|Quraysh Ali Lansana is the author of They Shall Run–Harriet Tubman Poems (Third World Press, April 2004) and the poetry collection southside rain (Third World Press, 2000); a children’s book, The Big World (Addison-Wesley, 1999); and a poetry chapbook, cockroach children: corner poems and street psalms (nappyhead press, 1995). He is the editor of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s African American Literature Reader (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2001), and I Represent and dream in yourself, which are two anthologies of literary works from Chicago’s award-winning youth arts employment program, Gallery 37 (Tia Chucha Press, 1996 and 1997, respectively). He is also co-editor of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art (Third World Press, 2002). He is currently Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing and an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Chicago State University. He is also a former faculty member of The Juilliard School’s Drama Division. Quraysh also serves as Poetry Editorial Review Board Director for Third World Press, Associate Editor-Poetry for Black Issues Book Review, and serves on the Editorial Board of Tia Chucha Press. Passage, his poetry video collaboration with Kurt Heintz, won the first-ever Image Union/Bob Award from WTTW-TV (PBS).|
|He is the recipient of other awards, including: the 2000 Poet of the Year Award, presented by Chicago’s Black Book Fair; the 1999 Henry Blakely Award, presented by Gwendolyn Brooks; and the 1999 Wallace W. Douglas Distinguished Service Award, presented by Young Chicago Authors, Inc.|
Quraysh earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Creative Writing Program at New York University, where he was a Departmental Fellow. His most recent publication credits include Blood and Bone: An Anthology of Black Southern Writing, Off the Cuffs: A Police Poetry Anthology, Illinois Voices: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Poetry, and Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam.
His poetry has been performed as theatre with Chameleon Productions and Carving Mahogany, and broadcast on National Public Radio. He is an original member of the Funky Wordsmyths, a “hardhittin blak poetry and music” ensemble, which featured the late Oscar Brown III. He has collaborated extensively with musicians in jazz, blues, reggae, and traditional West African idioms. He has been a literary teaching artist and curriculum developer for over a decade, and has led workshops in prisons, public schools and universities in over thirty states.
The following recordings were made on February 10, 2003 at the monthly open mike reading at Molly Malone’s (7652 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL, 60130 USA). For this feature, we proudly present selected works as read by a number of participating authors from that evening’s reading, and in addition, the entire performance as given by the featured artist, Quraysh Ali Lansana.