Our Thang: Selected Poems, Selected Drawings presents the extraordinary jazz-poems of the legendary poet-artist-trumpeter Ted Joans alongside the surrealistic drawings of Canadian artist, Laura Corsiglia. One of the last of the Beat poets, a former jazz musician, friend of Kerouac and Ginsburg , Joans is the person who, upon hearing of the death of sax-man Charlie Parker, scrawled the famous graffitti Bird Lives’ (perhaps his best-known poem). Born on a riverboat in Cairo, Illinois, Ted Joans graduated in Fine Arts from Indiana University, and in 1951 joined the Bohemia of America’ in Greenwich Village. He has lived in Harlem, New York; Bloomington, Indiana; Haarlem, the Netherlands; Paris and even Timbuktu. His books include: Funky Jazz Poems, Beat Poems, All of T.J. and No More, The Hipsters (a book of collages), The Truth, Afrodisia, A Black Pow Wow of Jazz Poems, and Teducation. His work is characterized by black consciousness, strong rhythm, and a musical sensibility closely linked to the blues and avant-garde jazz. His style is associated with the oral tradition of African-American writing but also to the Beat Generation and European Surrealism. Laura Corsiglia is an artist, originally from Victoria, BC, and now living in Vancouver whose work has been exhibited all over the world, from Paris to London to New York to Seattle. She is Ted Joans’ partner.
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