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Dedan Gills: 29 Best Poetry Books of 2023

June 1, 2023

Dedan Gills

Dedan Gills
I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heart: A Poetic Love Song

Dedan Gills (August 21, 1945–December 20, 2015) is co-author, with Belvie Rooks, of I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heart: A Poetic Love Song, which has been selected as one of the 29 best poetry books by Speechify for this year’s Poetry Month

Dedan described himself as a “soulutionary.” He was a poet and active member for eight years in one of the first urban intentional environmental communities in the country—the L.A. Eco-Village. Certified in Permaculture, he was a founding member of the L.A. Permaculture Guild. His poems have appeared in the International Sufi Association Journal. Born in Watts, California, Dedan was instrumental in the formation of the Black Student Alliance movement in Southern California and for a time was a member of the Black Panther Party. The demise of the Black Liberation movement was followed by years of despair while trying to find his activist footing on a different ground. He became an unrelenting advocate for human rights and Mother Earth. Dedan worked to integrate principles of permaculture design, sustainability, environmental awareness, and the greening of the inner spirit for healing and recovery. He gave tirelessly to groups of people abandoned by mainstream culture—the homeless and those suffering from addiction and incarceration. He touched many souls while actively and simultaneously addressing their physical, material, and emotional wounds. As he was known to say, “Things come and go, but the soul is eternal. When souls embrace, it is like a kiss that lasts forever!”

See more of the work of Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills:

Dedan Gills; photo, Santosh Peters


June 1, 2023
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