Remembering Wanda Coleman

Wanda Coleman (1946-2013)

Dan Chiasson on Wanda Coleman in a recent piece in The New Yorker

“Ginsberg’s surreptitious queering of the American supermarket was one kind of confrontation with history; Coleman, without the luxury of being furtive, is “detected via camera / lens while picking over pepper mills” and makes her own piqued revision, returning the experience of grocery shopping to quotidian reality. For a black woman, this reality includes the fear of being accused of stealing”

Wanda Coleman’s poem “Supermarket Surfer” pays homage to Allen’s famous poem “A Supermarket in California,”

“What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman..” – Here‘s Allen reading from the original

Here’s Wanda Coleman in an extended interview for PoetryLA  with Mariano Zaro, recorded shortly before her death in 2013

Just a couple of months ago (how time flies!) , Godine/Black Sparrow issued Wicked Enchantment, a “Selected Poems” (edited and introduced by Terrance Hayes) –  an essential read – “A voice for justice, anti-racism, and equality – here is the greatest and most powerful work of the people’s poet, Wanda Coleman” – “130 poems in all, spanning four decades”:

Here (in keeping with the times) is the recent Zoom launch for the book

and Terence Hayes’ introduction to the volume may be read here 

Here’s the poet herself reading (from 2008):

and again (with CAConrad) at The Poetry Project in 2010

and here‘s her powerful reading of  the incendiary “Where I Live”

Remembering, today, L.A.’s “unofficial poet laureate”, the late, great, Wanda Coleman.

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