b.f. maiz is a prominent spoken word poet and friend of Waynesburg University who passed away in May of 2004.
Waynesburg University established the b.f. maiz Center for Poetry and Biblical Justice to honor maiz and his work. Upon his passing, maiz left Waynesburg University a bequest that included the copyrights to all of his works. The Center, situated in the north wing of the Eberly Library, is one of the few places to see, hear and learn about the poetry of b.f. maiz. The viewing and listening room contains videos, recordings, letters, notebooks, notes and poetry drafts.
The extraordinary poet b.f. maiz once said, “It is good to remember but important to remember to remember what is important.”
b.f. maiz is remembered by many as an important figure; someone who touched the souls of beings and brought forth healing and acceptance through his dialogue. His “Holy Art of Poetry” was a constant, relentless pursuit of truth. With a deep, powerful voice, the rhythm of his words struck a distinct chord, capturing the attention of everyone he met. A gracious, kind and truly great poet, b.f. lived by the four cornerstones of faith, love, learning, and labor.
As a poet, humanist, civil rights activist, and educator, b.f. helped foster an attitude of peace and good will wherever he traveled. In this recognition, b.f. received the Wesleyan Peace and Justice Award by the Wesleyan Peace committee in 1994 and was honored with honorary doctorate degrees from Waynesburg University and Buena Vista University.
A man devoted to the human spirit, b.f. spoke on topics that helped us better understand ourselves, our peers and our world around us. His inspiration taught us that life is to be savored and that love and friendship are the foundations to what humanize us. He would always say “Poetry should disturb you, you know. It should leave you pondering about the human condition.”
b.f.’s soul, spirit and intellect were enriched by the poetry, novels and dramas of American, European and African writers. A well educated and spiritually nurtured man, b.f. left a poetic legacy in the lives of everyone with whom he communicated. It is an honor to remember such an important figure and friend of whom we will all cherish now and for years to come through the lasting words of his poetry.