My one and only creative writing professor – some then-famous writer teaching at Goddard College in 1971, whose name I forgot decades ago – advised me to stop trying to write poetry because I had “no talent”. My writing has since been slaughtered by a couple of very famous authors. One because he “could not relate to” my poetry book on living with the AIDS virus for twenty years (his politics and experiences as a person with AIDS being different than mine), and the other a Tahitian who discouraged me from publishing my “Le Paradis”, which speaks critically about the effects of French nuclear testing and tourism in French Polynesia. The latter referred to me as a “hippie” and suggested that I “find a famous author and copy his style”.
I am always exploring new ways of thinking and expressing myself creatively, be it in my writing, in my paintings or in my political/social activism. And as an innovator I must expect that it sometimes takes years to realize public understanding, recognition and acceptance of the longer term value of my artistic ideas and styles, and my perspectives on various themes and issues. That is okay. I have time, and I am well beyond dependence upon “likes” in order to have the courage to make my art or live my life “in my way”.
On the other hand, my originality has been praised by numerous persons who are not only academicians and authors, but also great contemporary thinkers. Three persons who have truly understood and appreciated my literary goals and the essence of my art are Dr. Isagani R. Cruz, Albert Russo and Dr. Santosh Kumar. Isagani R. Cruz called Powell’s sci-fi novel “The Tunnel at the End of Time” a new way of writing, and wrote: “The Tunnel at the End of Time is a masterful symphony of languages, religions, cultures, and literary techniques, all journeying to one inevitable destination: the individual wrestling with self.” Dr. Santosh Kumar has written: “There is no doubt that Powell, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz are the most talented American poets of the modern age.” — Dr. Santosh Kumar, Allahabad University, 2010, from his book entitled: Adam Donaldson Powell: the making of a poet. And Albert Russo has written in his foreword to “Entre Nous et Eux”: “… I urge you to read these humble lines, for you will never regret having tasted the equal of our century’s Verlaine, Rimbaud or Baudelaire. Adam Donaldson Powell’s own FLEURS DU MAL are flowers to be treasured a lifetime.”
It takes courage and integrity to live and create with originality. Development and advancement of literature and art, society and world consciousness is dependent upon individuals and groups following his/her star and inner voice — and contributing generously to diversity of expression.
(Powell’s “Gaytude” – co-authored with award-winning author Albert Russo – won the 2009 National Indie Excellence Award for the category gay/lesbian nonfiction. Powell was also the winner of the AZsacra International Poetry Award, 2008.)
— Adam Donaldson Powell