Fun Facts Friday: Jayne Cortez

May 10, 2024

Jayne Cortez (10 May, 1934 – 28 December, 2012 was poet, publisher, performer, and activist. She is part of the Black Arts movement canon.

Fun Facts Friday: Jayne Cortez
Books by Jayne Cortez*

Fun Facts about Jayne Cortez:

  1. Sallie Jayne Richardson was born in Fort Huachuca, AZ as the second of three children. Her father was a career military man, and her mother was a secretary.
  2. The family moved to Los Angeles, CA when the future poet was seven years old, and where she grew up.
  3. As a young girl she loved jazz and Latin musing. Later she studied music, as well as art and drama, in high school.
  4. Sadly, she had to drop out of Compton Community College due to financial difficulties. It was than that she took on a nom-de-plume of Cortez, honoring her Filipino grandmother.
  5. She was married to Ornette Coleman, a jazz musician from 1954 to 1964, and later own married Melvin Edwards, a painter and sculptor.
  6. An activist though and through, she was involved in the fight for civil rights. Ms. Cortez advocated for using to push political agenda.
  7. Jayne Cortez published about 12 books of poetry. Her work has been translated to 28 languages.
  8. During her lifetime, Ms. Cortez taught, lectured, and performed at many festivals, universities, and museums.
  9. In 1991, Jayne Cortez founded her own publishing company, Watts Repertory Company, and the Organization of Women Writes of Africa, splitting her time between two homes, New York City and Dakar, Senegal.
  10. Jayne Cortez received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several awards including the American Book Award, and the International African Festival Award.

Books by Jayne Cortez*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books


Jayne Cortez | Wikipedia

Jayne Cortez | Poetry Foundation

About Jayne Cortez | Academy of American Poets

Jayne Cortez, Jazz Poet, Dies at 78 | The New York Times

Jayne Cortez | Afro-American, Feminist, Performance Poet | Britannica

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Fun Facts Friday: Jayne Cortez
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Fun Facts Friday: Jayne Cortez
Jayne Cortez (10 May, 1934 – 28 December, 2012 was poet, publisher, performer, and activist. She is part of the Black Arts movement canon.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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