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Simmons College Professor Interviewed on WGBH "Basic Black"

BOSTON (December 3, 2008) — "Drive careful and watch out for the fresh tar," says Simmons College English Professor Afaa Michael Weaver, remembering his father, the son of sharecroppers, telling him this long ago, before he drove his father's car into town. "It was a metaphor for life," Weaver says.

Hearing Southern proverbs like this, which flowed easily in the Weaver household, inspired the young poet's early love of language and moved him visually and emotionally. When he writes, "Sometimes the words just roll around the way I imagine a musician hears sound," he says.

Weaver was recently interviewed on WBGH TV's Basic Black program about the life stories that inspire his work. He also read from his latest collection, the 2008 Pushcart Prize-winning The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005, which draws on his decades-long study of Chinese culture and philosophy. Click here to see Weaver's interview.

Weaver is one of the most celebrated African American poets of his generation. He has been named a Pew Fellow in Poetry and has published 10 collections of poetry.