D. BLAIR was an award-winning Detroit based poet and singer-songwriter. A 2010 Callaloo Fellow and a National Poetry Slam Champion, his first book of poetry, Moonwalking was recently released by Penmanship Books. His current band The Boyfriends had recently released The Line on Repeatable Silence Records. Throughout his life, he performed all over the country in venues large and small and around the world, from Siberia to South Africa.
Blair has been nominated for 7 Detroit Music Awards, including a 2007 nod for Outstanding Acoustic Artist. He’s been named Real Detroit Weekly Readers Poll’s Best Solo Artist and The Metro Times Best Urban Folk Poet. In 2007 He won the Seattle, WA based BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award.
He was an active and loyal friend. When his good friends were ill he hosted fundraisers to help get them the health care they needed. One of his most famous recurring events called, “The Crowded House”, enlisted the talents of many of his friends to do one piece each – cramming one creative act after another.
Blair will be remembered in Detroit as a community activist and teacher. He taught poetry and music classes in Detroit Public Schools, Hannan House Senior Center, the YMCA as well as lecturing at universities, colleges and high schools across the country. Blair will be missed by his family, friends and fans that he left all too early on July 23, 2011.
His friends and family have now set up the David Blair Memorial Fund to help with the costs of a memorial service. Any funds raised beyond the immediate need will be used to create a fund in his honor for Detroit artists in need of healthcare. To contribute now please click here.
Blair grew up in Newton, New Jersey but came to call Detroit his adopted home. He was a community artist, an activist, a resource, a friend, a local treasure. In the words of Metro Times journalist Melissa Giannini, Blair focused his work on the hope that rises from the ashes of despair.