Amiri Baraka

N.J. Senate Advances Bid To Oust Controversial Poet

01/31/2003

The New Jersey state Senate last week took a step toward ousting embattled state poet laureate Amiri Baraka when it voted to eliminate the post. The vote was 21-0, with 19 abstentions. The measure now goes to the state Assembly, but it is not clear when or if that body will take action.

As a backup plan, senators are considering a resolution to censure Baraka, who caused an uproar last year when he read his 9-11 themed poem "Somebody Blew Up America" at a poetry festival.

Jersey Poet Laureate Unrepentant

09/27/2002
Staff Writer

Newark, N.J. — Controversial New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, whose recent poem “Somebody Blew Up America” suggested that Israel knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terror attacks, blasted his Jewish critics Wednesday, calling the Anti-Defamation League “the voice of imperialism.”

Baraka is refusing to resign his post despite calls from New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey that he step down, adding Wednesday, “I will not apologize.”

N.J. Eyes Bill To Oust Baraka

10/11/2002
Staff Writer

New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka says he will fight legislation aimed at removing him from the state-appointed position, telling The Jewish Week Tuesday he was prepared to take legal action if a bill being drafted this week in the state Senate passes. “I certainly will sue,” he said Tuesday by phone from his home in Newark.

Legal experts say the controversial poet could have a good case on free-speech grounds.

New Jersey Eyes Ways To Oust Poet Laureate

12/13/2002
Staff Writer
New Jersey lawmakers were set this week to review bipartisan bills aimed at ousting the state's poet laureate, Amiri Baraka, who has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in his poem "Somebody Blew Up America." One bill, from Democratic state Senate President Richard Codey, would authorize the state Council for the Humanities to remove a sitting poet laureate. The other bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Peter Inverso, would allow the governor to fire a poet laureate.

Wiesel Calls For Baraka's Ouster

05/16/2003
Staff Writer
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel this week joined the campaign to oust New Jersey Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka, who has come under fire for implying that Israel had advance knowledge of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. "I think a man who writes such things should not be a literary voice for New Jersey or any other group in the United States or any civilized society," Wiesel told The Jewish Week.

N.J. Senate Advances Bid To Oust Controversial Poet

01/31/2003
Staff Writer
The New Jersey state Senate last week took a step toward ousting embattled state poet laureate Amiri Baraka when it voted to eliminate the post. The vote was 21-0, with 19 abstentions. The measure now goes to the state Assembly, but it is not clear when or if that body will take action. As a backup plan, senators are considering a resolution to censure Baraka, who caused an uproar last year when he read his 9-11 themed poem "Somebody Blew Up America" at a poetry festival.

Jersey Poet Laureate Unrepentant

09/27/2002
Staff Writer
Newark, N.J. — Controversial New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, whose recent poem “Somebody Blew Up America” suggested that Israel knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terror attacks, blasted his Jewish critics Wednesday, calling the Anti-Defamation League “the voice of imperialism.” Baraka is refusing to resign his post despite calls from New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey that he step down, adding Wednesday, “I will not apologize.”

N.J. Eyes Bill To Oust Baraka

10/11/2002
Staff Writer
New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka says he will fight legislation aimed at removing him from the state-appointed position, telling The Jewish Week Tuesday he was prepared to take legal action if a bill being drafted this week in the state Senate passes. “I certainly will sue,” he said Tuesday by phone from his home in Newark. Legal experts say the controversial poet could have a good case on free-speech grounds.

More Free-Speech Furor In N.J.

07/25/2003
Staff Writer
When New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey didn't like what state Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka had to say about Israelis in a poem about 9-11, he took action. McGreevey, with the nearly unanimous support of the state Legislature, abolished the state-funded post through budget cuts several weeks ago to get rid of Baraka. In recent weeks McGreevey has said he didn't like the "abhorrent" views of a Rutgers University pro-Palestinian student group that is sponsoring a national conference in October at the state-financed institution.
Syndicate content