Ishmael Reed is the author of novels, plays, poetry, and non-fiction. He has received prizes in every category. His novel “Mumbo Jumbo” has been cited by Harold Bloom as one of the 500 great books of the Western Cannon. He has received the Otto and Audelco awards for theater. In 1998, he received the John D. MacArthur Genius award. He is one of a handful of authors to be nominated for two National Book Awards within the same year. A songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Gregory Porter, Cassandra Wilson, Macy Gray and Taj Mahal, Reed is also a musician whose piano playing was cited by Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue as he accompanied a 2019 fashion show, featuring the work of fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner. His poem, “Just Rollin’ Along,” about the 1934 encounter between Bonnie and Clyde and Oakland Blues artists L.C. Good Rockin’ Robinson will be included in “The Best American Poetry. 2019.” His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The New York Times.
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Photo credit: Michael Simon
2019 - Writer to Writer: Ishmael Reed and Morgan Parker