Franklin Rosemont Memorial in Chicago

A group Leaving the Memorial at Newberry Library

A group Leaving the Memorial at Newberry Library

I took the Greyhound to Chicago for the memorial event for Franklin Rosemont.  It was on July 11 at the Newberry library.

It went from noon until 3pm or so.  A lot of Franklin’s friends spoke including many surrealists, historians and other friends.

I didn’t take many notes or photos.  I did draw a few pictures.  There was a large crowd.  There were many stories about and thoughts on Franklin and his life.  Don LaCoss talked about a shared affinity for the great Bugs Bunny.  John Bracey, Jr. talked of their college days studying with St. Clair Drake and forming an “anti-poetry club.”  Joseph Jablonski remembered his old friend and read a poem he’d  recently written.  Paul Garon spoke of his love for Black music and the Blues. 

All the speakers seemed to talk of Franklin from their own perspectives, to note some of the ways that he touched them, inpired them, moved them.  Some of the others were Natalia Fernandez Segarra, Noel Ignatiev, David Roediger, Paul Buhle, Peter Linebaugh, Gale Ahrens and Warren Leming.

The program pamphlet included a fine quote from Franklin on the surrealist promise (in part): “This myth, revolutionary, liberatory, exalting–and therefore fundamentally different from other myths–rises from the ashes of the old orders, to announce a new life, a surrealist life.” (yes) “…preparing for the dictatorship of the imagination and heralding the triumph of mad love…”

Afterward, some of us repaired to a local restaurant, for more stories, more visiting.  It was great to see Penelope Rosemont and everyone else.  Some, I’d met before.  Others, I’d written to and/or read their work, but was only meeting them for the first time. 

An excellent remembrance by his friend (and fellow surrealist) Joseph Jablonski:


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