"Ishmael Reed was born in 1938 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was raised in Buffalo, New York, and attended the University of New York at Buffalo from 1956 to 1959. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including New and Collected Poems 1964–2007, which won the Gold Medal in poetry at the California Book Awards, New and Collected Poems, Conjure: Selected Poems, 1963–1970 (University of Massachusetts Press, 1972), which was nominated for a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
Reed has also written numerous novels, including Juice!; Mumbo Jumbo, which was nominated for a National Book Award; and The Free-Lance Pallbearers. Also a playwright and essayist, he has published a collection of his drama, The Plays, as well as several books of nonfiction, including The Complete Muhammed Ali."
Photo credit: Michael Simon