The Dodge Poetry Festival Present
Saturday, October 4, 2014 @ 4PM
Yusef Komunyakaa grew up in the deep South during the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. He served a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he was also a writer and the managing editor for the military newspaper, the Southern Cross. He began writing poetry several years after he returned to the United States. By 1979, at the age of 32, Komunyakaa had earned a BA, an MA, and an MFA, and had published two collections of poems, Dedications & Other Darkhorses and Lost in the Bonewheel Factory. The poet Toi Derricote wrote of Komunyakaa: "He takes on the most complex moral issues, the most harrowing ugly subjects of our American life. His voice, whether it embodies the specific experiences of a black man, a soldier in Vietnam, or a child in Bogalusa, Louisiana, is universal. It shows us in ever deeper ways what it is to be human." Komunyakaa won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Neon Vernacular. He is the Senior Distinguished Poet in the Graduate Writing Program at NYU.
New York soul artist Tomás Doncker is a man with an uncompromising mission. He is determined to spread something he calls "Global Soul" on a worldwide scale. Inspired by numerous sources including East and West Africa and the Caribbean, Doncker describes "Global Soul" as "The sound of our collective conscious. The unified rhythm of heart beats creating a positive, spiritually uplifting force for good. Musically speaking it is not genre specific, but in fact genre inclusive. It is the best of what we have to offer to each other, from Brooklyn to Ethiopia, and every where in between."