This week on From the Vault we present one of Pacifica Radio�s newly-restored audio treasures, �rediscovered� during preservation work funded by our most recent National Endowment for the Arts grant: 1964 recording of Poetry giants Gwendolyn Brooks and LeRoi Jones now Amiri Baraka.
This 1964 recording, fittingly titled A Poetry Reading, features Gwendolyn Brooks and LeRoi Jones and is as historically significant as any recording in the Pacifica Radio Archives collection. Gwendolyn Brooks delivers a remarkable performance, reading a range from her earliest work (A Street in Bronzeville, 1945) to her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection (Annie Allen, 1950) to her most current prose that year of 1964.
LeRoi Jones reminds us of his roots in the Beat Generation and his talent as a Greenwich Village publisher with his last major reading before the assassination Malcolm X. After the assassination, Jones would leave his family, distance himself from the white Beat Poets, and relocate to Harlem transforming himself into Black Nationalist Amiri Baraka.