Poetry by Ted Joans
October 1, 1999 • 6 x 9 • 240 pages • 978-1-56689-091-5
A much-awaited collection of poems by one of the greatest African American Beat poets.
Black Dues! Black Blues! Black News! Ted Joans trumpets in his tribute to Langston Hughes. What Library Journal wrote in 1969 holds true today: This collection of his work clearly reveals the influence of Langston Hughes, his mentor and friend. Joans, however, has the harsher and more strident tone necessary to accurately reflect today’s society. As he says in one poem: “We must fall in love and glorify our beautiful black nation / We must create black images / give the world / a black education.”
One of the first black poets to become involved in surrealism and a first generation Beat, Joans is an expatriate poet whose work is enjoying renewed interest. This major collection of poems written during the past forty years is a significant contribution to American letters. Teducation is the first single-volume collection representing the life’s work of Joans, a one-time roommate of Charlie Parker and a contemporary of Allen Ginsberg and Bob Kaufman.
“Joans’s rakish, unsatisfiable sensibility can be as technically innovative as Burroughs, as polemically exuberant as Ginsberg, and as comic as Corso. Creating ebullient forms to meet his needs, and stirring the pot with neologism and slogan, Joans’s exultations and exhortions wonderfully prefigure performance-oriented work.” —Publishers Weekly
“This brilliantly playful, deeply serious (Groucho) Marxist has been creating exemplary art, music, and poetry since the days of the Gaslight, Cafe Wha and Cafe Bizarre in Beat-era Greenwich Village. . . . He is the last hipster, the last bohemian, someone who astonishes the young by magnificently asserting a way of life it never occurred to them exited.” —Jack Foley
“T.J.’s poetry . . . brightens and enlightens the curious world he ceaselessly observes. . . . The poems read as if Ted were speaking directly to us, Live, and his global audience . . . walking and talking, looking and squawking, laughing and rapping. Ted is still the world’s most Bohemian Beat ‘Outside’ Brother.” —Amiri Baraka