20 Young Writers Of Color Share Their Favorite Poems

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Article originally published in  The Huffington Post by Priscilla Frank Arts Writer.

“The vulnerability and realness I’ve witnessed within the poetry world is unlike any other medium in my mind.”

In December, The New York Times invited noted writers, actors and public figures to share their favorite poems, reaching out to people like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Elena Ferrante Tavi Gevinson, Lena Dunham and Junot Díaz, among others.

After reading the published list, Tabia Alexine, a Los Angeles-based curator and creative, was disappointed. “It was a compelling group, but not as diverse and intersectionally colorful as I’d hoped,” she explained to The Huffington Post. Soon after, Alexine embarked on a project of her own, reaching out to young writers of color she admired to bring the original list the multiplicity both readers and writers deserve.

Alexine collected the perspectives of 20 new voices, each explaining the power of a single poem. “The responses reflect a spectrum of experience among the writers,” she explained. “But I did notice that several poems discussed discovery, social justice, and resistance through existence and survival.”

Looking forward, Alexine hopes future articles in outlets like The New York Times will represent a wider range of backgrounds and perspectives. And that the cultural landscape at large will follow suit. “I hope to see poetry and art by talented persons of color more widely distributed via TV, film, in commercials, at events, galleries, and conferences,” she continued. “I love seeing books like The Breakbeat Poets sold at major retailer, Barnes & Noble. I also believe performance poets and writers deserve increased honorariums for their work. I want to be a catalyst, pushing all of those things forward.”

Right in time for Black History Month, Alexine’s diversified anthology speaks to the importance of poetry to voices too often marginalized or silenced. “It can be such a powerful platform for truth-telling, disruption, affirmation, and empathy,” she said. “The vulnerability and realness I’ve witnessed within the poetry world is unlike any other medium in my mind. These 20 individuals are unapologetically taking up space and making noise as writers, activists, performers, educators, literary editors, students, and so much more.”

Learn about their favorite poems, and the stories behind them: 

http://goo.gl/jZQGlp

Poetry Enriches The Human Soul, As It Nurtures Love

rainbowBy Walter William Safar

Poetry enriches the human soul, as it nurtures love, compassion, freedom and faith in people. I don’t know much about victories, but I am sure of one thing, that compassion is a victory of the human spirit. Yes, I consider myself to be lucky to share my poetry with everyone regardless of race or religion, because anyone’s tears are the same color, as well as an honest smile.

There is hope in me that you shall become my brothers in art, in terms of literature and compassion. Let it be the beginning of a wonderful friendship that shall be linked through small mercies. As William Wordsworth put it beautifully: “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”

(Those who divide poets into amateurs and professionals are wrong, because poetry is not a profession, but a state of mind-state of soul… Each verse that brings tears to someone’s eyes remains in memory, and the wise Jean Paul said: Our memories are the only paradise from which we can never be expelled.)

A man’s heart is small, but it is surrounded by the immensity of its soul. Sometimes our words may appear silent, but they are certainly heading for infinity.

Read Walter William Safar’s

THE LAND BEYOND THE RAINBOW

You are calling me, road of dreams,
To a land beyond the rainbow,
In which diversity is the harmony of living,
In which hatred is losing the battle against love,
In which a strong spirit is virtue instead of weakness;

You are calling me, road of dreams,
To where reality is conceived from thousands,
Tens of thousands of dreams,
Dreams that feed the soul,
Dreams that nurture the hearts of
Dreamers from all over the world;

You are calling me, road of dreams,
To a wonderful land of dreamers,
But I am tired,
My mornings are different now,
Full of extinguished sparks,
And the scents of weary nights
That lay beside you now,
Just like night birds,
Your weary wanderers,
Whose passion bled
Into life’s inexhaustible well.

Continue reading: http://www.akademija-art.hr/pano/walter-william-safar/34388-the-land-beyond-the-rainbow

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

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Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelou gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. Now the beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer’s remarkable life.

Every poetic phrase, every poignant verse can be found within the pages of this sure-to-be-treasured volume—from her reflections on African-American life and hardship in the compilation Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Diiie (“Though there’s one thing that I cry for / I believe enough to die for / That is every man’s responsibility to man”) to her revolutionary celebrations of womanhood in the poem “Still I Rise” (“Out of the huts of history’s shame / I rise / Up from a past that’s rooted in pain / I rise”) to her “On the Pulse of Morning” tribute at President William Jefferson Clinton’s inauguration (“Lift up your eyes upon / The day breaking for you. / Give birth again / To the dream.”).

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry also features her final long-form poems, including “A Brave and Startling Truth,” “Amazing Peace,” “His Day Is Done,” and the honest and endearing Mother:

“I feared if I let you go
You would leave me eternally.
You smiled at my fears, saying
I could not stay in your lap forever”
 
This collection also includes the never-before-published poem “Amazement Awaits,” commissioned for the 2008 Olympic Games:

“We are here at the portal of the world we had wished for
At the lintel of the world we most need.
We are here roaring and singing.
We prove that we can not only make peace, we can bring it with us.”

Timeless and prescient, this definitive compendium will warm the hearts of Maya Angelou’s most ardent admirers as it introduces new readers to the legendary poet, activist, and teacher—a phenomenal woman for the ages.

The Author

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(Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) Maya Angelou was an American author and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer” by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie.

Angelou was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s, was active in the Civil Rights movement, and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Since 1991, she has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. Since the 1990’s she has made around eighty appearances a year on the lecture circuit. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. In 1995, she was recognized for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou was heralded as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African American women who was able to publicly discuss her personal life. She is highly respected as a spokesperson for Black people and women. Angelou’s work is often characterized as autobiographical fiction. She has, however, made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books, centered on themes such as identity, family, and racism, are often used as set texts in schools and universities internationally. Some of her more controversial work has been challenged or banned in US schools and libraries.

http://www.amazon.com/Maya-Angelou/e/B000AQ8Q00

Beneath And Above The Surface

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Collection of versed thoughts and events contrived to work their way into the vivid imagination of the reader. The contents draw from a basic realization that regardless of apparent differences that we globally face, there is an entire inner world of feelings we personally have in common.

This collection of poetry is touching upon the invisible which is “beneath the surface” in contrast with the obvious “above the surface” as opposed to the secret and more arousing..

The Author

Luna Alegra writes poetry and short stories. Here on this page you can expect quotations written by me as well as quotations from other authors whose works I will be reading. I have published no more than 3 pieces of work, two books of poetry and a short story which means I won’t take too much of your time once you get interested in my writing.
Here’s a link to my author page on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/LUNA-ALEGRA/e/B00WC934VE/

Between The World And Me

WORLD

A bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)

“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
 

In the one hundred fifty years since the end of the Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: It is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country’s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up, and killed in our streets.

What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all—regardless of race—honestly reckon with our country’s fraught racial history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son.

Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry, and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder.

Taken together, these stories map a winding path toward a kind of liberation—a journey from fear and confusion to a full and honest understanding of the world as it is. Masterfully woven from lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.

The Author

Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a former staff writer at The Village Voice and Time and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and numerous other publications. Coates has authored a memoir: The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, and runs a blog, Ta-Nehisi News, which was named one of Time magazine’s Best Blogs of 2011. He lives in New York City.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=Ta-Nehisi+Coates&search-alias=books&text=Ta-Nehisi+Coates&sort=relevancerank

Organization Save The Frog Launches A New Book Highlighting Amphibians

Half of the profits from the sale of this book will be donated to SAVE THE FROGS!, so please go order your copy today! Order your copy by contributing to the Amphibian Love crowdfunding campaign at: http://igg.me/at/amphibianlove
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San Jose artist Leah Jay has created a beautiful book called “Amphibian Love”, filled with dazzling nature art to help endangered animals. Amphibians are vital to the earth’s ecosystems, and their loss is an indication of the worldwide trend in decreasing biodiversity – the “Sixth Extinction”.

Leah’s hardbound book features detailed watercolor and chalk pastel illustrations of various species frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. The rhyming text within the illustrations makes each piece attractive and educational. This book will be a great resource for young readers to interest them in these fascinating animals and makes an excellent addition to anybody’s coffee table!

The Amphibian Love book campaign page is active through the month of April, with a book pre-order option of $35, and other art-based incentives including the original paintings. The April campaign coincides with Earth Day, 4/22, and International Save The Frogs Day , 4/25

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Order your copy of Amphibian Love at:
http://igg.me/at/amphibianlove
Your FREE copy of The Little Book of Frog Poetry, Volume 1

The Little Book of Frog Poetry is not available for sale anywhere on the planet and only 2,000 copies exist, but we will send you a free copy when you buy Amphibian Love. Since 2009 I have read through thousands of frog poems that our supporters submitted to the SAVE THE FROGS! Poetry Contest. In February 2015, SAVE THE FROGS! Graphic Design Volunteer Alyson Lee and I put together some of our all time favorite frog poems and created The Little Book of Frog Poetry, Volume 1.

The poetry contained in this book is among the best frog poetry ever written, so I know it will provide inspiration, education and enjoyment to thousands of students, teachers and frog lovers. And of course the book features amazing frog art from around the world. Thanks to our generous donors, we printed 2,000 copies and have been distributing them to schools, libraries and Save The Frogs Day event organizers in order to raise awareness for the frogs we love. Please order a copy for yourself, enjoy the poetic frog inspiration and help spread our amphibious message far and wide!
Order Amphibian Love and get your free copy of The Little Book of Frog Poetry, Volume 1

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About Leah Jay, the artist

A lifelong artist, nature lover, and San Jose resident, Leah has spent 15 years perfecting her mixed watercolor and pastel illustration technique. She teaches art and shows her work locally.
http://www.leahjayart.com/about

#amphibianlove

Learn more about Amphibian Love:
http://www.leahjayart.com/amphibianlove

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Thank you for supporting Amphibian Conservation and Wildlife Art, and happy Earth Day!

Please order Amphibian Love and The Little Book of Frog Poetry at:
http://igg.me/at/amphibianlove

Thanks and happy  FrogSave The s Day week!
Dr. Kerry Kriger
SAVE THE FROGS!
Founder, Executive Director, Ecologist
www.savethefrogs.com
http://www.savethefrogs.com/kerry-kriger
kerry@savethefrogs.com
415-878-6525 (voicemail)
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“Every once in awhile, you meet a person that inspires you with their dedication to a cause. Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder and director of SAVE THE FROGS!, is one of those inspiring people I’ve been lucky enough to meet.”
— Leah Jay, Author of Amphibian Love, San Jose, CA

ABOUT SAVE THE FROGS!

Frogs are the most threatened group of animals on the planet: nearly 2,000 of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction and up to 200 species have entirely disappeared in recent decades. Save The Frogs Day! is the world’s leading amphibian conservation organization. We work in California, across the USA, and around the world to prevent the extinction of amphibians, and to create a better planet for humans and wildlife. Your financial contributions to SAVE THE FROGS! are tax-deductible and enable us to spread amphibian awareness, campaign for threatened amphibians and train the next generation of amphibian conservationists. Please donate, become a member, or help us fundraise. Thank you!

 Please forward this email to your friends and colleagues to help spread the word. You can write to us at SAVE THE FROGS!, PO Box 78758, Los Angeles, CA 90016 USA or call us at 415-878-6525. If you prefer not to receive future emails about our efforts to protect the world’s most endangered animals, you can unsubscribe at: http://savethefrogs.com/unsubscribe