In Honor and Remembrance of Daniel Thompson, Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County

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In Honor and Remembrance of Daniel Thompson, Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County



Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor and remembrance of Daniel Thompson, Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County, OH. Daniel Thompson passed away last week after a 2-year battle with cancer. Through his words as a poet and his deeds as a tireless advocate for the homeless, the hungry, and people on the streets, Daniel Thompson set an example for his community.

Daniel's public readings were held as often in jazz clubs, junkyards, and jailhouses as they were in bookstores, cafes, and other ordinary venues. His poetry, often humorous and playful, conveyed messages about our times and inspired our thoughts and actions. He was a frequent contributor to the ``Homeless Grapevine, ``Cleveland's monthly street newspaper sold by homeless vendors. His poem, ``A New Beautitude, was published in the March-April 2004 issue of the Grapevine:

[text of poem]

But it was not just Daniel's words, but also his deeds that will be missed. He frequently brought food and water to Cleveland's homeless and he petitioned city and county officials to install public drinking fountains for people living on the streets. He marched with Martin Luther King in Chicago and as a freedom rider in the deep south in the early 1960s where he was targeted by an angry mob in North Carolina in 1961.

Mr. Speaker, please join me in honor and remembrance of Daniel Thompson. Like other poets hailing from Cleveland such as Langston Hughes, Hart Crane, and d.a. levy, Daniel has a place in our community's literary history. And as a citizen, Daniel Thompson will long be remembered for his advocacy, sympathy, and soul. But his presence on Cleveland's streets will be sorely missed.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).