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                                       politics + culture

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mack Dennis and Sekou Sundiata

I heard Oakland spoken word artist and poet Mack Dennis for the first time the other day.

You can hear Dennis perform here. I recommend both poems...Old Vacherie Road and Shades of Black. Originally from New Orleans, Dennis puts his whole life into it...and he's got much life to give and share. (I've listened to Old Vacherie Road five times now.)

There's really no substitute for seeing Mack Dennis live and in person. He's just so smooth and indirect and wise...like a West Coast Sekou Sundiata...another spoken word artist I love...and if you click on this link and listen, I bet you will too.

Sundiata, who recently came through a serious health crisis documented in his piece blessing the boats (which he talked about with Terry Gross in this interview on Fresh Air) is famous for being the poetry teacher who inspired Ani Di Franco.

You can find additional samples of Sundiata's readings here, but for my money, the hard-to-find album...Blue Oneness of Dreams is Sundiata at his best, and, though out of print, it's worth a purchase wherever you might find it.

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