for full view
MC Rand Cooper, the novelist and travel writer for Bon Appétit, bottom left, with Hartford pro boxer Chip Perez & poet / CCSU Prof Ravi 'I Don't Play The Sitar' Shankar; Ravi performs in New London; Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, the poet, playwright and painter, sings for his supper in New York; poet Kate Rushin does the Ali shuffle; poet Jon Andersen, ready to rumble.
As The Hartford Courant put it:
Activist Ken Krayeske, best known for his arrest during Gov. M. Jodi Rell's inaugural parade and for tangling with UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun over his hefty salary, is running for Congress on the Green Party slate.
BATTLE OF THE GIANT POETS, aka Poets & Writers For Ken, is being organized to support Ken's campaign for civil rights and economic and social justice. It will be held @ Szechuan Tokyo 1245 New Britain Ave., W. Hartford, Ct., on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010.
Additional performers, including VOCALISTS & MUSICIANS, might join the festivities.
PERFORMER SHORT BIOS
Battle of the Giant Poets
Iyaba Ibo Mandingo
Poet/ Fine Artist/ Performing Artist
I came to this country from my home in Antigua as an eleven-year-old boy.
Art is something that has always been apart of my life. As a boy, I remember constantly drawing and using my mother's foil paper to create figures and animals.
In my grandfather's tailor shop, I saw thousands of patterns and colors in the fabrics, basing compositions on their relationships and effects on the viewer. In college, I became fascinated with the power of colors, basing my compositions on their relationships and effects on the viewer. Recently, I have been studying African art trying like Picasso to incorporate the shapes and forms of my ancestors; also using the work of European artist as a foundation for my own voice as an artist was nowhere.
Ghanaian artist Sami Bentil had an influence on the new direction of my work. Bentil's use of the mask to represent the human face in his work opened up a new world, freeing me from the confines of anatomical correctness.
My love of reading may be most responsible for my venture into writing to status of secondary talent, concentrating on my painting. Reading the works of the great writers with Black skin of the world that came before me, feed my need to use words as my brush.
In February of 2000, I released my first self-published book "41 Times" dedicated to Amadou Diallo; this was followed up in February 2001 with the CD "Self Portrait".
I am currently working on my second book titled "Amerikkkan Exile." I live today in Stamford, Connecticut with my and five children.
My one man play/show is called "Self Portrait" (American Exile). It's the story of one West Indian's struggle to become apart of the melting pot, while discovering the truth about himself.
is the author of Stomp and Sing (Curbstone/ Northwestern University Press 2005), a book of image-studded lyrics of work, love, family, and class struggle. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Cafe Review, Connecticut Review, The Progressive, and Rattle. He lives in Storrs with his wife and fellow writer Denise Abercrombie, and their two sons, Kit and Miles.
is the author of The Black Back-Ups (Firebrand Books). Her “The Bridge Poem” appears in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, a ground-breaking feminist anthology edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa. Recipient of the Rose Low Rome Memorial Poetry Prize and the Grolier Poetry Prize, her work is widely anthologized and has been published in such journals as Callaloo.
A Connecticut resident, Kate currently teaches creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Previously, she taught at Wesleyan University, where she served as Adjunct Assistant Professor and Visiting Writer in African American Studies. She has read at Hill-Stead Museum's Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival and Smith College Poetry Center, among many other places, and has led workshops for the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and Cave Canem Foundation. She has served as a judge for the Connecticut State University-IMPAC Young Writers Award, the Connecticut Poetry Circuit Student Poetry Contest, and the NEA’s/Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Out Loud.
Kate received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her M.F.A. from Brown University. She is a former Fellow of The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a graduate fellow of Cave Canem Foundation.
is poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University. His first book of poems, Instrumentality, was published in 2004 by Word Press. His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in such places as The Paris Review, Poets & Writers, Time Out New York, Gulf Coast, The Massachusetts Review, Descant, LIT, Crowd, The Cortland Review, Catamaran, The Indiana Review, Western Humanities Review, The Iowa Review, and The AWP Writer's Chronicle, among other publications. He has been a commentator on NPR, Wesleyan Radio, and KKUP's Out of Our Minds. He has read at such venues as The National Arts Club, Columbia University, KGB, and the Cornelia Street Café, has held residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, reviews poetry for the Contemporary Poetry Review and recently edited, with Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2009).
Master of Ceremonies Rand Richards Cooper
is an author, essayist and freelance writer. He has been published in The New York Times and currently writes a blog on parenting for Wondertime. Cooper is currently working on a book about late onset fatherhood. He is a regular guest on The Colin McEnroe Show.