Saturday, December 5, 2015

Publisher wants to release Marvin X's next book of poetry

At the Pen Oakland Literary Awards Ceremony at the Oakland Main Library today, the publisher of Poetic Matrix Press tentatively agreed to publish Marvin X's next collection of poetry. Marvin's last collection was Land of My Daughters, 2009, Black Bird Press, Berkeley, CA.

Stay turned for the forthcoming poetic collection by Marvin X, known variously as "Plato teaching oh the streets of Oakland" (Ishmael Reed); "The USA's Rumi, Saadi, Hafiz...." (Bob Holman); "The father of Muslim American Literature"(Dr. Mohja Khaf).

At the PEN Oakland Literary Awards, Jack Foley mistakenly said there were no Muslims being awarded today. When Marvin X came up to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award, along with BAM poet/musician Avotchja, Marvin noted that he is a Muslim poet, in fact, considered the "Father of Muslim American literature" (Dr. Mohja Khaf), along with other Black Arts Movement Poets, including Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Muhammad Toure', et al. According to Dr. Khaf, "The Black Arts Movement poets are the foundation of Muslim American literature."

After receiving his award, Marvin X read his classic poem What If, a poem any Muslim would recognize, although Marvin transcends Islam in the poem by including an essential dose of pantheism or African religion. Ishmael Reed puts Marvin X in the Yoruba tradition, while others place him in the Islamic literary tradition. In truth, Marvin X defies all traditions by embracing all traditions.

When I write, I write to write, I do not write in sectarian traditions or any religious tradition. "I am the pen, Allah is the ink."

Sometimes I have had a writing plan for a book until the Holy Spirit took over and I saw I was only the pen and Allah was the ink. It was then that I forgot my plan and let the Holy Spirit guide my hand. I wish somebody could understand. I wish somebody could hep me tonight.
--Marvin X

James Sweeney has noted, "Marvin X is the freest Black man in non-free America." Indeed, being Black listed from Academia has allowed Marvin X to speak freely on any subject that comes to his mind, and for sure his mind is global. Former California Poet Laureate Al Young introduced Marvin X. Al said, "I've known Marvin at least half a century, and we have watched him evolve and expand his consciousness. In his memoir on Eldridge Cleaver: My Friend the Devil, Marvin X revealed not only things we didn't know about Eldridge, but Marvin was more than honest about himself, his own foibles and flaws. What else can we ask of a writer?"

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