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Heard on CultureShift

New Book Captures the Poetry of Detroit’s Musical Legacy

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Image credit: Meta Stange

RESPECT is a creative wave of Detroit’s music history through poetry.

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The Motor City is known for its historic music legacy — from Motown to blues, rock and techno — and now that culture will be captured in a new book of poetry. 

A lot of major and noted jazz musicians came out of Detroit, first. And blues people, like John Lee Hooker, came here and even a lot of the Motown and rock people,” says M.L. Liebler, renowned poet and educator. His latest anthology, Respect: The Poetry of Detroit Music,” is to be released in December from The Michigan State University Press. 

Arranged in five thematic sections, Liebler, in collaboration with poet Jim Daniels, invited poets in and out of Detroit to pay lyrical tribute to the city that birthed a league of notable talent. 

These musicians “come out of a working class culture – a blue-collared culture. Many of them actually had and have worked in the factories and so the working class ethic is different than other places,” says Liebler. “I think that’s the bedrock of this kind of music.”

Click the player above to hear M.L. Liebler’s live performance of ‘The Jazz’, dedicated to the Faruq Z. Bey, a close friend and frequent collaborator.


LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer with CultureShift, where she produces in-depth content that spotlights creatives and individuals using their platform to examine, cultivate, shape and shift culture. Follow @ToizStory

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