photo by Ayodele Casel

Ronald K. Brown, A Poem by Ian Spencer Bell

A recent recipient of the 2020 Jacob's Pillow Award, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence's Come Ye, was inspired by social politics and creative protest of the past that seems oh-so relevant today. This poem is a reflection of that dance, also a reflection of another time. 

The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us--the poet--whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom.

- Audre Lorde, Poetry Is Not A Luxury

Ian Spencer Bell, poet and dancer, shares a poem on a past performance of Ron Brown's Come Ye in 2018. 

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Performs Come Ye

at Jacob’s Pillow on July 25, 2018


photo by Ayodele Casel

When the projected images ceased—

leather gloves closing the door

to the paddy wagon, Sunday-bested women

and children marching, grainy fists in the air—

and the dancers’ feet, hearts, lungs, and thighs,

insisting on joy from the start, made us

feel love in sorrow and know life

despite hate, well

that’s when we went out for air and to see

the stretched white faces at the dance concert. I mean

at intermission leaning in the shadow

at the Welcome Center with my boyfriend,

looking at the other

gay people, I felt that invisible wall

that Brown and his dancers brought down.

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Ian Spencer Bell

Ian Spencer Bell is a dancer and poet. His first performances were danced outdoors and awarded a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has perform...
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