Hey Mocha Girls!
September 28th is National Poetry Day! It began in 1994 in the United Kingdom, to celebrate excellence in poetry and encourage others to enjoy the medium. To commemorate this fun holiday I wanted to share with you all some of the poets of color that I enjoy.
1. Dr. Eve L. Ewing
Dr. Ewing is a sociologist of education, professor, writer and poet from Chicago. Her main area of expertise explores social inequality and the ways in which race and systemic racism play a devastating role in American public schools. Her first book of poems, Electric Arches, which explores black girlhood, debuted earlier this month. She’s also one of the greatest people to follow on Twitter, maintaining that sweet balance of keeping you informed, and sharing the random yet pleasant moments in her life.
2. Warsan Shire
Warsan Shire first landed on my radar after we all heard her powerful spoken word about love and betrayal bring Beyonce’s Lemonade album to life. But, she’s been killing it long before Bey’s co-sign. The London-raised Somalian poet has been honing her craft since she was a teenager, and mainly stuck to posting her work on social media. In 2014, she was appointed the first Young Poet Laureate of London. You can find Shire’s poems about womanhood and her African roots here.
She may be the least well-known person on this list, but her pen is just as sharp as the other poets. Born Janette McGhee, Janette…ikz has been making waves in the Christian community for her raw, real poetry about her life, her struggles, and her profound faith in God. Her most famous poem, “I will wait for you” is about patiently living her life for God as He prepares to send her a partner. She recently wrapped up a tour (Poets in Autumn) with other Christian poets.
4. Saeed Jones
Saeed Jones is the executive editor of culture at Buzzfeed and the co-host of a daily morning news show streamed on Twitter, but he is better known for his stirring poetic bars. Born in Tennessee and raised in Texas, Jones has been a vital voice in the poetry community, due to his takes on race, intimacy and manhood. His book of poems, Prelude to Bruise was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He’s also another person you should definitely be following on Twitter.
And that’s it for my list! Do you guys have any favorite poets? Who should we be looking out for? What’s your favorite line from a poem? Let us know in the comments!
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