Death of a poet’s poet

Roy McBride, the Minneapolis “street poet,” and subject of a local documentary not long ago called “A Poet’s Poet,” has died.

In January, Bao Phi, another local poet of note, wrote in the Star Tribune:

In the 70’s, he was one of the few African American students writing poetry at Macalester (also my alma mater) back in the day, where he was introduced to touring poets like Amiri Baraka, Sonja Sanchez, and Etheridge Knight. But part of the reason why Roy is really special to me is that he has that Minneapolis flavor – soul poetry by the way of Powderhorn Park. The blues of Lake Street and the 21A. His work was amongst the first I encountered to really give the Twin Cities a lyrical flavor. I am not ashamed to tell you he is one of the few local poets who has ever beaten me at a Minnesota Grand Poetry Slam, and I was honored to lose to him. The right thing happened.

Roy Chester McBride is originally from Magnolia, Arkansas.

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