Poetry. African & African American Studies. In WAITING FOR A SPACESHIP, J. Otis Powell pens a deep acknowledgement to both the pain of language and its potential for liberation. In these elegant and absorbing poems, Powell plays soloist to a backdrop of jazz rhythm, capable of moving from the elegiac to the celebratory in one shift of tone, expressing the haunted nature of American life: "Ghosts hitch rides on bodies / move inside souls." The lyrical improvisation of his lines moves us simultaneously closer to moments of insight, haunting, and deliverance. "Ivory bones at the bottom of the Atlantic / Ghosts dance to water music nobody composed." To read WAITING FOR A SPACESHIP is to find deep recognition with openness and ferocity. His poems describe how the moment of poetic expression arrives in daily life at soul level. This is a poetry of necessity.
J. Otis Powell‽ is a member of the MN Spoken Word Association Hall of Fame, an Urban Griot Innovator Award winner, and a founding producer of the award-winning spoken word radio program, Write On Radio. His previous publications include: THEOLOGY (Traffic Street Press), My Tongue Has No Bone (Porter Publishing) and Pieces of Sky (Rain Taxi). He was co-editor of Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (published by the MN Historical Society). Author City: MINNEAPOLIS, MN USA