Every once in a while a reading combines all the right elements and the alchemy of something truly memorable happens. Jawanza Dumisani’s featured reading and book signing at The World Stage tonight was one of those rare and precious events. It’s fitting that he returns to the place of his poetic origins to launch a stellar new book from FarStarFire Press called Stoetry. This was indeed a homecoming.
To hear Jawanza (“J.D.” to his close friends) read in his sonorous, careful way is always a privilege. But tonight was unmitigated delight. Some people are born to savor words, to spill rhythms that entrance and astound. Jawanza combines powerful artistic instinct with a dedication to craft that can only be called passion. To hear him speak is to hear the joy and essence of poem craft come alive.
The Los Angeles community has been gifted with a lush book from an inspired poet. Rarely have I left a reading feeling, like tonight, so unmistakably as though I had witnessed the miracle of birth.