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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2005

Poet Ahmos Zu-Bolton II dies at 69

Friday, March 18, 2005

Ahmos Zu-Bolton II, a poet with roots in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri, died March 8 at Howard University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He was 69 years old.

Born Oct. 21, 1935, in Poplarville, Mississippi, Zu-Bolton grew up in the rural community of DeRidder, Louisiana, near the Texas border. His father was a career soldier who rose to the rank of sergeant major in the United States Army.

In 1965 he was among those students selected to integrate Louisiana State University. He was drafted into the army in 1967 and sent to Vietnam. Afterwards, he resumed his education, graduating from California State Polytechnic University in 1971.

Zu-Bolton is the author of A Niggered Amen (Solo Press, 1975), a collection of poetry, and coeditor of Synergy D.C. Anthology (Energy BlackSouth Press, 1975). Also in 1975, he was the founder and editor of HooDoo magazine, and has taught fiction and folklore at the Galveston Arts Center, Xavier University, Delgado College, and was Tulane University’s first Writer-in-Residence.

Other publications by Zu-Bolton include Ain’t No Spring Chicken (Voice Foundation, Inc., 1998), a collection of poetry and folklore, and 1946: A Poem (Ishmael Reed, 2002). His work has appeared in numerous magazines and in the anthologies Giant Talk, Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth, Vol. III, and Black Southern Voices: An Anthology of Fiction Poetry, Drama, NonFiction, and Critical Essays (1992).

In addition to his poetry, Zu-Bolton has written several plays, including The Widow Paris: A Folklore of Marie Laveau, The Funeral, Family Reunion, and The Break-In.

With cremation, a memorial service took place on March 13, at Carver High School, Zu-Bolton’s alma mater, in DeRidder, Louisiana. A candlelight vigil will be held in his honor on Saturday, March 19, 2005, from 4-6 p.m. at the Speaker’s Circle on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, where Zu-Bolton served as a visiting writer-in-residence.

A poetry festival honoring Zu-Bolton’s date of birth is tentatively scheduled on October 21, 2005. Time and location will be announced.

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