We mourn our sister’s passing and give the Creator thanks for her purposeful and inspirational life that enriched us so very much and made us so much stronger and more resolute in struggle.
She was in every sense a kindred spirit and a clarion voice, making the medium of poetry work in ways that many traditionalists found bewildering, especially in the academy.
As synchronicity would have it, we are remembering and celebrating all she gave to us even as we are congratulating our brother Linton Kwesi Johnson for his equally unique bending of the medium in the service of the Jamaican language and his dynamic bilingualism as a world first that eminently qualified him for the Golden Pen award.
May we ever celebrate and validate our prophetic voices and see them as the gifts of the Universe that they are, loaned to us for a purpose and for a time, and abandon the tendency to take them and their presence among us and as part of us for granted.
Our Sister Jayne remains very much a part of us through the impact she has had, the way she touched us individually and through the immortality of her words and of her fighting and liberating spirit.
Jayne Cortez obituary (The Guardian)
Jayne Cortez, Jazz Poet, Dies at 78 (The New York Times)
Picture (home): “Untitled” by T. Carrigan (Flickr – CC BY-ND 2.0)