Furious Flower + Nikki Giovanni: from the Black Arts Movement to Planet Mars

In the beginning was the Word. But I promise you, I have no words to express my week long adventure at Furious Flower’s The Living Truth: The Life and Work of Nikki Giovanni, a professional development seminar for college professors & high school teachers. Words just won’t do; they are inadequate. But I will try my best. For six days, I–along w/circa 50 other professors, … Continue reading Furious Flower + Nikki Giovanni: from the Black Arts Movement to Planet Mars

A Sonnet for Black Mothers & Their Girls Who Understood “Is-ness” before It Was a Theory, w/Kind Regards to Thich Nhat Hanh

I remember sitting at Momma’s feet— my shoulders held captives between her knees, two pillows supporting my back & seat, while I cupped a jar of Blue Magic grease that seemed to put magic in Momma’s hands. She tackled my head like her weekend chores: scratching out dandruff like scrubbing stained pans, & greasing dry scalp like mopping stained floors, & parting my hair like … Continue reading A Sonnet for Black Mothers & Their Girls Who Understood “Is-ness” before It Was a Theory, w/Kind Regards to Thich Nhat Hanh

rEVOLution Haikus: A Class Assignment

If I could, I would teach a poetry class.  Although I have a certificate in creative writing, I cannot teach poetry because academy culture prefers I teach within my discipline: rhetoric & composition.  It’s like checking a box named “African American” when you are also Native American & Hispanic.  I’m light-weight trapped.  Anyway, if I could, I would teach a poetry class.  & today, I … Continue reading rEVOLution Haikus: A Class Assignment

Reader Response Haikus for Improving Writing 2300

After reading Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury” and overhearing a student discuss the art and challenge of writing haikus, I challenged my Improved Writing 2300 students to write a haiku in response to any of the readings we have engaged in.  To date, students have read Jo Goodwin Parker’s “What Is Poverty,” Naomi Klein’s “No Logo,” Alice Walker’s Introduction to We Are the … Continue reading Reader Response Haikus for Improving Writing 2300

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”