"Jazz is my religion, and surrealism is my point of view."
Ted Joans was one of the first Beat poets in the Greenwich Village arts scene, pioneering a movement that often overlooked his profound contributions. His poetry mixes the rhythms of jazz music with “hand grenades” of truth, and his live reading performance style anticipated the spoken word movement.
Black Pow-Wow is a collection of the best of Joans’ early poetry, including such well-known poems as “Jazz Is My Religion,” “Passed On Blues: Homage to a Poet,” and “The Nice Colored Man.” Many of his poems speak to his friends and contemporaries--including Charlie Parker, Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg, Bob Kaufman, Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, and particularly Langston Hughes--as well as his extensive travels across the African continent and around the world. His avante-garde poems also reflect his style as a painter and collage artist, call for social protest, and denounce racism, sexual repression, and injustice.
This groundbreaking collection, one of only two mainstream publications Joans produced, perfectly captures the pulse of the Beat Generation and the rhythms of blues.
Black Pow-Wow: Jazz Poems
Hill and Wang 1969. New paperback; 130 pages