“Ewuare X. Osayande is one of the United States’ most important poets of this generation.”
Since the publication of his first book of poems in 1990, An African Awakening, Ewuare X. Osayande has used his poetry in service to social justice and cultural liberation. His work is an effort to weave through words the ambitions of oppressed communities and the struggles for justice and liberation around the world. In addition to the books featured here, Osayande’s work has been included in numerous anthologies including Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa and What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation.
Among Osayande’s accomplishments as a poet include being honored as the first poet to have a symposium on his body of work by The Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought at Temple University in 2005. In 2008 Osayande received the Vanguard’s Writers Award from the Walt Whitman Arts Center in Camden, NJ.
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“Ewuare X. Osayande is circling his territory in his marvelous latest book, Whose America?. Writing poetry to this poet is like drinking water; it his life-source, his song, and his uniquely determined voice. His voice is singular, urgent and a drumbeat redefining a world of possibilities for us all.”
Haki R. Madhubuti, Poet
Founder and Publisher, Third World Press
In 2014 Ewuare X. Osayande edited and published Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, a global poetry anthology featuring the work of poetry legends Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti and 61 poets from around the world. The book raised over $10,000 which was donated to both campaigns.
These are not just engaging poetry, they are important poems. And their orality is compelling. I have never read more relevant poems in one collection by a still young poet. These are poems we can live by and thereby live more abundantly. The best of Ewuare Osayande’s tell-it-like-it-tiz poems deserve to be as well known as the revolutionary poems of Hughes, Baraka, Sanchez and Madhubuti.
In the Black Arts Tradition, Ewuare Osayande comes forth singing out of Philly’s grim promise. Fiery and explicit, focused and unsparing … Explosive and spirited in his metaphor, our revolutionary passion continues on in this Ogunian Maroon, our heir and Jeremiah to the Hip-Hop Nation. Long may his raw hipness, sweetened in love, raise us above these hellish cities, and point our people on the stony road to Liberation.