A Party for Poppy

A Party for Poppy

From Jesi Kelley

We are still humbly raising funds for our Poppy's big Send-Off, but we have revised our goal downward. We didn't need as much as we thought.

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Update #3

almost 4 years ago

It was a beautiful party; we could feel our beloved father, husband, big brother, collaborator, teacher and friend smiling and enjoying us. The family is so grateful to all of you who came, who contributed, who spoke or played or sang, A very very special thank you to Rabbi Sara Luria, to our cousin Sandra Hayden-Taylor, to our friends Jeannie Lee and Stacey Spencer-Willoughby, to Winona Jackson, to Marjorie Eliot, to Anthony G. Evans, Victor Trent Cook and the alumni Gospel Chorus family from the High School of Music and Art for making this send-off so very special. Words are truly inadequate to express the depth of our gratitude.

As you can see, we have revised our needs downwards because as we settle up debts, we found we didn't need quite as much as we thought (in part because people have been AMAZING). We will still accept donations for a little while.

William Melvin Kelley's legacy will live on in his writing (some of it yet unpublished), his two movie shorts, and hours of interviews. If you'd like to stay updated on what happens with his work now, please visit his fanpage on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WilliamMelvinKelley

As we settle into our new reality, we will update and continue the online magazine he started: https://kelleysmagazine.com

Again, thank you all so very much. We are humbled and grateful.

-The Kelley Family

More Info

WILLIAM MELVIN KELLEY (November 1 1937 - February 1 2017) grew up in the Bronx, New York, where he attended the Fieldston School on full scholarship. At Harvard College, he studied with John Hawkes and Archibald MacLeish, winning the Dana Read Prize in 1960 for the best piece of writing in any Harvard undergraduate publication. Kelley has lived in Boston, Rome, Ibiza, Paris, and for 9 years Jamaica, teaching at the University of the West Indies from 1969-1971. His novels include A Different Drummer (1962), winner of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters; A Drop of Patience (1965); dem (1967); and Dunfords Travels Everywheres (1970). Besides his uncollected short stories, which have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker, The Negro Digest, and Quilt, and many anthologies, he has a short story collection, Dancers on the Shore (1963), winner of the Transatlantic Review award. Other honors include a Whitney grant (1963) and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters award (1970). He taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and for 30 years made his home with his wife, the visual artist Aiki and four generations of family in Harlem USA.  

Press:The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/books/william-melvin-kelley-who-explored-race-in-experimental-novels-is-dead-at-79.html?_r=0The Amsterdam News: http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2017/feb/10/author-william-melvin-kelley-passes-79/Shelf Awareness: http://www.shelf-awareness.com/issue.html?issue=2936#m35464

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Jesi Kelley posted a new update:
almost 4 years ago

Update #3

It was a beautiful party; we could feel our beloved father, husband, big brother, collaborator, teacher and friend smiling and enjoying us. The family is so grateful to all of you who came, who contributed, who spoke or played or sang, A very very special thank you to Rabbi Sara Luria, to our cousin Sandra Hayden-Taylor, to our friends Jeannie Lee and Stacey Spencer-Willoughby, to Winona Jackson, to Marjorie Eliot, to Anthony G. Evans, Victor Trent Cook and the alumni Gospel Chorus family from the High School of Music and Art for making this send-off so very special. Words are truly inadequate to express the depth of our gratitude.

As you can see, we have revised our needs downwards because as we settle up debts, we found we didn't need quite as much as we thought (in part because people have been AMAZING). We will still accept donations for a little while.

William Melvin Kelley's legacy will live on in his writing (some of it yet unpublished), his two movie shorts, and hours of interviews. If you'd like to stay updated on what happens with his work now, please visit his fanpage on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WilliamMelvinKelley

As we settle into our new reality, we will update and continue the online magazine he started: https://kelleysmagazine.com

Again, thank you all so very much. We are humbled and grateful.

-The Kelley Family

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Jesi Kelley posted a new update:
almost 4 years ago

Update #2

The family thanks you so very much for all of your contributions, your calls, texts and emails. Details for the Big Send Off are:
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 5P-9P
Harlem School of the Arts
645 Saint Nicholas Avenue, NY NY 10030

Take the A Train to Sugar Hill (145th Street) and walk south about two blocks.

Your contributions are still very much appreciated. Poppy was an artist, not a banker :)

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Jesi Kelley posted a new update:
almost 4 years ago

Update #1

We are overwhelmed by your generosity. In particular it helps our mom not to worry about details. My sister and I truly appreciate all you've contributed so far. Today we made arrangements with Benta to bring Poppy home to his beloved Harlem, and we think that his party will happen next Wednesday evening, hopefully beginning at 5PM. The place is centrally located in Harlem but I will give the name as soon as the details are confirmed. Thank you so very much. We are overwhelmed.

This picture is of Poppy reuniting with his old friends from Carpenter Avenue.

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