The official weblog of the little-poetry-press-that-could, Plan B Press. Specializing in chapbooks, we have published of over 40 books from authors both local and international.

Monday, January 04, 2010

noting two passings, Dennis Brutus and Don Belton

In my time in Philadelphia as Katy and I were taking over the daily operations of Plan B Press, I got to meet any number of fantastically talented and influential people. Two of them died over the holidays.

I got to know Dennis Brutus through his friendship and association with poet/publisher Lamont Steptoe and Larry Robin of Robins Bookstore, who created the Celebration of Black Writing in 1984 as a natural outgrowth of the very successful Black Ink program that been on-going at Robins for many years. The gentleman I met was full of grace and determination, a man bursting with energy and righteous cause. His presence, his shadow, will continue to be seen and felt by all who knew him and heard his words.

Don Belton was the kindest, most gentle man I met in Philadelphia. The tragic end of his life reminds me of the horrible ending of Matthew Shepard's life. Why is it that homophobes claim that they are assaulted by gay men as a justification for the hate in their own hearts, trying to justify murder of people who would not harm a fly? For anyone who wishes to know more about the moves in Indiana to seek justice for Don Belton please go to Justice for Don Belton.

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