Lasana Sekou has moved his impressive book of poetry The Salt Reaper into the field of WordMusic … poems accompanied by hurtling hot music ... A brilliant move!
– Amiri Baraka, poet, music historian, author of Blues People, Black Music
After 30 years of his unique style of poetry writings and recitals comes this collaboration of relentless music … contemporary … classical tones amplify the lyrical content of Lasana’s work.
– Fernando R. Clark, music commentator, Culture Time, PJD2 radio
Sekou gives his voice to those who for too long have been voiceless.
– Dr. Maria van Enckevort, The Daily Herald
Lasana M. Sekou … is a performance poet. … His calibanic voice moves between the public, revolutionary political rhetoric of Linton Kwesi Johnson and the lush, esoteric wordplay of Dylan Thomas.
– Ervin Beck, World Literature in Review
Sekou trata de transmitir en sus versos la fortaleza y espíritu como los sintió al momento de crearlos y a la razón inspiradora de estos.
– Francia Arrendell, El Hispano
The Salt Reaper … like a bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
– Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool, Calypso King, Trinidad & Tobago; Assoc. Prof., UVI
This album marks the 30th year of Lasana M. Sekou as a published poet (1978-2008). The musical collaboration with digital artist Angelo Rombley has produced the poet’s first audio-recording collection.
The St. Martin author of 13 books of poetry, monologues, and short stories is considered one of the prolific Caribbean poets of his generation. His poetry and fictions, 37 Poems (2005), The Salt Reaper (2004, 2005), Brotherhood of the Spurs (1997, 2007), Love Songs Make You Cry (1989), and Nativity (1988) have been required reading at Caribbean and North American universities. Sekou’s writings are used in high schools and dramatized on stage and in carnival presentations. His edited works include National Symbols of St. Martin – A Primer (1996, 1997) and The Independence Papers, Vol. 1 (1990). He also produced Fête – The first recording of Traditional St. Martin festive music by Tanny & The Boys (1992, 2007).
Sekou’s poetry and reviews have appeared in Callaloo, The Massachusetts Review, Revue Noire, Del Caribe, De Gids, Das Gedicht, Prometeo, World Literature Today, Newsday, Amigoe/Ñapa, The Daily Herald, Today Newspaper, El Colombiano, Postcolonial Text, Hong Kong Literary Monthly, HK Writer, Calabash, Caribbean Review of Books, The Jamaica Gleaner, Boundary 2 and Harriet. His poems have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German, and Chinese.
Sekou recited his first poem at a traditional house concert before the age of nine in his beloved St. Martin during the 1960s, and would self-publish his first poetry collection, Moods for Isis (1978) while attending high school in New York City. His second book, For The Mighty Gods … An Offering (1982), received a nod from noted American poet/author Amiri Baraka, who wrote the introduction to the sophomore collection, published by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).
Sekou graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a B.A. in political science/international relations (1982) and received his M.A. in mass communication from Howard University (1984).
He returned to St. Martin in 1984, with four poetry books to his name. In the mid-1980s, Sekou co-directed and wrote for Traditions, the “Friendly Island’s” drama extravaganzas with the actor and playwright Ian Valz. From 1984 to 1996, the author was an editor for the Newsday newspaper. From 1997 to 1998, he was the interim director for the Government Information Service in St. Martin (South). In 2003, Sekou coordinated the Creative Writing Program of House of Nehesi Publishers; and was invited by cultural activist Shujah Reiph to co-found the St. Martin Book Fair that same year.
Sekou has presented papers on history, culture, tourism, politics, publishing, and literature and recited his poetry at cultural and literary conferences and festivals in the Caribbean, North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. His public recitals are usually well attended.
In 1995 and 2000, Sekou was one of the leaders of the Independence campaign for the constitutional status referenda in St. Martin (South).
Awards and honors include an International Writers Workshop Visiting Fellow (Hong Kong), a James Michener Fellow (University of Miami), a knighthood (The Netherlands), Recognition for literary excellence in the service of Caribbean unity (Dominican Republic), Culture Time Literary Artist of the Decade, the Carlos Cooks Community Award and the Caribbean Tourism Organization Award of Excellence.
Sekou has negotiated HNP’s publication of literary luminaries and pioneers such as George Lamming, Kamau Brathwaite, Amiri Baraka, Shake Keane, Chiqui Vicioso and Howard Fergus; and a host of first-time authors.
Lasana M. Sekou is an advocate for the independence of St. Martin, which is a colony of The Netherlands and France.
The complete collection of The Salt Reaper poems are found in the book The Salt Reaper – poems from the flats.
Copyright 2009 by House of Nehesi Publishers/Mountain Dove Records.