We join the world in mourning the loss of Toni Morrison …

Street art depicting Morrison in Vitoria, Spain courtesy of Zarateman under CC0 license

“Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.” Toni Morrison during an interview with CBS radio host Don Swaim, September 15, 1987. 

This is a message for our times. Thank you to the anonymous person who shared this elsewhere online.

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019) was truth, hope, and inspiration. She lives on in our minds and hearts as we begin rereading her monumental works.

Toni Morrison was a friend and colleague of the literary organization PEN America. When she died on Monday at the age of 88, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement:

PEN America mourns long-time member Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Prize winner, 2008 PEN Literary Service Award winner, and 2016 PEN/Saul Bellow Award winner. Her unmatched ability to use story to kindle empathy and rouse the imaginations of millions to contemplate lived experiences other than their own has transformed our culture. Her faithfulness to fellow writers and the cause of literature was unparalleled. To have her voice silenced at this moment is an almost unbearable loss.  Our society would do well to recall her maxim just now, ‘If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.’”

– Jamie Dedes


  • Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture
  • Toni Morrison, The Pieces that I Am, Trailer
  • Dangerous Work: An Evening with Toni Morrison. Here is the video of this tribute to Toni Morrison, 2016 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction Winner. It features actress Adepero Oduye, actor Delroy Lindo, jazz pianist Jason Moran, and mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran. The Master of Ceremonies is Kevin Young, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. (If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video presentation.)


Recent in digital publications: 
* Five by Jamie Dedes, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group / Beguines, pushers of The BeZine of which I am managing editor. Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions or commissions.