Literary Hook: Bob-Re:Pac-Aged explores potential of Marley, Tupac

The Pacific Northwest is very “writer friendly.”

For many years, I have been participating in events sponsored by PoetsWest, the Washington Poetry Society, and various Seattle bookstores and museums. This year, I am trying something new: The Burning Word Festival on Whidbey Island, Wash. When I return, I will share a review of the event; meantime, here is a preview.

Burning Word 2006 is the Washington Poetry Association’s Third Annual Festival of Poetry Fire, “bursting into flame on Saturday, April 29.” The all-day celebration of poetry, music, performance and educational workshops features 40 poets. In addition, there is a Small Press book fair, book signings, and networking. All this is held at the Greenback Farm, where “festival goers can enjoy expansive water views, hike beautiful trails, or enjoy a wine-tasting at the Farm’s Wine Shop.”

Check it out at

Bob-Re:Pac-Aged seeks submissions

flipped eye publishing seeks submissions for Bob-Re:Pac-Aged, a new anthology of poetry imagination edited by Nikki Giovanni.

Poetry submitted will attempt to dissect the political vision of Bob Marley and Tupac Shakur and imagine what their place/politics would be if they had aged.

For example, by looking at Bob’s work and how it developed, one can imagine the progression that Tupac might have made. For example, Bob’s work at age 25 (the age at which Tupac recorded All Eyez on Me, e.g., Life Goes On, I Ain’t Mad Atcha, compared to universality of Redemption Song and the subtle politics of even the radio-friendly Could You Be Loved).

The 10-year journey of growth between those songs of Marley’s is a journey Tupac missed. However, they shared the same streak of belief that opposing sides could be united, e.g., Tupac tried to unite the Bloods and Crips gang members through picnics, while Bob Marley tried to reconcile Manley and Seaga, fierce political opponents who split the ghettos of Kingston along gang lines, at a concert.

You may submit up to three poems (maximum of 60 lines) per person.

Submissions are by e-mail only to and should contain the word “Pac” in the subject field (submissions without it will be automatically filtered out).

The deadline for submissions is May 20.

Giovanni has published several collections of poetry, including her widely-referenced debut, Black Feeling, Black Talk, and is the recipient of honors such as the Langston Hughes Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters (1996) and NAACP Image Award for Literature (1998). She is professor of English and Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies at Virginia Tech.

Bob-Re:Pack-Aged is part of a five-book box set of poetry anthologies called The Hot 5, all edited by leading poets from around the world. The set will be accompanied by jazz compositions produced by the pioneering London jazz label Dune Records.

From the May 10-16, 2006, issue

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