Give Wanda Coleman some Breathing Room

Wanda Coleman

In an interview I recorded on November 26, 2000, poet, essayist, activist, literary presence Wanda Coleman talked about the treatment of artists in USAmerica. She lamented the kinds of things poets have to do to make ends meet, activities often antithetical to their art. (Hear that soundbite here.) She never would have envisioned an internet campaign on her behalf, but we’ve started one anyway.

Wanda has been hospitalized with respiratory problems.  Her outpatient care will not be covered by insurance, so she is asking for assistance.  ***Donation checks can be sent to: Wanda Coleman, P.O. Box 571, Lancaster, CA 93534.*** or click here:

Here’s more information, c/o The Los Angeles Times:,0,1382926.story

And her page at the Poetry Foundation:

Her November 26, 2000 interview with Paul E Nelson:
Cuts from interview:

1. On L.A. artistic milieu after Watts riots
2. on her role as Griot or Medium
3. On how writing for Days of Our Lives helped her become a better poet
4. on American Sonnets process
5. (poem) What do to About Billie Holiday
6. Jazz Poetry
7. (poem) For The Sake of the Cool
8. Child of Whitman and plight of the artist in USAmerica

See also this “self-interview.”

Ethelbert Miller on Wanda Coleman.

About Splabman

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)
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