Black Lives Have Always Mattered
A Collection of Essays, Poems, and Personal Narratives
Edited by Abiodun Oyewole

Branches of the Tree of Life
The Collected Poems of Abidun Oyewole 1969-2013
Introduction by Betty J. Dopson
Edited by Gabrielle David

Abiodun Oyewole

ABIODUN OYEWOLE is a poet, teacher, and founding member of the American music and spoken-word group the Last Poets (1968), which laid the groundwork for the emergence of hip hop. He performed on the Last Poets’ albums, The Last Poets (1970), Holy Terror (1993), and The Time Has Come (1997). Oyewole received his BS in biology and BA in communications at Shaw University, an MA in education at Columbia University, and is a Columbia Charles H. Revson Fellow (1989). He rejoined The Last Poets during its 1990s resurgence, and co-authored with Umar Bin Hassan, On A Mission: Selected Poems and a History of the Last Poets (Henry Holt, 1996). He published his first poetry collection, Branches of The Tree of Life: The Collected Poems of Abiodun Oyewole 1969-2013 (2Leaf Press, 2014), released the rap CD, 25 Years (1996), and the song albums, Gratitude (Sons Rising Entertainment, 2014), and Love Has No Season (2014). Over the years, Oyewole has collaborated on more than a dozen albums and several books. He writes poetry almost every day, travels around the world performing poetry and teaching workshops, gives lectures on poetry, history and politics, and holds a weekly salon for artists, poets and writers in his home in Harlem, New York.

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2LP Conversations

Gonzales’s poems speak assertively, and the poet’s use of complex periodic sentences lends his lines accumulating power. My translation closely follows the poet’s syntax, and I hope that recreates the drive of the poems.

Lynn Levin

The Black Arts Movement made it clear that you’re not just writing for yourself, but for the masses. Poetry today is more about “me” as opposed to “we.” It’s more or less an ego exercise and much of it wallows heavily in the pathos of our lives.

Abiodun Oyewole

My primary goal with this novel was to pay my respects to William Faulkner’s classic The Wild Palms. Retelling Faulkner’s tale with Latino characters seems like a natural stage of literary evolution, one that mirrors the evolving literary relationship between our twin continents.

Ezra Fitz

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