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makalani bandele

Years: 2010, 2011, 2014



I am a Louisville, KY native. I am an ordained Baptist minister and former pastor. I hold degrees from University of Notre Dame and Shaw University-Divinity School.  A member of the Affrilachian Poets since 2008, I received a Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith fellowship, as well as fellowships from Millay Colony of the Arts and Vermont Studio Center. My poetry can be found in print and online in a wide variety of literary journal and magazines to include Sou'wester, Bat City Review, and Barely South Review . 


david murray talks about his selmer sax

after Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

it is no secret that all great saxophonists have an innate ballad

of nomenclatures underneath curious reservoirs of inventive style eyes.

my own horn is a handsome namer of names many thought long

gone, but it turns out were just being pronounced the old way.

lately, i play el-hajj malik el-shabazz over and over to myself.

i say detroit red to the audiences. that pimp shit dammit.

what i’m trying to get to is beyond me,

the rumba of swinging switchblade,

some glint of soft in the end.

names need not resolve to tonic.