Richard Cambridge’s poetry and theater productions address controversial themes on the American political landscape.
From 1992 to 1996 his poetry & music troupe Where the Red Road Runs provided an Indigenous perspective on the 500 years of European settlement in the Americas. Influenced by contemporary and legendary Native American activists.
From 1996 to 2000 his one-person theatre production The Cigarette Papers portrayed a spiritual journey from addiction.
From 1998 to 2000, he traveled to Cuba four times as co-founding member (with Patiño Vázquez) of Singing with the Enemy, a troupe of poets, musicians, and performance artists. The show, ¡EMBARGO!, a dramatic mural of poetry, music, and dance, portrayed the four-decade economic blockade on the people of Cuba. By special invitation, the troupe performed in Havana, Cuba in July 1998 at the historic First U.S.—Cuba Friendship Conference. Richard was also commissioned by the National Lawyers Guild of Cuba to write and perform a poem for their yearly conference, “From the Belly of the Beast” (1998) and “Letter from Cuba,” (1999). In November 2000 he performed at the World Solidarity with Cuba Conference, in Havana, Cuba.
From2001-2005, he co-founded ¡PRESENTE! with former African American prisoner of war Kazi Touré. In collaboration with local artists and imprisoned activists, PRESENTE! is a dramatic tapestry of poetry, music, dance, mask, mime, and ritual that brings awareness to political prisoners and prisoners of war in the U.S. Performed throughout the Northeast at colleges, and performance venues.
A longtime resident of Cambridge, MA, in 2004 he received the Cambridge Peace and Justice Award for his art and activism.
He has published poetry, PULSA—A Book of Books (Hanover Press), and spoken word CDs One Shot News—Poetry of Conscience (Earthshine Productions); The Cigarette Papers (Fern Hill Press). His awards include The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize; a finalist for a residency at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA; and the Master’s Slam at the National Poetry Slam in 1997.
He is a Fellow Emeritus at the Black Earth Institute, a progressive think tank based in Wisconsin. He guest-edited Volume II Issue IV of About Place, the institute’s online journal, whose theme was 1963-2013: A Civil Rights Retrospective:
His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Solstice Literary Magazine, About Place, the Asheville Poetry Journal, and other publications. From 1995 to the present he has curated Poets’ Theatre at the legendary Club Passim, Somerville’s Arts at the Armory, and on the Zoom platform, 0830 Club. He is the poetry co-editor for The Lunar Calendar.
He is working on his second novel, 1970, an alternate history of that year in which a band of activists led by Black Panthers spark revolution in the U.S.
Richard has just released an album (Spring 2022), Songs from the Crossing with Swiss musician George Hennig. In a two-year collaboration, Richard has written the lyrics that George has “wrapped in his music.”