Last week Saturday my dear friend Phil Boswell transcended this life. I am asking that all of the Tribe in Tulsa surround his wife, Mary Ann Boswell, who I love with my whole heart. Send all of the prayers and light that we hold collectively toward her in the days and weeks to come. If there were any moment in the entirety of 2020 where I wanted to just get on a plane and go home, this would be it. Phil was one of the kindest, wisest, most supportive friends in my entire poetry career. I cant count how many times Phil and Mary Ann drove from Avant to Tulsa to be there for every single one of my open mics, poetry slams, and performances. I cannot think of a single event I curated at Living Arts of Tulsa that he didn't show up for and participate in. He was a gentle giant with a big heart.
I use the term "good people" to describe someone who moves through the world with unassailable character, compassion, and generosity. Phil and I have shared so many good memories, meals and poems. God broke the mold... I will never forget the lean years when you and Mary Ann drove from Avant to Tulsa to bring groceries for me and the kids on more than one occasion. All the encouraging talks... and when I was heart broken you made it all make sense. I really wanted to see you one more time, have one more turkey dinner together at our favorite cafe, one more laugh. I know you deserve this rest. Thank you for being my friend when the stage lights were down and the mics were off. Many people loved my poetry but you loved me and I will never forget you. Phil Boswell was good people and we will miss him dearly. Rest in love. Farewell.
Confidence Omenai and Phil Boswell at Agora's Coffee House about 10 years ago.