In late October a celebration of the late poet Lorenzo Thomas was organized at the Poetry Project on St. Marks.The event featured readings of his work by A.L. Nielsen, Charles Bernstein, Erica Hunt, Tracie Morris, and other contemporary poets in celebration of Thomas’ legacy and forthcoming poetry collection, The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas, edited by Aldon Lynn Nielsen and Laura Vrana.
Afro-Caribbean poet Lorenzo Thomas was born in Panama in 1944 and relocated to Queens, New York, in 1948. Recognized for his contributions to the Umbra workshop and the proceeding Black Arts Movement of Harlem, he published ten collections of poetry in his lifetime, including Chances Are Few (1979), The Bathers (1981), and Dancing on Main Street (2004). He was the editor of Extraordinary Measures: Afrocentric Modernism and 20th-Century American Poetry (2000), which received the honor of Choice Outstanding Academic Book for the year. After graduating from Queens College in 1971, Thomas served in the United States’ Navy (1971–1973) and later became a professor of English at the University of Houston-Downtown, in 1984. He passed away in 2005, in Houston.