Busboys and Poets Press


Busboys and Poets Press was established in 2009 to maintain and advance the literary tradition inspired by Langston Hughes. The press exists to build and enhance the Busboys and Poets community of artists, dreamers and progressive thinkers through the power of the written word. An imprint of PM Press.

Available Titles



Author: Derrick Weston Brown
Foreword by Simone Jacobson
Publisher: PM Press / Busboys and Poets
ISBN: 978-1-60486-417-5
Published April 2011
Format: Paperback
Size: 7.5 by 5.5
Page count: 136 Pages
Subjects: Poetry, African American


About the book:
To consider Wisdom Teeth is to acknowledge inevitable movement, shift, and sometimes pain. There’s change hidden just below the surface and, like it or not, once it breaks, everything has to make room. So goes the aptly titled debut poetry collection from poet and educator Derrick Weston Brown. Wisdom Teeth reveals the ongoing internal and external reconstruction of a poet's life and world, as told through a litany of forms and myriad of voices, some the poet’s own. Wisdom Teeth is a questioning work, a redefining of personal relationships, masculinity, race, and history. It’s a readjustment of bite, humor, and perspective as Brown channels hip-hop, Toni Morrison, and Snagglepuss to make way for the shudder and eruption of wisdom.

Derrick’s Bio:
Derrick Weston Brown holds an MFA in creative writing from American University. He has studied poetry under Dr. Tony Medina at Howard University and Cornelius Eady at American. He is a graduate of the Cave Canem Summer workshop for black poets and the VONA summer workshop. His work has appeared in such literary journals as Warpland, Mythium, Ginsoko, DrumVoices, The Columbia Poetry Review, and the online journals Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Howard University’s Amistad, and LocusPoint.

Derrick teaches poetry and creative writing to an amazing crew of seventh and eighth graders at Hart Middle school in Southeast Washington, DC, as part of the DC Creative Writing Workshop. He is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and resides in Mount Rainier, Maryland.



Author: Akbar Ahmed with a foreword by Daniel Futterman
Publisher: PM Press / Busboys and Poets
ISBN: 978-1-60486-485-4
Published April 2011
Format: Paperback
Size: 8.25 by 5
Page count: 152 Pages
Subjects: Poetry, Islam


About the book:
Suspended Somewhere Between is a collection of poetry from the man BBC calls “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam." A mosaic of Ahmed’s life, which has traversed cultural and religious barriers, this book of verse is personal with a vocal range from introspective and reflective to romantic and emotive to historical and political. The poems take the reader from the forbidding valleys and mountains of Waziristan in the tribal areas of Pakistan to the think tanks and halls of power in Washington, DC; from the rustic tranquility of Cambridge to the urban chaos of Karachi.

The collection spans half a century of writing and gives the reader a front row seat to the drama of a world in turmoil. Can there be more drama than Ahmed’s first memories as a boy of four on a train through the killing fields of North India during the partition of the subcontinent in 1947? Or the breakup of Pakistan into two counties amidst mass violence in 1971? Yet, in the midst of change and uncertainty, there is the optimism and faith of a man with confidence in his fellow man and in the future, despite the knowledge that perhaps the problems and challenges of the changing world would prove to be too great.

Ahmed’s poetry was a constant source of solace and renewal to which he escaped for inspiration and sanity. He loved poetry of every kind whether English, Urdu or Persian. Ahmed was as fascinated by Keats and Coleridge as he was by Rumi and Ghalib. For us, he serves as a guide to the inner recesses of the Muslim world showing us its very heart. Through the poems, the reader gets fresh insights into the Muslim world and its struggles. Above all, they carry the eternal message of hope and compassion.

Dr. Ahmed’s Bio:
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University (Washington, DC), the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD), and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard, and Cambridge Universities and is considered “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam” by the BBC.

Once served as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland, Ahmed is regularly interviewed by CNN, CBS, BBC, and Fox News and has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as The Daily Show and The O’Reilly Factor. He is the author of over a dozen award-winning books, including Discovering Islam, which was the basis of the BBC six-part TV series called “Living Islam”. His plays, “Noor” and “The Trial of Dara Shikoh” have been staged and published. His books have been translated into many languages, including Chinese and Indonesian.



Author: E. Ethelbert Miller
Publisher: PM Press/Busboys and Poets
Published: March 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60486-062-7
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 160
Dimensions: 5 by 8
Subjects: Memoir, Politics


About the book:
The 5th Inning is poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller's second memoir. Coming after Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer (published in 2000), this book finds Miller returning to baseball, the game of his youth, in order to find the metaphor that will provide the measurement of his life. Almost 60, he ponders whether his life can now be entered into the official record books as a success or failure.

The 5th Inning is one man's examination of personal relationships, depression, love and loss. This is a story of the individual alone on the pitching mound or in the batters box. It's a box score filled with remembrance. It's a combination of baseball and the blues.

Ethelbert’s Bio:
E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. He is board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). He is also a board member of The Writer's Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. The author of several collections of poems, his last book How We Sleep On The Nights We Don't Make Love (Curbstone Press, 2004) was an Independent Publisher Award Finalist. In 2003, his memoir Fathering Words: The Making of An African American Writer (St. Martin’s Press, 2000) was selected by the DC WE READ for its one book, one city program sponsored by the D.C. Public Libraries. Miller has received many awards including the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize (1995) and Barnes & Noble/Writers for Writers Award (2007), and can often be heard on National Public Radio (NPR).

E. Ethelbert Miller is available for readings as well as conducting poetry and memoir writing workshops. To contact him directly for interviews or to set up an event, please email him at emiller698@aol.com.

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