"Among the finest work of our time." --Abraxas
"Clear, virile, and honest. Vivid with image, rich in sound fitted meticulously to rhythms. Recommended for all public and academic libraries." --Small Press
"Plays between historical fact and the keener religious and mystical experiences that underlie and give scope to his whole achievement." --Theodore Haddin, The Chariton Review
Knoepfle, a former recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, has published other books including Poems for the Hours and Whetstone: A Book of Poems.
Finalist, Montaigne Medal, Eric Hoffer Award
Mbembe (Milton Smith) was a very fi ne poet, and he is greatly missed on the contemporary poetry scene. His poems were extremely well-crafted, sharp-edged, poetic urban snapshots of any city he might find himself in. The language he employed in his poems was on-point,
minimal, but always echoed the blues and jazz music that he loved. His time here was brief, but the poems he left us will last.
Mbembe was—IS —one of our most nourishing poets. He used language deftly—with a lively, affectionate respect. We regret his departure. But his legacy will continue to warm literature. —Gwendolyn Brooks
At the root of his pen was a tough, unyielding, stubborn honesty. His major contribution was his determined quest for truth and literary excellence; he was a fine, fine poet, pushing his work oward brilliance.
—Sterling D. Plumpp, Black American Literature Forum
Mbembe Milton Smith (1946-1982) received his B.A. and his M.A., with an emphasis in creative writing, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Before his untimely death he published four books of poems: To Go On, Allegory of the Bebop Walk, Playing Side Two, and Consolation Prizes. His poems appeared widely in newspapers and magazines. Anthologies were beginning to pick up his work. He taught at Rockhurst College, Fordham University, and in the City University of New York system. The Black American Literature Forum said of his work, Mbembe s poems express a hunger for a fuller life, for an affirmation of existence. The Kansas City Star commented, Mbembe works with his own special problem of saying what he has to say and saying it in the authentic voice of a special culture. The literary quarterly Northeast summed up his work by suggesting we look for his light on the dark waters of the bay--red flashing four: courage; white flashing one: love--ou will find your way safely to harbor.
Winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Hilma Wolitzer The protagonists in When We Were Someone Else mostly feel b...
Kansas City Literary Events