N.J. Senate Advances Bid To Oust Controversial Poet
01/31/03
Photo Galleria: 

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.

The poem has been deemed anti-Semitic because it implies that Israel knew in advance of the terrorist attacks and warned its citizens to avoid the World Trade Center on that day. Baraka, who has a reputation for sparking controversy, denies those charges.

The state's poet laureate cannot be removed from the two-year post, and Baraka has rejected Gov. James McGreevey's calls to resign.

Last Update:

02/23/2010 - 11:39

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.