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 to become self-aware and self-assured. We journey through it all with the book’s protagonist, Sky, a teen with mighty basketball skills trying to understand — and accept — who she is and who she is becoming as she experiences colorism and sexism. …
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 sink. The sound of your colorful hair barrettes clacking against one another. The soggy feeling of your pillow after you’ve cried your eyes out after getting into it with your mother.
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 Star. We are that which keeps families, communities, and society moving forward. We are the worlds muse. Yet, we are never recognized as such. We are never valued as such, and we are certainly never loved as such. We are invisible, like gravity. Our essence silently yet consistently doing what…
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 are
and there are no crutches
to swing back on
Each time I read and reread a poem from Giovanni’s 36-piece collection of truth-telling, it opens me up a little more.
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 beautiful poetry. She’s written at least 50 poems on Medium. This particular piece, “A Heart Blooms Once More,” struck me with its simplicity. Lots of people write long pieces #onhere, but I rather enjoyed the short, peacefulness of a wonderful poem.
Here is a portion of it:
Eyes like moonlight’s…
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,” she tells ZORA. That description has become her common refrain and the title of a poem in her newest collection of poetry and prose, Make Me Rain, released today. “All I have are words,” she writes in the poem. “And maybe a bit of hope.” Nikki’s six decades worth of…
“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 power of poetry isn’t solely in the words. The power also lies in how it moves you.
by Gwendolyn Brooks (1953)
Gwendolyn Brooks’ only novel, Maud Martha is a prose poem coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in the Black neighborhoods of Chicago.
by Gwendolyn Brooks (1963)