Poet Jayne Cortez
May 10, 1934 – December 28, 2012
There It Is
by Jayne Cortez
And if we don’t fight
if we don’t resist
if we don’t organize and unify and
get the power to control our own lives
then we will wear
the exaggerated look of captivity
the stylized look of submission
the bizarre look of suicide
the dehumanized look of fear
and the decomposed look of repression
forever and ever and ever
And there it is…
We regret to announce that, after a brief illness, the great American poet Jayne Cortez passed away on December 28, 2012.
We know that our sorrow is shared by all of you and we want to thank you for your prayers and messages of support during this difficult time. We are also grateful to Jayne for staying here with us for as long as she could and for sharing her incredible gifts with us all. In the words of one friend, “she will be remembered for her everlasting generosity of spirit and her lifetime of devotion to our humanity.”
As many of you know, one of Jayne’s important contributions was Yari Yari: An international symposium of women writers from Africa and its diaspora. This year Yari Yari Ntoaso: Continuing the Dialogue will be held for the first time in Accra, Ghana May 16-19, 2013.
The Edwards-Cortez Family request that in lieu of flowers please send a donation to the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc., the non-profit, for which Jayne was Co-Founder and President, in support of Yari Yari Ntoaso. http://africanastudies.as.nyu.edu/object/Yari-2013-Ghana.html
A tax deductible donation in Jayne’s honor can be made to:
P.O. Box 652
Village Station, NY 10014
For more information about OWWA or YYN, which is free and open to the public: http://owwainc.org/index.html
Thank you to all that attended the Celebration of the Life of Jayne Cortez. Through friends and family, fellow poets, musicians and activists, we celebrated Jayne’s commitment to humanity through her artistry, her activism and her generous spirit. The Edwards-Cortez-Coleman Family deeply appreciate the warmth and celebratory spirit of all those who shared the day with us. Thank you!
One day of celebration is, of course, not enough for a person who was so multifaceted. In the days and weeks to come we will be posting other events, programs and tributes related to Jayne’s life and work. Please check back for more information.
Yari Yari Ntoaso 2013 in Accra, Ghana needs your support! Please donate to this most important conference organized by the Organization of Women Writers of Africa in partnership with NYU Institute of African American Affairs.
Please donate online: www.indiegogo.com/owwa