Viewing page 5 of 7


Transcription: [00:08:39]
{SPEAKER name="Dennis Brutus"}

John Dunn down to Tennison on Browning.
So much of my work, I think, has a fairly conventional pattern.
But I was also exposed to the African tradition
A tradition of praise poetry, satirical poetry, poetry which deals with history, and indeed, occasional poetry

Poetry for a wedding, for a birth, for a death, for a birthday.

So I think my work is a fusion of these two streams.

The style I think has undergone a major change.

When I began, I wrote in a formal kind of pattern, of rhyme and metrical structure.


Um, partly because of the period I spent in prison, when I was in isolation and I had the time to reexamine my own work.


I decided that I needed to write a much more simple, more direct, a more immediate kind of communication.

So I think that there's less ornament and less self-conscious craft.


I like to think that the poems work better as a result of trying to be more direct.


{SPEAKER name="Brooks B. Robinson"}

In the future, where do you see your work going? Are you contemplating changing themes or will you continue to write basically about the same concept, issues, themes that you've been writing?


{SPEAKER name="Dennis Brutus"}

I think I live in the present.


I don't think I can predict. I don't think I particularly want to try to predict.


Um... In the past, there were many times when I--

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact