Tennessee Reed began writing as a child. To date she has published 335 pages of poetry, contained in four collections. Her first poetry collection, Circus in the Sky (I. Reed Books, 1988), was published when she was eleven years old. These poems were written between the ages of five and eleven (Kindergarten-5th grade). The poems in her second book of poetry, Electric Chocolate (Raven’s Bones Press, 1990), were written between the ages of eleven and thirteen (6th-7th grades). Her third poetry book, Airborne (Raven’s Bones Press, 1996), was written from ages thirteen through nineteen (8th grade through her sophomore year of college). Her fourth and fifth books, City Beautiful and Animals & Others, are combined in a new collection, City Beautiful, Poems 1998-2006, published in Fall, 2006, by Ishmael Reed Publishing Company. These poems were written from her junior year in college into 2006. Her poetry has also appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, Quilt magazine, the California State Library Foundation Bulletin, Poetry USA #25 & 26, The Raven Chronicles, Konch magazine, and in the anthology, From Totems to Hip Hop, edited by Ishmael Reed (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003). Tennessee Reed also writes fiction and non-fiction. Her memoir, Spell Alburquerque: Memoir of a "Difficult" Student, was published in 2009 from CounterPunch Press and AK Books. An excerpt was published in June 2002, on the Internet web site of the National Council of Teachers of English. Her new collection of poetry "New and Selected Poetry 1982-2011" was released March 4, 2012. She is currently working on a novel "Adventures Among the X-Challenged." Her essay, “Being Mixed in America,” appears in MultiAmerica: Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace edited by Ishmael Reed (Viking, 1997) and it was first published in The Baltimore Sun (04/1995). She also has a children’s fiction book in manuscript, The Troll and the Magical Music Box and a short story called "The Remember Woman of Una." She is currently working on a novel. Tennessee Reed has given poetry readings around the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, England, the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. In 1994, she became the youngest person presented by the United States Information Agency’s Arts America Program, reading her poetry in Bonn and Berlin, Germany. Composer Meredith Monk and her ensemble performed the NYC premiere of “Three Heavens and Hells,” at Merkin Hall, December 4-5, 1993. The twenty-minute a cappella work for four female voices, with text by Tennessee Reed, has been performed by Ms. Monk throughout the U.S. and Europe, and she recorded it on “Volcano Songs” (ECM New Series CD, 1997). Its world premiere, at the 1992 Bay Area Dance Series, was part of Face the Music, a live video work by The Children’s Troupe of Roberts and Blank. Composer Carman Moore set another of her poems, “Old Parents Blues,” to music for the same event. Tennessee was a performing member of The Children’s Troupe from 1985-1992. Tennessee Reed is a graduate of U.C., Berkeley (2001, B.A. in American Studies) and Mills College (2005, M.F.A. in English, Creative Writing). Currently, she is assisting writer Ishmael Reed, designing his online magazine Konch. From 2002-2003, she worked as a consultant on high school curriculum and classroom presentations for the National Council of Teachers of English. Born in Oakland, California, where she has been a resident since 1979, she now serves as the secretary of PEN Oakland. In 2008 she ran for School Board, District One in Oakland where she received 10% of the votes during the June 3 primary.
Spell Alburquerque: Memoirs of a "Difficult" Student
I.Reed Publishers, Ravens Bones Press, Ishmael Reed Publishing Company, CounterPunch Press
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