While still in High School, I bought my first book of poetry in a head shop in town just next to the public library and the post office. It was “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox: A Collection of Black Poems” by a writer I had never heard of Gil Scott Heron. I read and reread the poems and showed my new book to my friends who also dug it.
Later Heron would become famous for his phrase, “The revolution will not be televised!” and go on to record records and influence many other writers and musicians. He disappeared for a number of years, lost in drugs and spending time in jail.
He just released a new album, “I’m New Here” in February 2010 and had been touring a little. On May 27th of this year at 62 years of age Gil Scott Heron died.
Profile of Heron by Alec Wilkinson: New Yorker Magazine, August 2010.