First African-American Poet Laureate of San Francisco
This episode of Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano, features Devorah Major, the first African-American poet laureate of San Francisco who served from 2002-2006 as the city’s 3rd Poet Laureate. This 2nd generation San Francisco poet’s work is both powerful and moving. Her father was the poet Reginald Major.
Devorah Major Reads
In this recording Devorah reads and discusses her poetry with me, Nina Serrano. It was recently aired on KPFA (94.1 fm), Berkeley, on July 10, 2019 and on OZCAT RADIO (89.5 fm), Vallejo, July 11, 2019. My interview was recorded in 2016 and is presented here again for your enjoyment. I hope to interview her again soon to bring you the more recent work of this extraordinary poet.
Devorah Major is an award winning poet and fiction writer, editor, and professor. She has toured the United States and internationally performing her poetry and sharing her expertise on African-American poetry, Beat Poetry, and poetry of resistance. She has published two novels and four books of poetry.
In 2004 she was given a commission by the Oakland East Bay Symphony to collaborate with composer Guillermo Galindo to create and perform in Trade Route, a symphony with spoken word and chorus. In 2015 her full length poetry play Classic Black: African Americans in 19th Century San Francisco premiered at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. In addition to university teaching, she was executive director of California Poets in the Schools and also also works with writers to develop their craft.
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