Ewuare X. Osayande is the founding editor of The Poetariat. A poet, political activist, publisher, and author of several books, Osayande has devoted his life to the work of social justice. His writing and activism is a testament to the global struggle against white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism. His poetry is a focused stream of consciousness that flows from the ocean of Black resistance that continues to inspire movements for justice worldwide.
Osayande is the author of several books of poetry, essays, and speeches. His books of poetry include An Afrikan Awakening (1992), Caught at the Crossroads Without a Map (1999), Blood Luxury with an introduction by Amiri Baraka (2006), and Whose America? with an introduction by Haki R. Madhubuti (2011). In his introduction, Madhubuti, founder of Third World Press, writes, Osayande “is a story-teller not defined by zip code but as the best poets have done and do, he claims the earth and its peoples as his subjects. His voice is singular, urgent and a drumbeat redefining a world of possibilities for all.”
His latest collection of poetry is entitled Black Phoenix Uprising (2020) and published by Africa World Press. His books of essays and speeches include So the Spoken Word Won’t Be Broken (1999), Black Anti-Ballistic Missives: Speeches Against War and Racism (2003), Misogyny and the Emcee: Sex, Race and Hip Hop (2008), Commemorating King: Speeches Honoring the Civil Rights Movement (2014).
Osayande’s poetry has also been included in a number of collections and anthologies including the critically acclaimed Black Fire This Time (2022), This Poem is Sponsored by: A Collection of Critical Poetry by Corporate Watch, What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation (South End Press), and Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Osayande is the former chairperson of the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Radical Congress (1999-2002). From 2001 to 2004 Osayande served as the first poet-in-residence for the African American Studies Program at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ. In April of 2005, Osayande became the first poet to have a symposium on his body of work at Temple University’s Poet Series sponsored by The Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought. That same year the Brecht Forum hosted Osayande and poet icon Amiri Baraka for an “Evening of Poetry and Politics” in New York City. Osayande is the 2006 recipient of the Walt Whitman Arts Center’s Vanguard Writer’s Award. In August 2011, Osayande organized The Spit Fire Poetry Fest, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Black rebellion in Camden, NJ. In 2013, Osayande edited and published the global anthology Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander which raised thousands of dollars for both justice campaigns.
The essence and determination of Osayande as a poet and activist are captured in Amiri Baraka’s words when he writes in his introduction to Osayande’s book, Blood Luxury, “Ewuare is like the image Mao posed about Revolution – a ship yet some distance away, but whose tall and inspiring sails are already visible.”
In 2020, Osayande established Stono River Press. He is presently working on a 30-year anthology of his poetry.