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“Toast teller turned to poet Knight writes on prison life” - February 19, 1986

This February 19, 1986 newspaper clipping comes from The Equinox, a student paper at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire.

As Cowette describes in the article, “Toasts are long narrative poems, usually in rhyming couplets memorized and told by black men to each other in certain social gatherings.” Although there are familiar plots and structures, toast telling also relies on skills of strong improvisation, timing, and personal flair, making the oral tradition musical or theatrical. 

Knight maintained his initial connection to the oral and communal aspects of toasts through his practice and theory of speaking poems among the people, whether fellow poets in workshops or to audiences during poetry readings.

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