New releases available for purchase
Latest Poetry & prose
The latest original poetry and prose by Tribes' family of writers
On June 19, 1986, I was home from college and taking a history class in the summer session at the local junior college in my hometown. It was around 7:30 p.m. and the instructor was lecturing about the importance of the civil war. Yada yada yada… I simply didn’t feel like being there. So after a few minutes had passed, I got up from my seat and quietly walked out of the room. I went to my mother’s house, which is where I stayed in the summer awaiting the fall semester to begin. I arrived at home to find a note on the kitchen table from my mother.
Poetry, to me, is emotion or experience manifested in its most candid form. It is artistic expression so honest that only one sequence of words, thoughtfully and meticulously arranged, can express it. And though the content of its expression might be weakness, or embarrassment or fear or imperfection, the expression is perfect in itself. In this way, in this honest, perfect imperfection, my mother exemplifies poetry.
LATEST ESSAYS & REVIEWS
ON OUR MINDS
One year ago, decades of austerity, mismanagement and neglect came to a lethal conclusion in the Grenfell Tower block in west London. The inferno, wrote Claire Armitstead, was an “appalling reminder of how contemptuously many of London’s poorest citizens have been treated over decades of privatisation and mismanagement.” That such an atrocity could occur in 2017 in a Royal Borough running huge revenue underspends is a cruel irony, one matched only by the response to the tragedy, which has been criticized for showing the same callousness, racism and institutional failure that allowed conditions in Grenfell to become so dire—and which continue to characterize life for so many others in the capital.
Photography from Iris Velghe
In 1966, the pianist Cecil Taylor appeared in Les Grandes Répétitions, a series of Nouvelle Vague-influenced documentaries for French television about Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and other modern composers. Taylor, who died at eighty-nine in April, was the only jazz musician featured. The avant-garde jazz movement was young, brash, and commanding increasing respect from a classical establishment that had been, at best, indifferent to black music, and Taylor, a conservatory-trained pianist who was creating a radical synthesis of jazz improvisation and European modernism, had emerged as one of its most militant and sophisticated leaders.
“Abstraction represents self-determination and free will.” So avowed the painter James Little at a recent panel discussion held in conjunction with an exhibition of works by his fellow painter Joe Overstreet, but with the broader purpose of examining the question of “Black Artists and the Abstraction Idiom.”
A Gathering of the Tribes is an arts and cultural organization dedicated to excellence in the arts from a diverse perspective.
A Gathering of the Tribes is a non-profit arts and culture online magazine dedicated to excellence in the arts from a diverse perspective. Founded originally as a print magazine by Steve Cannon in 1991 when he lost his eyesight to glaucoma, A Gathering of the Tribes operated for more than two decades, evolving into a place where artists could meet and exchange ideas regardless of their medium or level of career success. Few spaces in the city nurtured the kind of close-knit, pan-disciplinary cultural situations that A Gathering of the Tribes imparted. Ishmael Reed, Quincy Troupe, Paul Beatty, David Hammons, Eileen Myles, Nicole Eisenman, Robert Colescott, and Wynton Marsalis are just some of the now-legendary New York creatives whose early works were shared with the world through A Gathering of the Tribes’s annual print magazine.
Tribes.org is the online continuation of this legacy. Our online magazine bridges generations by publishing the work of emerging artists and writers side by side with their more established elders in an effort to build an audience for a new, diverse generation of poets, artists, and writers. We tirelessly promote the work of our fellow artists and activists, in and out of Tribes, deepening the cultural network our work helps create. In doing this we expose our young writers to a broader audience, engage their work with the pressing cultural issues of the day, and encourage them to reach the level of their more established peers.