poetry & context: 1968 - 2019
Cosmic Deputy is a literary memoir from esteemed activist, educator, producer, and poet Kalamu ya Salaam. Representative poems from Salaam’s fifty years of writing are interspersed in an overarching essay tracing the poet’s multitude of influences. Toward mapping a theory of a Black literary aesthetic, Salaam explores the cultural inheritances of Black resistance movements, blues music, and the ways in which these sources and others have shaped not only his own work but Black letters more broadly.
Kalamu ya Salaam is an American poet, author, filmmaker, and teacher from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. A well-known activist and social critic, Salaam has spoken out on a number of racial and human rights issues.