Sunday, October 2, 2016

An August Occasion at Howard University

I am looking forward to presenting a paper for the August Wilson Conference at Howard University this month. I have been deeply inspired by Wilson's work since seeing Joe Turner's Come and Gone at Arena Stage when I was in junior high school in DC. I did not know that I would be moved to write plays years later then. But Wilson's rare gift for blues poetics and story-telling struck me in an unforgettable way in the dark house of the theater. I actually went into labor with my first daughter while listening to August Wilson speak about Seven Guitars at Howard University back in 1995. I didn't know I was in labor at the time, but it became very apparent later, after hanging out at a music studio into the wee morning hours. It's all intertwined. It has been a precarious alignment at times, but it has always made sense, if you know how funk makes sense, and if you know how blues makes all the sense, and the way life does if you choose that dance. And, of course, it's always special to return to HU - my alma mater, my former place of employment, the ground that knows every aspect of how my feet fall while walking. If you're in the area, come through ...

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