Poet, playwright, and political activist, Amiri Baraka is one of the nation's most influential artists. He was born in 1934, in Newark, New Jersey and graduated from Howard University in 1953. Baraka published his first major work of poetry, Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, in 1961.
He was the founder of Totem Press which first published works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and others. In addition, he was the founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theatre in Harlem and the Black Community Development and Defense Organization, a Black Muslim group committed to affirming black culture and to gaining political power for blacks. Among his many publications, he is the author of The Autobiography of Leroi Jones, Dutchman and the Slave, Black Music and Blues People.
Listen to his poem "In Walked Bud" from the New Alliance release JazzSpeak.