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ZORA
Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

Poetry

In ZORA. More on Medium.

An imperfect poem about Black women

Photo by Jackie Parker on Unsplash

We need everyone to understand this:

We are human — just like you

We deserve respect, protection, and compassion — just like you

We have good and bad days — just like you

We have brilliant thoughts and endless potential — just like you

We have bills and responsibilities —…

Poetry

In “The Monster I am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse,” Author Kevin Simmonds pens an ode of poetry and prose to the operatic grand dame.

Soprano Leontyne Price as Cleopatra in “Antony and Cleopatra” at the Met in New York City. September 1966. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

“What struck me most was her fleeting comment about ‘the monster that I am today.’”

I first saw her in a 1984 United Negro College Fund commercial. Instead of Black educational promise portrayed through the familiar visuals of a young Black actor and his respectable, hard-working parents―reliably fortified by the…

The poet and organizer reflects on writing, hoops, and relationships

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Jennie Bergqvist

Poet Mahogany L. Browne made her young adult novel debut in January with Chlorine Sky, a literary gift told in verse. Chock full of resonant Black girl childhood moments, Chlorine Sky is a coming-of-age story about the power and perils of a young friendship and the growing pains it takes…

The poet pens a book-length love letter to Black girls and women on our journey of discovery and healing

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Redens Desrosiers

Spoken word artist and poet Jasmine Mans’ latest poetry collection, Black Girl, Call Home, is an invitation inside all the bitter and sweet moments that exist between the space of being a girl and being a woman. The crick in your neck after getting your hair washed in the kitchen…

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

To exist in this world being woman and Black is a masterful paradox. The dichotomy of womanhood and Blackness is unparalleled throughout humanity. To be woman and Black is to be the gravitational force that births inertia. We are that which keeps the Earth rotating. We are the world’s North…

Hearing her words, and her voice, makes the resonance that much deeper and the storytelling that much richer

Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day is my favorite collection of poetry by Nikki Giovanni. It’s been about 13 years since I was first introduced to it, falling deeply in love with the titular poem. I still cling to “Habits,” “Woman,” “Introspection,” and “Crutches,” which deftly declares:

emotional falls always…

The ZORA CoSign

Get to know poet and writer Michele Thomas

The ZORA CoSign is both a CoSign and an introduction. We celebrate writers
#onhere who unapologetically tell the story, write the poem, paint the picture, and inspire the masses. They also expand and enhance our Medium community.

Michele Thomas is a multifaceted writer who swings between publishing personal blogs and…

With her new book ‘Make Me Rain,’ the 77-year-old outspoken poet adds to her revolutionary body of work

Nikki Giovanni. Photo: Deborah Feingold

We know Nikki Giovanni as a guiding light, an outspoken truth-teller, and an award-winning author. She’s one of our living legends, an honor Oprah bestowed upon her 14 years ago. But Nikki — as she insists on being called — doesn’t fuss over titles or accolades. “I’m just a poet,”…

A reading list that includes Nikki Giovanni, Lucille Clifton, Morgan Parker, and more

Photo: Marisa9/Getty Images

“Poetry is a matter of life, not just a matter of language,” poet Lucille Clifton once said. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the editors of ZORA are highlighting poetic masterworks by Black women from the ZORA Canon that are contemplative, spirit-shifting, and healing. These books below prove that the…

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Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

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