2011 Barbary Coast Award literary event in San Francisco

(photos by Annette Dorfman)

I was in San Francisco Oct. 12, 2011 for the 2011 Barbary Coast Award given to my mentor and publisher and great poet, novelist and teacher Ishmael Reed. Reed is the author of at least 27 books, including Mumbo Jumbo, The Last Days of Louisiana Red and Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down. He is also a publisher (as I well know), television producer, songwriter, pianist and radio and television commentator. He taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for 30 years.
I just finished his latest novel “Juice!” which highlights his talent as a visual artist/cartoonist as well. The book is not only a deliciously hilarious read, offering insightful satire on U.S. race relations and celebrity scandals, it is also a profound testament, even tribute, to what could now be a passing glory era of the mainstream media _ in all its grandeur, ludicrousness, power and human potential.

More from the ceremony below: Photos and video clips of performances, including my reading with music.

Congratulations to Ishmael Reed

(video by Evan Karp)
Ishmael Reed, who published my latest book “The New and Selected Yuri: Writing From Peeling Till Now,” received the Barbary Coast Award WED Oct. 12, 2011, at a gala ceremony at Z Space in San Francisco, a program packed with poets, musicians and performers, includng even me, who read “Litte YELLOW Slut” with the Broun Fellinis _ from left to right Kirk Peterson (bass), Kevin Carnas (drums), David Boyce (saxophone) _ Makoto Horiuchi (guitar), Ashwut Rodriguez (guitar) and the great Ishmael Reed (piano).

MUSICAL POETS: Al Young sings, presents award to Ishmael Reed

David Boyce of the Broun Fellinis, poet Tennessee Reed and Carla Blank, choreographer, performance artist and my editor at The Barbary Coast Award ceremony for poet, novelist and professor Ishmael Reed Oct. 12, 2011, in San Francisco.
Photos by Annette Dorfman.

Ishmael Reed: the fighter and the writer

Congratulations to Ishmael Reed receiving Litquake’s Barbary Coast Award at this gala ceremony at Z Space in San Francisco’s Project Artaud WED Oct. 12, 2011.
I read “Little YELLOW Slut” with the house band The Broun Fellinis.

Reading at a San Francisco book store

Reading at a San Francisco book store TUE Aug. 16, 2011 with (from left to right) Yoshiaki Tago (filmmaker), Hiroyuki Shido (bass), Eric Kamau Gravatt (drums), Makoto Horiuchi (guitar), Yuri Kageyama (poet) and Isaku Kageyama (percussion, taiko).
Photos by Annette Dorfman.
The best thing about the reading was that Milton Murayama, author of “All I Asking For Is My Body,” whom I had not seen in years, came with his wife Dawn because he saw it in The San Francisco Chronicle.
He told me the day he would stop writing is the day he dies.
So much like Milton _ still the same after all these years.
He had that same twinkle in his eye when he said those words like a promise.
Death can’t be all bad if we can keep writing till the day we die.