Saturday, September 15, 2007

Memorial & Celebratory Reading for Phebus Etienne

Here are some photos from the memorial reading for Phebus Etienne last evening at NYU. A sad occasion on level, but I would bet I'm not the only person who left feeling filled with joy at hearing her axe-sharp--to echo Aracelis Girmay's description--and evocative words brought so movingly to life and seeing all the Cave Canem and Kundiman-affiliated writers celebrating, as well as a few other former classmates from ten years ago, celebrating her. I also would bet I wasn't the only person who felt she was there with us.

Before the reading, l-r: Greg Pardlo, Shane Book, Evie Shockley, and Ron Villanueva

People in fellowship before the reading

Dante Micheaux introducing the reading, before presenting one of Phebus's poems

Sarah Gambito reading

Ron Villanueva in recollection

Greg Pardlo speaks about his friendship with Phebus

Jan Gill O'Neil, who was a very close friend of Phebus's (I first met them at the same time, I think, back in 1995)

Aracelis Girmay, speaking fondly about Phebus

Evie Shockley reading one of Phebus's poems and one of her own

Vikas Menon, presenting one of Phebus's poems and one of his own

Joe Legaspi, who was one of Phebus's closest friends, reading an incredibly moving remiscence

Mendi Obadike reading one of Phebus's poems

Mendi and Keith Obadike, before they began their song in tribute to Phebus

Khalil Murrell, who talked about his friendship with Phebus

After the reading

Poets remembering and celebrating Phebus


  1. It was so good to see you, there. I kept thinking about that ride that you, me, Keith, Reggie, and Phebus all took from Harlem to Jersey together.

  2. Yes, I was thinking about that as well, and how Phebus knew all the good gossip! I loved how she was also so earthy, though you might not get that on first impression. I miss her.

  3. Oh I do, too. I think of her several times a day. I try not to let it get me down.