Words are effective things and their mastery is observed in the poet who uses them like rifles and doves, influencing the landscape of culture. Poets are powerful people and Larry Jaffe is a powerful poet. He has spent a lifetime with words, using them to communicate not only his thoughts and emotions about his own life, but to speak on the critical problems facing our planet giving them the significance only a poet could. Most notably, Jaffe has championed the cause of human rights and his poetry has reached across nations, forging people together over universal topics like ethics and justice. He has redefined the role of the poet, transforming it into a political force capable of influencing the global scene.
Larry Jaffe established himself as the preeminent human rights poet with works like “One Child Sold: Human Trafficking and Rights” and founding Poets Beyond Borders, a group aimed at improving human rights. He helped spearhead the United Nations Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry Project which led to hundreds of poetry readings in hundreds of cities across the world. He was the first poet to be awarded the Saint Hill Art Festival’s Lifetime of Creativity Award and was a former poet in residence at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Jaffe has read his poems all over the world, from the Museum of Literature in Prague to the Dylan Thomas Centre in Wales and his poems continue to find an audience internationally.
It is safe to say that Larry Jaffe is passionate about poetry. He’s been performing and hosting poetry readings for many years and his work reflects a lifetime of devotion to words. One of his most popular poems, also the title of one of his books, is “Unprotected Poetry,” a cool, hip piece demonstrating Jaffe’s viewpoint on the subject of poetry. He likes it raw, unrestricted and impinging. Something characteristic of his work is its ability to communicate and present ideas and emotions clearly so they’re easily understood. There’s nothing abstract or vague about his poems. You know what they are about, they hit you in the gut and make you remember them. Maybe that’s the way poetry has to be for a poet trying to wake up mankind from a slumber. The sleeping giant may still be snoozing but not for long with the work Jaffe is putting out these days.
In the poem “Cattle Car,” Larry Jaffe writes about a group of Jews that stood up against the Nazi’s, recognizing their heroism in the midst of overwhelming odds. The world still faces such odds today but fortunately it still has its heroes too. Larry Jaffe is not only fighting to make the world a better place, he’s stepping to the forefront and delivering the words it needs to hear. His podium is large and his impact even larger. He is truly the poet statesman.
For more information on Larry Jaffe visit www.lgjaffe.com
Like the days of Homer, lyric tales have found their way to us, using words set to a rhythm, hitting us like waves playing against the shoreline. Poetry, when it is done best immortalizes the triumph of man over the elements, shouts the glory of the human spirit, and whispers the tragedies that blow across the universe like passing storms. The poet Kevin J. Taylor finds himself standing on a cliff at the edge of eternity, looking out across the vastness of space and with his book “Letter to the White Imbongi” building a bridge that carries us past ourselves, towards unimagined futures, leaving us back where we started, hopeful, wishful and oh so powerful.
Taylor delivers a book that is spiritual to say the least, fixing the reader into strange, yet familiar situations, where they must look to the future, take in the past, notice every detail from an exterior view. Reading “Letter to the White Imbongi” is like being a child again and having your father lift you up and fly you across the house, except in the case of this collection of poems, we are taken into memories that feel more real than any room we flew across as kids. If the goal of art is to communicate, to move, then Taylor is a master, because he effortlessly maneuvers our thoughts and emotions, and the final result is a feeling that must be what astronauts experience because the world becomes smaller and we’re left to float across the cosmos like a giant kite.
Traditionally, an Imbongi is the name-title of a Praise Poet. The word comes from South Africa but suits this Canadian born poet’s purposes extremely well. He is like the all-mighty and powerful Oz, except instead of standing behind the curtain, he’s at the crossroads of the universe with a bent ear, open arms and quickly moving hands, writing down the meaning of it all. From life to death and back again the story unfolds and drifts over landscapes. There is no leaf left unturned and Taylor manages to communicate the whole of existence with a few concise lines on a few, mostly empty pages. As one flips through the work, it’s hard not to notice the emptiness, or rather the vastness of available space. Kevin Taylor does in a few lines what most writers need thick volumes packed with words to communicate, and we’re all the better for the simplicity and the feeling of having plenty of room to move around in.
One day in the future we will look back at our lifetime spent doing the things we usually do with a lifetime, smile fondly and steady ourselves for the next voyage. Taylor’s poems make us feel like that, no matter where we are on this adventure called life. His poetry is in the tradition of The Odyssey because he dishes up an epic worthy to be sung and passed down, but perhaps is even more remarkable because he does it in about 20 pages. Get ready to fly to heights well worth the trip. Kevin J. Taylor will take you across eternity and stretch it even further. Enjoy the ride!
For more information please visit http://poetkevinjtaylor.tumblr.com
Michelangelo once said, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” At Artists Run This Planet we see Earth as our marble and we hold a chisel and hammer up to it every day. This beautiful canvas of a planet waits for us to paint it daily. Gone are the days of suppressing art, of pursuits less noble than creating. We have the technology available to create in any medium, and faster than ever before. As artists we are the creators of every new innovation and idea that takes shape. We are mankind’s continual hope and driving force — “Artists Run This Planet." - David Carus, Art Planet CEO & Founder