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  Quraysh Ali Lansana
Quraysh Ali Lansana
Quraysh Ali Lansana
's latest book is They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems. It is the second collection of his to be published by Third World Press, a press that has been publishing progressive black literature since 1967. He is the author of a children's book called The Big World (Addison-Wesley, 1999) and 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 the recipient of the 2000 Poet of the Year Award, presented by Chicago's Black Book Fair; the 1999 Henry Blakey Award, presented by Gwendolyn Brooks; and the 1999 Wallace W. Douglas Distinguished Service Award, presented by Young Chicago Authors, Inc. He has collaborated extensively with musicians in jazz, blues, reggae, and traditional West African idioms. He has also led workshops in prisons, public schools and universities in over 30 states.
"What James Tate does for the flat Midwest dialect or Miss Lou for Jamaican patois, Quraysh Ali Lansana does for the African-American, southern vernacular of Harriet Tubman, reclaiming its vigor and integrity. Lansana has re-imag(in)ed her heroism—a moment of grace in this sad, great country's history—and he lights her stubbornness and devotion and courage with his rich language. Harriet instructs, 'don't point to da ruins of your fadda's house.' Quraysh Ali Lansana points to its turrets."
—Susan Wheeler

harriet



Quraysh Ali Lansana



from They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems
fate

coldhot snakes ma skin
thundercloud starts ma head
dis feverbed deep water

breath weak an bone sore
lord   canada aint seen me
de men still up north   john

ya name me general   our plan
aint no good ta ya in new york
ma heart dere in virginia

gideons sword in yo hand   now
holy soldiers lambs blood clean
holy soldiers negro an white

strike   make sweet yo days


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