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December 19, 2002

NEW JERSEY POET LAUREATE APPOINTED TO SAME POSITION IN NEWARK SCHOOL DISTRICT

[via JTA] Apparently the Board of Education of Newark doesn't mind that soon to be former NJ Poet Laureate is an overt bigot. They have appointed him Poet Laureate of their school district.

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Critics of Amiri Baraka — the state's embattled poet laureate — have criticized city school officials for appointing him to the same position in the district.

The appointment, announced Nov. 26 at a Board of Education meeting, has reignited the debate over “Somebody Blew Up America,” a Sept. 11 memorial poem that some have labeled anti-Semitic.

Many critics and Jewish groups, who only learned of the appointment within the past few days, questioned why the move was made.

School officials unanimously approved the appointment, citing Baraka's achievements in poetry and his long-standing commitment to the city.

This item is cross posted on Idiotarian.com