59th Birthday Card - 1990

Knight received this American Greetings Original Formula card for his 59th birthday. It was signed to “Mr. K” and “Etheridge,” wishing him “luck,” “love,” and “life,” as Knight was gravely ill at the time of the celebration. One well-wisher thanks Knight for his foundation of the Free People’s Poetry Workshop. 


Other greetings are signed informally, from Deta [Galloway], Yusef [Komunyakaa], and Poemboy. Knight knew many of the well-wishers professionally through poetry, but they were also friends and acquaintances. Several were also veterans like Knight and they made up poems that, for example, capture their experiences as soldiers and their trauma from and during their service. This card demonstrates Knight as a community poet: he connected with people through the Word, and those people showed him care and love outside of the Word.

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