|Jazz and poetry have long been intertwined – arts of beat, meter and melody. Their simultaneous evolution over the past 100 years gave birth to a new genre of writing called “jazz poetry,” of which writer Yusef Komunyakaa is one of our modern masters. Winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Yusef’s lyrics jump from the page with incantational power, riffing, insinuating, and dissecting the thread like a fine soloist. We’re thrilled to offer his milestone work, “Testimony” – both a book of poetry and 2 CDs of music. Packaged with a tight collection of Yusef’s best jazz poems, Testimony’s centerpiece is a 14-part tribute to legendary player Charlie Parker. Originally commissioned for live performance, Testimony features original music from renowned saxophone player and composer Sandy Evans. |
A train whistle in the distance, gun shot through the ceiling, a wood warbler back in the Ozarks at Lake Taneycomo, he’d harmonize them all.
Beyond the jazz genre, Yusef has written numerous plays and operas and 17 books of poetry. His awards and honors include the William Faulkner Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently he serves as Distinguished Senior Poet in NYU’s graduate creative writing program.
Yusef Komunyakaa was our Fall 2017 featured artist and we have sold out of our seasonal supply of his book, but you can purchase direct from his publisher. For more info, click here.