Sunday, July 29, 2pm
2012 New Mexico Jazz Festival: Poetry Reading: A.B. Spellman & Hakim Bellamy. Retired NEA Deputy Chairman, poet and jazz historian, A.B. Spellman, who’s Meet the Artist sessions have become a New Mexico Jazz Festival tradition since its inaugural year in 2006, brings his own work to audiences in a special poetry reading shared with New Mexico’s most recently named Poet Laureate, Hakim Bellamy.
A founding member of the Black Arts Movement, A.B. Spellman has been a regular commentator on jazz for NPR and holds the honor of having a prestigious NEA Jazz Masters award in his name, the “A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.” During his thirty-year tenure at the NEA, he deferred poetry publication unitl the release of Things I Must Have Known, his first full-length collection of unpublished poems. Murray Horwitz, of the American Film Institute wrote that the book is “a treasure chest of poems of astonishing intellectual and emotional range. A.B. Spellman’s voice is one-of-a-kind, his poems informed by an uncompromising intelligence, yet filled with music, humor, and irresistible vitality.”
As the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico. His poetry has been published in Albuquerque inner-city buses and various anthologies. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist and was recently bestowed the populist honor of “Best Poet” by Local iQ (“Smart List” 2010, 2011 & 2012) and Alibi (“Best of Burque” 2010, 2011 & 2012). He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond. Hakim is currently finishing his MA in Communications and Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. He is the proud father of a 4 year-old miracle and works as the Strategic Communication Director at Media Literacy Project.