Friday, May 21, 2010

Aurora Harris: May 21, 2010: On The Death of the Poet AI

Yesterday morning, I was awakened by a strong feeling to contact the poet AI and send her some of my poems. After I had coffee, I was shocked to find that at the age of 62, she passed away in March, shortly after Lucille Clifton. Again, I am saddened from the news of another great poet's death. Many years ago, when I was in California searching for the poetry of bi-racial, Afro-Asian/ African American Asian poets that I could compare my work to and gain inspiration from, Ai was one of the first poets I discovered and read. I came across her books in used book stores and bought them. One collection had a monologue about a Filipino house-boy that worked with Imelda Marcos. I found a connection to that poem since I returned to the P.I. in the 1980's for my grandmother's funeral and went to the palace that the Marcos' lived in. Ai's work inspired me to keep writing the raw truths of life. I loved the way she wrote. Though some called her work "haunting,"she wrote with such a clarity that I could almost hear the speaker/character of the monologue through her choice of words and rhythm of her lines.

See the following links:
Poet Ai dies at 62 | Books |
Mar 25, 2010 ... The National Book Award-winning poet Ai, who renamed herself after the Japanese word for love, died on Saturday. -

Blackland: Ai died and i am broken-hearted.
Mar 23, 2010 ... Ai died and i am broken-hearted. a powerhouse. a reckoning. she died march 19th. i just found out this morning. my heart got tight as i read ... -

Ai, an Unflinching Poetic Channel of Hard Lives, Dies at 62 ...
Mar 27, 2010 ... The poet Ai's work — known for its raw power, jagged edges and unflinching examination of violence and despair — stood as a damning ... -
Poet Ai Dies at 62 | Reading Copy Book Blog
Mar 25, 2010 ... Ai, the American poet and professor who took her name for the Japanese word for love, died on March 20th. She was known for her blunt, ... -
Poet Ai Dies (1947-2010) - theblackbottom
Mar 23, 2010 ... Last week we featured the Poet Ai as our Tuesday Poet. Sadly we learned that she died this past Saturday March 20, 2010 in Stillwater, ... -
Fiery poet, Ai, dies at 62 | Ann Arbor District Library
Mar 28, 2010 ... Fiery poet, Ai, dies at 62. Ai,a poet known for her grimly beautiful writing, died eight days ago in Stillwagon, Oklahoma. ... -
Poetry News | Smartish Pace (a poetry review)
Ai Dies. March 24th, 2010. Poet Ai, who was born Florence Anthony, died on Saturday in Oklahoma at the age 62. The author of seven collections including ... -

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