Category Archives: Poetry

Sun Ra, The Substitute Words: Poetry, 1957-72

Chicago’s Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery Highlights the Poetry of The Father of Afrofuturism, March 26 – April 24, 2021

Sun Ra (1914-1993) is known as one of the great visionary musical figures of the 20th century, but the scope of his project goes much further than jazz and stage performance. Source: https://www.corbettvsdempsey.com

It has been 21 years since Le Sony’r Ra (born Herman Poole Blount) has left our physical plane (he did not like to discuss dates of birth of death, according to Ra Biographer, John Szwed), but the breadth of his prolific output and the depth of his influence is still being unearthed and measured.

This particular exhibition examines the visionary musician’s poetry as an integral part of his creative ethos and artistic identity.

Mounted on the occasion of Corbett vs. Dempsey’s release of four facsimile editions of Ra’s poetry books the show gathers original copies of these ultra-rare objects, as well as working materials used in their production. Source: https://www.corbettvsdempsey.com

According to the gallery’s press release, “He [Sun Ra] was fascinated by what he called “the multi-self words,” summoning language’s power to conjure the paradoxical, succinctly suggesting: “The idea that words/Can form themselves into the impossible/Then the way to the impossible/Is through the words.” 

A timely concept from a Man who was always ahead of his time.