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Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed is an African American author of poetry, essays, satirical novels, and plays. Reed grew up in Buffalo, New York, and studied at the University of Buffalo. He moved to New York City, where he co-founded the East Village Other (1965), an underground newspaper that achieved a national reputation. Also that year he organized the American Festival of Negro Art. Reed later taught at several schools, most notably the University of California, Berkeley (1968–2005). In 1990 he created Konch magazine, which began as a print publication and later moved to a digital-only format. His first novel, “The Free-Lance Pallbearers,” was published in 1967. He also wrote numerous volumes of poetry and collections of essays, the latter of which include “Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media” and “Going Too Far: Essays About America’s Nervous Breakdown.” Six of his plays, including “Mother Hubbard” and “The Preacher and the Rapper,” were collected in a volume that was published in 2009. In addition, Reed edited a number of anthologies. Reed was the recipient of numerous honours, notably a MacArthur fellowship (1998). His newest novel, “Translating Hindi,” was published in 2018.

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2019 - Writer to Writer: Ishmael Reed and Morgan Parker