Remembering Amiri Baraka: Teaching “Somebody Blew Up America”

I was talking to @drrema when—in the middle of our conversation—she reported Amiri Baraka’s death.  My heart catapulted to my stomach floor.  Real story.  My heart catapulted to my stomach floor, & my mind immediately traveled back to about 2005 when I saw Amiri Baraka (for the second time—the first time I was a graduate student at Florida A&M University (FAMU), & our neighboring school, … Continue reading Remembering Amiri Baraka: Teaching “Somebody Blew Up America”

Black Women’s Poetic Genius: In Response to Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury”

Every time I read Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury,” I feel like swallowing Mari Evans’ “Who Can Be Born Black” and throwing it up into the universe—with hopes that none of it hits the ground, but splatters on everybody’s faces.  In her 1970 poem, Evans asks, Who can be born black and not sing the wonder of it the joy the challenge And/to … Continue reading Black Women’s Poetic Genius: In Response to Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury”

Winners of the College Language Association’s Margaret Walker Poetry Prize, 2012

I wrote the following peace in 2007 while my high school students watched a Civil Rights film.  It is a celebration of a woman whose aura woos me. a poem for YK (because there’s something about her aura) I wrote “If Jesus Were A Smoker, He’d Be My Daddy” after a conversation I was having with a former partner wherein I described to her my father’s smoking … Continue reading Winners of the College Language Association’s Margaret Walker Poetry Prize, 2012