Recently, the Columbia University Library acquired the archive of poet and writer Hettie Jones, whose twenty-three books for children and adults include her memoir of the Beat scene, How I Became Hettie Jones; the poetry collection Drive, which won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber Award; Big Star Fallin’ Mama, Five Women in Black Music, honored by the New York Public Library; and No Woman No Cry, a memoir she authored for Bob Marley’s widow, Rita. Jones has published in journals such as The Village Voice, Global City Review and Ploughshares, and just out are From Midnight to Dawn, the Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad (with Jacqueline Tobin), and a third poetry collection, Doing 70.
To celebrate the purchase of this important slice of our American literary heritage, Hettie will be featured reading selections from her work on Wednesday, October 27, at 6:30 at Columbia. She will be joined by Guthrie Ramsey (piano) and David Hertzberg (bass) for reflections on life, love, music, and more. It should be a rousing time as one of the original “beat chicks” throws it down old school, riding on riffs and walking bass lines.