A.B. Spellman, Between the Night and Its Music

Wesleyan University Press is pleased to announce that we will publish Between the Night and Its Music: New and Selected Poems, by A.B. Spellman (edited and with an introduction by Lauri Scheyer) in 2024.

Music and poetry have long been intertwined for Spellman, who began writing music reviews for magazines like Metronome and Downbeat in 1959. In 1965, he published his first book of poems, The Beautiful Days (The Poets Press)—with an introduction by Frank O’Hara which opens “Spellman writes lean, strong, sexy poems,” and closes “He’s honest, so naturally a lot of them are perfect.”

There are a couple of upcoming opportunities to hear Spellman speak.

On April 19th, he will be a panelist for More Beautiful Days with A.B. Spellman: Talking Jazz and Reading Poetry, sponsored by the Institute of Politics Policy and History at the University of the District of Columbia. This event is available will be streaming online.

IPPH celebrates poet A.B. Spellman and examines the state of jazz today. On April 19, tune into “More Beautiful Days with A.B. Spellman: Talking Jazz and Reading Poetry” to learn more about Spellman’s contributions to poetry and jazz criticism from a panel of poets, historians, and art critics. Our discussion will be facilitated by Resident Fellow and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller alongside IPPH Co-Founder and Former D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt. Esteemed panelists include Eugene Holley Jr., Maurice Jackson, Lauri Scheyer, Bobby Hill, Willard Jenkins, and A.B. Spellman himself! Live at 7 PM on April 19 on the IPPH YouTube Channel – @instituteofpoliticspolicya4504


He will give the Keynote Address at the upcoming Black Arts Movement: Then and Now Conference.

“Inspired, imagined, and curated by Harlem Stage Associate Artistic Director/Artist-in-Residence, Carl Hancock Rux, the Black Arts Movement: Then and Now Conference is a three-day event featuring a keynote address by poet, music critic, and arts administrator A.B. Spellman. The conference includes panels, discussions, essays, and performances, featuring pioneers and visionary artists including Angela Davis, Nona Hendryx, Sonia Sanchez, Henry Threadgill, Stew, Toshi Reagon, and more, as well as a closing-night concert co-presented with Park Avenue Armory, curated by Carl Hancock Rux, Tavia Nyong’o, and Vernon Reid, with contributions by Carrie Mae Weems, Stefanie Batten Bland, and Dianne Smith.


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