Tracy Reese - Presentation - February 2017 - New York Fashion Week

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Here’s to Black Poetry Day, a day put in place to honor the legacy and literacy of Black poets of past and present. To commemorate, we’re nodding at some of this generation’s most eloquent wordsmiths. From Morgan Parker to National Book Award finalist Danez Smith, here’s a list of 10 powerful poets that’ll stir your soul.

Honored to perform with the #moralminyan16 @bend_thearc #blackandjewish

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Aaron Samuels

What To Check:

Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps

What Folks Are Saying:

Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps is brilliant and heart-breaking. Samuels fearlessly takes on the complexities of multiracial heritage and identity with charged visions of coming-of-age and family histories that will haunt you. This collection establishes Samuels as a poet of extraordinary ambition, talent and vision.” — Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

Alexandra Elle

What To Check:

Neon Soul: A Collection of Poetry and Prose

What Folks Are Saying:

“Alexandra Elle writes frankly about her experience as a young, single mother while she celebrates her triumph over adversity and promotes resilience and self-care in her readers. This book of all-new poems from the beloved author of Words From A Wanderer and Love In My Language is a quotable companion on the road to healing.” — Andrews McMeel Publishing

We could be free.

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Aja Monet

What To Check:

The Black Unicorn Sings

What Folks Are Saying:

“There are people who come into your life, who come into this world with such velocity, bravery and beauty that whole hearts are changed, the whole earth is moved. Aja Monet is one of those rare people in my world, in this world. She is a lyrical shape-shifter, an ancient infant, bravely falling up. Her search for compassion and truth is relentless and voracious. Her time here, her work, here, her life is our poem. Here.” — Michaela Angela Davis

 

American Politics, Canadian Nights

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Danez Smith

What To Check:

Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems

What Folks Are Saying:

“[Smith’s] poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy.” ― The New Yorker

My Entire Aesthetic.

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Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

What To Check:

The Crown Ain’t Worth Much

What Folks Are Saying:

“Willis-Abdurraqib possesses a striking gift for merging pop culture with personal narrative.” ― Publishers Weekly

 

Khadijah Queen

What To Check:

Fearful Beloved

What Folks Are Saying:

“Queen looks closely at moments of contact among violence, beauty, and seduction without glorifying them. It is through such a nuanced and courageous lyric inquiry that fear becomes the entity against which Queen can “sharpen the leaden blade of her voice.” ― Publishers Weekly

Mahogany L. Browne

What To Check:

SMUDGE

What Folks Are Saying:

“Browne continues her tradition of creating rich, unflinching, and unapologetic work cataloguing the world as she sees it, and SMUDGE sees her at the top of her game.” — Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, NEA Poetry Fellow & author of The Year of No Mistakes

Found my light this weekend 📸the most babe that ever babed @sheer_awe

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Morgan Parker

What To Check:

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé

What Folks Are Saying:

“Morgan Parker”s bombastic second book profoundly expresses a black millennial consciousness with anger and appetite. Everywhere Parker looks, she sees a wildly messed-up world ― ‘There’s far too many of me dying’; ‘The President be like/ we lost a young boy today.’ She also answers a personal and public mandate to re-envision it through humor and confrontation.” — NPR.org

Unpacking. Messy. Need to shave. What is life? Nap time.

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Phillip B. Williams

What To Check:

Thief in the Interior

What Folks Are Saying:

“This gorgeous debut is a ‘debut’ in chronology only. . . . Need is everywhere—in the unforgiving images, in lines so delicate they seem to break apart in the hands, and in the reader who will enter these poems and never want to leave.” — Adrian Matejka, poet and Guggenheim Foundation fellowship recipient

Yrsa Daley-Ward

What To Check:

bone

What Folks Are Saying:

“Yrsa’s work is like holding the truth in your hands. It sweats and breathes before you. A glorious living thing.” — Florence Welch, of Florence + the Machine

BONUS: Nayyirah Waheed’s salt.

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