Monday, December 11, 2006

The Kwansaba

You can call this a sub-post. It is culled from the mail I received from Eugene Redmond, the Poet Laureate of East St. Louis.

"The kwansaba, a 49-word poetic form invented during the Writers Club’s 1995 workshop season (in East St. Louis), consists of seven lines of seven words each; each word must contain between one and seven letters. Exceptions to the seven-letter rule are proper nouns and some foreign terms. Previous issues of Drumvoices have featured kwansabas for Katherine Dunham (2004), Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez (2005), and Jayne Cortez (2006).

Following is an example ofa kwansaba from Drumvoices #13:

Neo Kwansaba in Barakan Verse(Mali Newman)
Poetree grown from stanzas tongues my ears
Don’t play Dough Ray Mi Vaso Latte
Unless Dada Doowop Dadaism is dead, unless
Trans (it) Blues in C, major or minor
Died by volumes twenty one times, don’t
Play scale up/scale down, while Baraka
Breaks off a piece of his mind.

My comments: You are free to choose your style. You don't have to write as complex as above.

Kwansaba submissions should be sent by Jan. 1, 2007, to Drumvoices Revue,English Department Box 1431, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1431. Submissions should be in hard copies as well as on Microsoft Word disk.

For more information, send email to, fax 618 650-3509, or write EBRWC @ P.O. Box 6165, East St. Louis, IL 62202.Founded in 1986 and named after East St. Louis Poet Laureate Eugene B.Redmond, Writers Club trustees include Amiri Baraka, Angelou, Walter Mosley,Barbara Ann Teer, Troupe, Dr. Lena Weathers, and Avery Brooks. Trustees alsoserve on the editorial board of Drumvoices Revue. Deceased Trustees includeMargaret Walker Alexander (1915-1998), Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), andRaymond R. Patterson (1929-2001).The Club is currently celebrating its 20th year of twice-monthly meetings(first/third Tuesday), 6:00-8:00 p.m., in the Library (Building B) of the East St. Louis Higher Education Center, 601 J. R. Thompson Drive. Meetings are held September through May. All writers, from beginners to professionals, are welcome.

You can also send your Kwansabas by email to Deadline is January 1, 2007


BOA said...

Thanks for this...
Btw, Chris asked of ya...

I beseech thee thou, Come over to macedonia... sorry, lagos... this time, not to save, but to be saved ;-)... lagos is the land of salvation... fine cars, plenty money, fine girls, everything...

iGwatala said...

You won't believe this, but... I am actually there. In Lagos now. And I must tell you, there's much more to the Lagos of legends - that mischief of literature that paints the funkiest filth in the sweetest of words. Araceli tried! On Monday I spent about thirty minutes trying to find Adejo str (or is it 'road'?) office of Accenture, without luck. Then to browse, I had to go to NTA cybercafe having looked all the way to Bar Beach without any luck more than sighting a "Nude Couture". (Know that place? Opposite the beach, right behind UBA Bank?). Anyway, Im here, and I might be till after Christmas and till who-knows-when. You want to send me the schedules of the Art Club Meetings?

Hi to Chris. Tell him we're gonna go seeking for more palmie sheds/joints. :D