Biographies Ishmael Reed (1938-)

Ishmael Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1938. He is the author of several poetry collections, including Chattanooga (1973); A Secretary to the Spirits (1978); and New and Collected Poems 1964-2007 (2007), winner of the Commonwealth Club of California’s Gold Medal. Reed is also the author of numerous novels, including The Flight to Canada (1976), The Terrible Twos (1982), and Juice! (2011). His other honors include a Langston Hughes Medal, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, the American Civil Liberties Award, the Robert Kirsch Award, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. Reed taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 1970 until his retirement in 2005, and founded the Before Columbus Foundation. A visiting scholar at the California College of the Arts, Reed lives in Oakland, California.

Audio Recordings with Ishmael Reed

  • Ishmael Reed and Allen Ginsberg reading their poems in the Coolidge Auditorium, April 29, 1974.

Selected Works at the Library of Congress