With Poemvember coming up in the next few days, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite poets and poems, in no particular order:
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Taylor Mali: I first became aware of Taylor from the excellent movie Slam. Seriously, this is a groundbreaking film and he performs one of his poems toward the end. This poem is probably his most famous:
I had the pleasure of seeing Ms. Giovanni in person when she came to the University of Mary Washington in 2001. My mother first introduced me to Ms. Giovanni’s writings when I was a kid. This poem was my introduction to her remarkable work.
James Weldon Johnson
I fell in love with his poetry in high school. There was an open mic at my church and a college student read this poem with such fire and commitment, I remember it vividly all these years later. Click here for more about James Weldon Johnson.
The Creation by James Weldon Johnson
Again, my mother was the first to introduce me to the remarkable Ms. Angelou. Her words…I watched the following video and it gave me goosebumps. This one is for hope…for you.
I found Amena by accident. I was looking up something completely unrelated on the youtube and this poem came up. And it gave me pause. Sometimes, you just have to stop and listen.
I first heard of Bradley and this poem over the summer. His poetry grabs you, sits you down, tells you what you’re not ready to hear, then treats you to ice cream. With hot fudge, son! And for real, don’t talk about his momma.
I first heard of Saul in 1998. My roommate Josh was raving about him and told me about the movie “Slam”. I walked to Blockbuster and rented it on VHS (I know right!) and was hooked. I’ve got the books, the cds, the out of print rare book of his I found at a Barnes & Nobles in Chesterfield, Va back in 2004. I could rave on and on, but I’ll let you see for yourself.
I may or may not know you personally. But I firmly believe you are creative. It may not be poetry, but there is art beating inside of your heart, like the dawn beats against the night. I’m still accepting submissions for Poemvember. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here. I would love to showcase your craft, the world needs to read and hear your words. May hope be with you, may hope be multiplied.