Poet Benjamin Zephaniah May Be Almost 60, But He Remains Angry And In It For The Revolution

Zephaniah is furious about - for instance - police surveillance of Black communities and the neglect of Grenfell Tower that led to the conflagration there. But he keeps a sense of humor: "When I talk to kids, I tell them about me growing up in gangs in Birmingham and how one day I got up and I went to London and I got involved in another gang and these were a real hard lot. All these kids are listening to me, and they go ‘Oh, you poor thing.’ And I go, ‘It was a gang of poets and painters,’ and they all laugh."

The Oregon Bach Festival Suddenly Fires Its Popular Artistic Director After A Season Lackluster In Earnings

Matthew Halls, halfway through a four-year contract that saw him take the Oregon Bach Festival in the direction of historically informed performance, says he doesn't know why he was fired, and the University of Oregon's press release is not useful ("We look forward to a wider range of programmatic choices, community events, and cross-departmental relationships with UO faculty, staff, and students," for instance). "Halls said he was not well versed in the specifics of his contract, which was to have expired in 2020. 'I can’t begin to communicate the personal sadness I’m feeling,' he said."