On Tuesday evening, March 29, the American Library in Paris hosted a tribute to James A. Emanuel. Born in 1921 and raised in the small town of Alliance, Nebraska, Emanuel went on to become professor of African-American poetry at the City College of New York. In 1984, following the death of his son, he moved to Paris. He died there in 2013.
The American Library’s biography of the poet states:
“James A. Emanuel was one of America’s greatest poets and academic scholars. Often overlooked, Emanuel’s fame did not equal the enormous output of his work. He published 400 poems and 13 volumes of poetry, including The Force and the Reckoning, an autobiography. He was a well-respected teacher who influenced an entire generation of students and poets.”
The evening program included readings of Emanuel’s poetry by author Jake Lamar; actress and director Ariane Crochet; professor Marcus Bruce; writer, editor, and entrepreneur Monique Y. Wells; editor and translator Wendy Johnson; and spoken-word artist Mike Ladd. Saxophonist Chansse Evans and drummer Chris Henderson provided musical accompaniment to Lamar’s reading of several of Emanuel’s jazz haikus. Following the reading, retired teacher, engraver, and photographer Godelieve Simons and retired teacher Annick Bossuet gave personal testimonials about Emanuel.
An online tribute to James A. Emanuel can be found here: http://blogcritics.org/no-more-ghettos-on-the-death-of-james-a-emanuel-poet/