Kalamu ya Salaam

Kalamu ya Salaam, born March 24, 1947, is an American poet, author, filmmaker, and teacher from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. A well-known activist and social critic, Salaam has spoken out on a number of racial and human rights issues. For years he did radio shows on WWOZ. Salaam is the co-founder of the NOMMO Literary Society, a weekly workshop for Black writers. Born Vallery Ferdinand III in New Orleans, he graduated high school in 1964, joined the U.S. Army and served in Korea. He attended Carleton College and Delgado Junior College, earning an Associate Arts degree in business administration. He was editor of The Black Collegian magazine for 13 years (1970–83), and has written for many publications including Negro Digest/Black World, First World, The Black Scholar, Black Books Bulletin, Callaloo, Catalyst, The Journal of Black Poetry, Nimrod, Coda, Encore, The New Orleans Tribune, Wavelength, The New Orleans Music Magazine, The Louisiana Weekly newspaper. He is co-founder/editor of Runagate Press.