Newark Poet, Playwright Amiri Baraka Dies at 79

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Poet Amiri Baraka at the Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Festival. (Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Foundation)

Controversial poet and playwright Amiri Baraka, named New Jersey's Poet Laureate in 2002, has died at the age of 79.

In this 2003 interview with WNYC, he admitted that he didn't quite expect the honor, or seek it out.

"To me, it was very unlikely, you know what I mean. I thought maybe somebody was fooling around."

The Newark native was known for his powerful manifestos, from the racial fury of "Dutchman," to the September 11 diatribe "Somebody Blew Up America." His booking agent said he died Thursday, after being hospitalized in December.

With The Associated Press


More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [1]

sal from Brooklyn

Mr. Baraka's inciteful words will be his legacy. I don't think such a human will be missed other than to remind us that hatred based on race, ethnicity, or other affiliation, is still embedded within our American culture. Tribalism is alive and well if we eulogize people like him.

Jan. 09 2014 10:12 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by