Norman Pritchard’s poem “Gyre’s Galax”


Today I was re-listening to Fred Moten‘s lecture “Black Kant (Pronounced Chant)” on Pennsound and at one point he plays a recording of Norman Pritchard reading the poem “Gyre’s Galax.” It sounded great, and tracking it down was a lot easier than I expected. You can hear a sample of it on Amazon, and buy the mp3 individually for .99 (or the entire compilation album it’s on “New Jazz Poets”).

It’s also available individually/as part of an album on iTunes and from the Smithsonian Folkways website (though it appears you can only buy it as part of the entire album).


6 Responses to “Norman Pritchard’s poem “Gyre’s Galax””

  1. I knew Norman very well. This particular poem, he preformed in my first Black an “elcetromedia” show in the lower east Side in the60’s. I knew all fo the black poets who were part of UMbra and hwo lived accross the street from me. Mnay of them, in this album, I knew perosnally or were in my performances.

    • 2 carrie palmer

      I met Norman Pritchard in the early 90’s. We bumped into each other several times over the course of the year or so that I lived in West Chester, PA. I always enjoyed sharing thoughts and ideas with him. I believe I read that he passed on in 2001. I can’t seem to find any information regarding his life from the 70’s through the 90’s and then on to his death. Did he have a family; a wife, children? Can anyone provide information that might expalin how/why this gifted man all but vanished during the last few decades of his life.

      • 3 Anonymous

        Norman was married to Sarah Dickenson and divorced soon after the marriage…..Norman had a very short highly charged life. He basically disappeared. I am trying to locate some of my sculptures which Norman was saving for me. Sadly, I think they may have met the same end Norman did. He was a very dear friend but I knew he was tormented.

  2. 4 Anonymous

    Norman and I grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. Both of us were sons of Caribbean physician parents and had strict, conventional social models to guide our early years. Norman spent a few weeks each summer in his twenties on Martha’s Vineyard. mostly in the segregated black (Negro then) community of Oak Bluffs. He entertained my wife and I with his poems and tales of “Out of the Body Experiences.” He was kind of happy and didn’t seem to take stuff too seriously. We loved him.
    Art Lee

  3. 5 Michael Nardone

    I’m not sure if this thread is still being followed, but I am interested in learning more about Pritchard, and would love to get in contact with those who knew him. My interest in his work begins also with the Moten lecture mentioned above: there is something absolutely striking about that recording of “Gyre’s Galax.” Have been reading and making notes on his writings for a while now, and would love to start getting in touch with people to trace out something of his life to accompany a discussion of his works.

    -Michael Nardone
    email at: mdn [at] deadnet [dot] de

  4. Norman H Pritchard died in 1996 outside of Philadelphia according to Richard Kostelanetz.

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