Celebrating Louis Reyes Rivera, Poet Laureate of Bed-Stuy

I was saddened to hear earlier this month about the passing of Louis Reyes Rivera, who read with us in 2008 at the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival (pictured above, l. to r., Hal Sirowitz, Quincy Troupe, me, Amiri Baraka and Louis Reyes Rivera).  Louis’ influence on countless people can not be underestimated.  He was a teacher, poet, community activist, radio host and mentor to many. When we announced he’d be reading with us, I got numerous emails from people saying in one form or another, “He was my teacher.” While I didn’t get to know him personally, once I saw him read, he became my teacher too. You must watch the video below; it will give you chills.

Read Rich Villar’s (poet/Director of Acentos) moving piece about Louis.