A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz

February 14th, 2018

 

“Romance in Red,” by Alfred Gockel

 

_____

 

Jazz music is a language of love.  Love is found in,

the elegance of the Ellington orchestra
the artistry of Bird and Diz
the adventure of Miles
the humor of Armstrong’s growl
the romance of Johnny Hodges
the playfulness of Monk
the strength and character of Mary Lou Williams
the joy of the Basie horn section
the seduction in Sarah Vaughan’s vibrato
the erotic interplay of Prez and Lady Day
the tenderness of Bill Evans’ trio
the heartbreak in Dinah Washington’s cry
the optimism of Clifford Brown and Max Roach
the raw energy of Ornette Coleman
the enthusiasm of Ella
the masculinity of Coleman Hawkins
the muscularity of Gerry Mulligan
the tension of Cecil Taylor
the relentlessness of Sonny Rollins
the coolness of Desmond
the boldness of Nina Simone
the urgency of Elvin Jones
the sexuality of Mingus
the passion of Coltrane
the tears in Chet Baker’s horn.

 

 

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I recently invited many of our contributing poets to submit work that combines the themes of jazz music and love, with the result being a collection of voices expressing their own contributions to the language of love… 

Dozens of writers submitted over 100 poems, and the best of the submissions — 29 poems by 18 poets — are found on the following 12 pages. Advance through the selections by utilizing the page monitor at the bottom of each page. 

Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work.

 

JJM

 

 

 

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14 comments on “A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz”

  1. To bring from the lips to the ear or the fingers to the ear and into the body so much of life and love is such a fine thing that the poet and the musician have married here that all we can do that is celebrate and hallelujah.

  2. To bring from the lips to the ear or the fingers to the ear and into the body so much of life and love is such a fine thing that the poet and the musician have married here that all we can do that is celebrate and hallelujah.

  3. I’m very happy to be part of such a fine collection. I particularly enjoyed Michael Newell’s ‘Vintage Inn ..’ and Lawrence Koumas’s lovely little anecdote.

  4. This collection has too many good poems and poets to acknowledge every poem and every poet worthy of attention. I will, therefore, single out a handful of poets who moved me deeply. The list would include Gannon Daniels, Robert Nisbet, Susana Case, Dan Franch, Patricia Carragon, John Stupp, and Aurora Lewis. If I went back and reread all the poems for a fourth or fifth time, I would likely expand this list considerably. I tip my hat to all the fine artists in this collection, and I thank Joseph Maita for putting all these fine poems together in such an appealing way.

  5. This collection has too many good poems and poets to acknowledge every poem and every poet worthy of attention. I will, therefore, single out a handful of poets who moved me deeply. The list would include Gannon Daniels, Robert Nisbet, Susana Case, Dan Franch, Patricia Carragon, John Stupp, and Aurora Lewis. If I went back and reread all the poems for a fourth or fifth time, I would likely expand this list considerably. I tip my hat to all the fine artists in this collection, and I thank Joseph Maita for putting all these fine poems together in such an appealing way.

  6. Michael,

    I especially like the way the way the two settings, outside and inside the Inn in the first poem, as in these lines:

    outside the night is filled
    with cigarette smoke lightning
    and Lithia Creek swirling over rocks

    In the second poem, I hear the music playing in the background of the second poem.

  7. Michael,

    I especially like the way the way the two settings, outside and inside the Inn in the first poem, as in these lines:

    outside the night is filled
    with cigarette smoke lightning
    and Lithia Creek swirling over rocks

    In the second poem, I hear the music playing in the background of the second poem.

  8. I am pleased that I was able to participate in a poetry writing event which includes the deeply felt emotions of jazz music and love and its individual expressions in form and format. I will read these with great pleasure. This idea to showcase it on Valentines date was terrific.

  9. I am pleased that I was able to participate in a poetry writing event which includes the deeply felt emotions of jazz music and love and its individual expressions in form and format. I will read these with great pleasure. This idea to showcase it on Valentines date was terrific.

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In This Issue

This issue features a roundtable discussion about how the world of religion may have impacted the creative lives of Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. Also, previous winners of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest reflect on their winning story; three new podcasts from Bob Hecht; new collection of poetry; recommendations of recently released jazz recordings, and lots more.

Short Fiction

"The Wailing Wall" -- a short story by Justin Short

Interviews

Three prominent religious scholars -- Wallace Best, Tracy Fessenden and M. Cooper Harriss -- join us in a conversation about how the world of religion during the life and times of Langston Hughes (pictured), Billie Holiday and Ralph Ellison helps us better comprehend the meaning of their work.

Poetry

Nine poets contribute ten poems celebrating jazz in poems as unique as the music itself

Short Fiction

In celebration of our upcoming 50th Short Fiction Contest, previous contest winners (dating to 2002) reflect on their own winning story, and how their lives have since unfolded.

The Joys of Jazz

In this edition, award winning radio producer Bob Hecht tells three stories; 1) on Charlie Christian, the first superstar of jazz guitar; 2) the poet Langston Hughes’ love of jazz music, and 3) a profile of the song “Strange Fruit”

On the Turntable

25 recently released jazz tunes that are worth listening to…including Bobo Stenson; Medeski, Martin and Wood; Muriel Grossman and Rudy Royston

Features

Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Randy Brecker and Tom Piazza are among those responding to our question, "What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940's?"

Poetry

"Billie Holiday" -- a poem (with collage) by Steve Dalachinsky

Coming Soon

Thomas Brothers, Duke University professor of music and author of two essential biographies of Louis Armstrong, is interviewed about his new book, HELP! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration; also, Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, author of An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden, in a conversation about the brilliant 20th Century artist

In the previous issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

Contributing writers

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