between the two.

Born in South Africa in 1938, Keorapetse “Willie” Kgositsile was an influential member of the African National Congress in the 1960s and 1970s. He lived in exile in the United States from 1962 until 1975. During the 1970s he was a central figure among African-American poets, encouraging interest in Africa as well as the practice of poetry as a performance art. He is known for his readings in New York City jazz clubs. His poetry ranges from the unambiguously political and public to the lyric and confessional.

The reading/performance was held in the social hall of the Youth Fellowship of the Metropolitan Baptist Church.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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