martes, 18 de octubre de 2016


Afaa Michael Weaver

Afaa Michael Weaver (Nacido en 1951 en Baltimore, Maryland, EE.UU.) antes conocido como Michael S. Weaver, es un poeta americano, cuentista y editor. Es autor de numerosos libros de poesía y sus honores incluyen una beca Fulbright y las becas de la Fundación Nacional para las Artes, Fundación Pew, y el Premio de Poesía Kingsley Tufts. Es el director de escritura intensiva en The Frost Place.

Nacido en Maryland, estudió dos años en la Universidad de Maryland. Luego entró en el mundo de la fábrica junto a su padre y sus tíos y siguió siendo un trabajador de fábrica durante quince años. Se graduó en la Universidad de Brown con una beca, con una maestría. Fue profesor en la Universidad Nacional de Taiwán y la Universidad Nacional de Taipei de Arte como Fulbright Scholar, y miembro de la facultad en la Fundación Cave Canem anual 's. Además, fue el primero en ser llamado un anciano de la Fundación Cave Canem. También estudió el idioma chino en el Instituto de Idiomas de Taipei en Taiwán . 

Es profesor de la Universidad Simmons, y es director de la Zora Neale literaria Center. Es Presidente de la Conferencia Poesía Simmons Internacional de China. Tess Onwueme, el dramaturgo nigeriano, le dio el nombre de Ibo "Afaa" que significa "oráculo", mientras que el Dr. Perng Ching-hsi le ha dado el nombre chino "Wei Yafeng."

Sus poemas han aparecido en revistas literarias y revistas, incluyendo Callaloo. 

Honores y premios 

2014 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award 
2002 Fulbright Scholarship 
1985 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship 
1998 Pew Fellowships in the Arts

Las obras publicadas 
De longitud completa Poesía Colecciones

"The City of Eternal Spring" (Pitt Poetry Series, 2014)
"A Hard Summation" (Central Square Press, 2014)
"The Government of Nature" (Pitt Poetry Series, 2013)
The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007)
Multitudes . Sarabande Books. 2000. ISBN 978-1-889330-41-9 .
The Ten Lights of God . Bucknell University Press. February 2000. ISBN 978-0-8387-5434-4 .
Timber and Prayer: The Indian Pond Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995)
My Father's Geography (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)
Water Song . University Press of Virginia. 1985. Callaloo series
Sandy Point . Engravings Rosalyn Richards. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: The Press of Appletree Alley.

Obras de teatro

Rosa was produced in 1993 at Venture Theater in Philadelphia

Editado antologías

Afaa Michael Weaver, ed. (2002). These hands I know: African-American writers on family . Sarabande Books. ISBN 978-1-889330-72-3 .

Anthology Publicaciones

Arnold Rampersad, Hilary Herbold, eds. (2006). "My Father's Geography". The Oxford anthology of African-American poetry . Oxford University Press US. ISBN 978-0-19-512563-4 .
Mona Eliasson, ed. (1999). "Eighteen". Teaching about Violence Against Women . Feminist Press. ISBN 978-1-55861-211-2 .
Gloria Naylor, ed. (1997). Children of the night: the best short stories by Black writers, 1967 to the present . Little, Brown and Co. ISBN 978-0-316-59923-8 .
Maria M. Gillan, Jennifer Gillan, eds. (1999). Identity lessons: contemporary writing about learning to be American . Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-027167-6 .

Ciudad de eterna primavera

Mi mente se eleva como silos de enlaces,
arroyos, pasajes de mí mismo en capas flotantes
para que la nada puede conectarse, sueño con el vacío
a bordo de naves que viajan hacia nuevos lugares
en busca de nuevos nombres,
esta nave hizo un cuenco con mis manos frente a mí,
cuenco de mendigo, una luna socavada, una boca
abierta para lanzar gritos silenciosos, para organizar,
iniciar, para entrar rompiendo a detener mi arrogancia,
creyendo en lo que toco, lo que veo, siento, oigo, saboreo
defender el hecho de estar vivo, para poder dejar de creer
en lo que sucede cuando una oruga se sueña hermosa.
Lo que no puede ser es de repente lo que fui obligado
a creer que nunca será, fuerzas crecen en espacios
ajenos entre capas de lo que soy y me despierto
de pesadillas que vienen por la noche o en el día,
recuerdos de haber sido traicionado se juntan como hilos
de hierro para construir una prisión donde la fuerza del milagro
luminoso abre una grieta en la semilla habitante del amor para
permitirme soñar con un cuerpo dentro de este cuerpo de estructuras
que se respiran y conocen entre sí entonces me alzo con energía
mientras respiro desde donde se cree estar más allá del pensamiento,
un mundo con ojos abriéndose dentro de la luz, dentro del saber,
en el interior de esa unicidad que aparece cuando la prisión
me libera para darme cuenta que no soy eso y eso no es lo que soy.
  traducida por el poeta y traductor Alain Pallais.


City of eternal spring

My mind rises up as the silos of interchanges,
streams, passages of myself in floating layers
so nothing can connect, and I dream emptiness
on ships sailing to new places for new names,
this ship my hands cupped in front of me,
a beggar’s bowl, a scooped out moon, a mouth
opened to make noiseless screams, to arrange,
to begin, to break through to stop my arrogance,
believing what I touch, see, feel, hear, taste make
a case for being alive, so I can stop believing what
happens when a caterpillar dreams itself beautiful.

What cannot be is suddenly what I was made
to believe can never be, fibers growing in illegal
spaces between layers of who I am and I wake
from nightmares that come at night or in the day,
memories of being betrayed gathering like iron
threads to make a prison where fibers of a miracle
of light crack open in a seed inside love to let me
dream a body inside this body with structures
that breathe and know one another so I rise
from thought to be being beyond thought
with energy as breath, a world with eyes
opening inside the light, inside knowing,
inside oneness that appears when the prison
frees me to know I am not it and it is not me.


About "City of Eternal Spring"

Archaeology of Time

Mother cried to think I would love 
a woman she could not talk to, a woman

with Cantonese all over the dresses 
she said were the best from Hong Kong,

Mother sneering, pulling her tongue back 
on the Mandarin way of saying cheap,

cheap cloth, cheap woman for her son, 
the kind prince to be lord of the family,

and she took to her bed, feigning death 
threatening to join the ancestors, convince

them all to pull their blessings back until 
her one good son came to his good senses,

came to understand his station above 
where this woman was born, where she

will always be, so constant is the will 
of women who bring sons into the world

with a love that commands, that issues 
the future across the currents of history,

so the Immortals remind us birth and death 
are one thing, unlike love with its stations.

In this life, black me with my black mother 
crying to think her prince was casting pearls

across a sea of the unworthy people, 
folk who could not do what I could do,

break light or leap across the pages of time 
and build disaster into fortune, and back

again with a self fulfilling mind she gave 
me one evening when her water broke

and she saw the gate where birth and death, 
are the wide gate, a shimmering silence.


Head thrown back, convertible top 
down, radio blasting Louis Armstrong,

driving into Shenyang City, the girls 
one smile across the sky, Shenyang

fading into Nashville, Put a little 
sugar in my bowl, come on, be sweet

in Mandarin, like money on the tongue, 
money foreigners bring from whiteness

to trouble the blues veil in Mississippi, 
stories we forget on the road at night

with stars that say they will keep pain 
away, mark the road with spirits to march

sadness off into the woods and snuff it 
out, O Jesus, why did you leave Buddha

in the market haggling with women selling 
the whole cloth of the end of the world,

cloth we tear to shreds to weave again 
into the mesh of black and yellow, a pale

messiah of flat fifths, fingers tapping 
pulling our skin over oceans to save it.


On a boat bound for Macau, uncle 
with his second wife stood confident,

the tables waiting for him, his sure hands, 
one on his wife's smile in his heart, one

slidng back across the smooth cloth 
to the cards. The war was far away

in places where battle sounds surrendered 
to ordinary pleasures, sex and the chance,

the gambler's chance to break through 
to where a win is guaranteed, but chance

is a drug, and the sure thing takes away 
the thrilll of losing everything, falling.

How much of this I remember, how much 
I know is about the chance of being born

to a life in a city of shipyards and mills, 
sailors, workers with days off from life,

a good uncle who took me to Pimlico, 
with the Preakness ground in the smell

of tickets torn up, thrown to the ground, 
light flashing and breaking in the panes

of the grandstands, my uncle grounding 
me in the wisdom of men the way I sat

on a plane remembering three wives, 
bound for Macau, China ripping open,

a heart torn by its own envy in mirrors, 
hiding a royal flush, hearts in the blinds.

Archaeology of Time: the Past

In Taiwan a book spoke to me in a bookstore 
with words I did not know, a book with a white cover 
to hold photographs of families I might have forgotten, 
people from this world where words are not made of letters 
like tools or nuts and bolts but of tiny pictures, histories.

I paid for the book with lives I do not remember, 
handed a fee over to someone bigger than the haunting 
that flew me here to where I live in a tomorrow that never 
lets yesterday touch what has not happened, a tomorrow 
I do not want my black family of my blood to ever know.

The book shows me new families, Chinese people pulled 
into sameness of another shared blood, people accepted, 
adopted, the way I am adopting this side of time to make 
what makes tribes, generations, cities, angry shouts, wars, 
love between sheets that hold secrets of who we sleep with.

When the book is open, I have no regrets of family, no wish 
to make the past disappear. I am free to choose the possible 
here in my own tomorrow, twelve thousand miles from horrors, 
from what I used to know to what I can choose to remember, 
lives I might have lived with all of my necessary secrets.

It is no secret that one day I will go back to yesterday, 
my son meeting me at Logan, the airport with a cowboy name
from a western film where men are violent saints with guns. 
With his video camera my son captures the father who left him, 
who is now back to make peace with what we call the past.

Zombie Dance/Tapping The Blood Root 

— for Katrina 

Buddy Bolden speaks from the insane asylum 

It don't go that way, upside the wall, 
down to the woodwork, falling all over 
where the wood in the floor breaks off from 
the C note. It's more like this, the way 
I lean up under the last star on Orion 
in the first break of spring, under the catcalls 
of mockingbirds, the belly grunts of air 
knotted up inside me. Like it was 
this morning, the sheets full of years of me, 
the dipper back down in the bucket to wash 
my dreams until they make sense. Marie 
Laveau or her familiar comes back 
again, a voice with no body. Then the roar 
from the hoodoo and gooba dust, the hammer 
nailed to the tree on a piece of cloth 
with dry blood, the valley of full moons 
like a python belly writhing, full of some 
still living thing. Jazz, make the 
water one tongue, rise up, rise up, 
soprano sorceress, sing to the ancient pain 
all around me, the chorus of how time began. 
O water, breathe, so the dead can listen. 


Children in superdomes 

This old lady's hand is weaker than mine, 
and I ain't used to so many people close 
to breaking, and everybody is so wet. 
When I look back to where we used to live, 
all I see is the way water stand up and be 
talking to you, stand up like it can dance 
all over the world. It's so much stuff in here, 
and I am just a little girl trying to help this 
white lady in this wheelchair of hers. 
People get so loud in here I can't hear myself. 
Tonight, when I go to sleep, I'm gonna 
count all the things I remember that we had 
and hope my sister bring them when she come 
back. She better come back. I am gonna count 
my handmade dolls the Vietnam lady 
gave me, plus all the books I had about dolphins 
because they are the best. Then I'll be sleepy 
and won't hear nobody crying in here where 
everything is all piled up, like we all finished 
and there ain't nothing else to do, forever.

Rambling in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary

In general population, census 
is consensus—ain't nowhere to run 
to in these walls, walls like a mind-- 
We visitors stand in a yellow circle 
so the tower can frisk us with light, 
finger the barrels on thirsty rifles. 

I got rambling, rambling on my mind 

In general population, madness runs 
swift through the river changing, changing 
in hearts, men tacked in their chairs, 
resigned to hope we weave into air, 
talking this and talking that and one brutha 
asks- tell us how to get these things 
they got, these houses, these cars. 
We want the real revolution. Things... 

I got rambling, got rambling on my mind 
In the yellow circle the night stops 
like a boy shot running from a Ruger 9mm 
carrying .44 magnum shells, a sista 
crying in the glass booth to love's law, 
to violence of backs bent over to the raw 
libido of men, cracking, cracking, crack… 

I got rambling, rambling on my mind 

(From The Plum Flower Dance 
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007) 


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