Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Poetry and Song: An Evening with Poet Yusef Komunyakaa and the Tomás Doncker Band

WHEN: October 4, 4:00 to 5:30 PM
Bethany Baptist Church, West Market Street, Newark, New Jersey

Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa and composer/musician/singer Tomás Doncker perform selections from their collaborations, including co-authored original songs and poems accompanied by music from the albums The Mercy Suite and Big Apple Blues.

Mr. Komunyakaa will also read selections from his award-winning work. The performance will be followed by a talk-back with the audience. Komunyakaa and Doncker will return to Newark for the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival (October 23-36) proud sponsors of this collaboration with Bethany Baptist Church.

Come for Poetry and Song at 4:00 and stay for Jazz Vespers at 6:00, featuring Sharp Radway.

About the Artists

Yusef Komunyakaa received wide recognition with the 1984 publication of his first collection, Copacetic, followed by I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head (1986), winner of the San Francisco Poetry Center Award; and Dien Cai Dau (1988), which won The Dark Room Poetry Prize and is considered among the best writing on the war in Vietnam. Since then, he has published several books of poems, including The Chameleon Couch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011); Warhorses (2008); Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999 (2001); Thieves of Paradise (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989 (1994), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Komunyakaa’s many honors include the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Faulkner Prize, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bluesman, No-Wave/Funk Pioneer, creator of Global Soul, in-demand producer and Founder of True Groove Records, Tomás Doncker has been living for the music and  playing his heart out for over four decades, working with people as diverse as Madonna, Sean Lennon, James Chance, Bootsy Collins, Bonnie Raitt, Ivan Neville, Bill Laswell, Bobby Caldwell, Sadao Watanabe, Meshell Ndegeocello, Prince Charles Alexander, Yoko Ono, The Itals, Adam Rudolph, Steel Pulse, Marla Mase, Mahmoud Ahmed, legendary theatre director Alfred Preisser and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa to name a few. An international touring and recording artist, he has performed extensively in Europe, in China at the Shanghai Folk Festival and was invited to perform eleven shows at New York City’s 2013 Summerstage concert series.