There are some who are loathe to refer to the Poetry Foundation as cool, but their just-released spring schedule reports that, come poetry month, they will be presenting a program with more than a touch of cool. Thursday, April 21, 6:00 PM the documentary film, “and when I die I won’t stay dead,” the life of Bob Kaufman will be shown at the Foundation. Kaufman, an African-American poet who was active among the beats in the 1950s and 60s, was founding editor of the journal Beatitude along with Allen Ginsberg and others. At one point in his life, he didn’t speak for 10 years following a vow of silence he took following the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Much of Kaufman’s poetry was jazz-inspired. The critic Raymond Foye called him the quintessential jazz poet. In France, where we was well-known, some referred to him as the “black American Rimbaud.” Check out this profile for more on Bob Kaufman.
Billy Woodberry, who will introduce the film is a co-founder of the L.A. Rebellion film movement, a group aimed at creating a new Black cinema, and a faculty member at California Institute of the Arts. The program will occur at the Foundation at 61 W. Superior in Chicago and is free, as is the norm for Foundation programs.