Piri Thomas


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Piri Thomas was born in New York City in 1928, the oldest of seven children,and grew up in Spanish Harlem, where he became involved with gangs and drugs. After seven years in prison he returned to his old neighborhood as a youth worker. His first book, Down These Mean Streets, now considered a classic, was followed by Savior Savior Hold My Hand and Seven Long Times. He is the author of a play, The Golden Streets, and numerous articles, many of which have appeared in the New York Times Magazine. He has been the subject of three award-winning documentary films, the latest of which is Every Child Is Born a Poet. He also has two CDs of poetry with music, which feature first rate salsa musicians from NY and the San Francisco Bay Area. He died on October 17, 2011. His wife, Suzanne Dod Thomas died in 2013.


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