Roy McBride has always been one of my favorite poets. It’s easy to love him and his work. In the 70’s, he was one of the few African American students writing poetry at Macalester (also my alma mater) back in the day, where he was introduced to touring poets like Amiri Baraka, Sonja Sanchez, and Etheridge Knight. But part of the reason why Roy is really special to me is that he has that Minneapolis flavor – soul poetry by the way of Powderhorn Park. The blues of Lake Street and the 21A. His work was amongst the first I encountered to really give the Twin Cities a lyrical flavor. I am not ashamed to tell you he is one of the few local poets who has ever beaten me at a Minnesota Grand Poetry Slam, and I was honored to lose to him. The right thing happened.
I am thrilled to hear from Mike Hazard that there is a ½ hour documentary film made about Roy entitled A Poet’s Poet. Any chance to see Roy’s work should not be missed – and it’s truly grand that the folks who made this film had the foresight to film footage of Roy since 1986, from which this film is cobbled together. Mike is one of the primary filmmakers for this project, and tells me that quite a bit of it is from when Roy was honored at a Tribute show at the Loft in 2001. I was just getting my start at organizing poetry shows back then, and created a series that paid tribute and respect to poets and artists of color who were trailblazers for artists of my generation and beyond – Roy was among the first people on my list that I wanted to make sure to pay tribute to.
There will be two showings of A Poet’s Poet at Intermedia Arts, a space that any person interested in art and social change should be well familiar with. Sunday, January 30, 2011, 3 pm and 4 pm, and it’s only $5!
More info here: http://www.intermediaarts.org/catalyst-series-a-poet-poets