T. R. Johnson has a new book, New Orleans A Literary History, in which I have an essay about Tom Dent. At a program on Saturday afternoon, 23 November 2019, held at the Ace Hotel in downtown New Orleans, a panel was assembled focusing on the 300 year history of literature in New Orleans.
1:45-2:45 pm: 300 Years of New Orleans Literary History
Matthew P. Smith
Kalamu Ya Salaam
I was my usual contrarian self and emphasized what was missing. I included myself among those who have overlooked or ignored the wide-ranging contribution of people of color, i.e. ‘blacks’, (and in this specific case, creoles) to our city’s literary history. The 1845 anthology Les Cenelles is a prime example and needs to be more widely acknowledged and celebrated. I am working to change that reality and perception.
Here is a snippet of what I had to say. There is a bunch more literary work forthcoming. With whatever time I have left in this life, I intend to dedicate myself to addressing the history and struggles of our people. My lifelong field of work has been in the literary realm and as a social activist. Today the bulk of my activism is specifically focus in the literary and internet realms and as a 24/7 care-giver. Although I do not often leave home these days, nevertheless, more work is planned. More is forthcoming.
To be continued…