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Say Her Name

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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls.
This collection
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Hardcover, 96 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
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Laurie Anderson
In Zetta's words, this book is "black girl magic meets Black Lives Matter." Powerful poetry that acknowledges the poets of earlier generations in a way that is both accessible and enlightening. Perfect for classrooms and next to your cozy chair.
Moriah
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listened to this on audiobook. Although the poems do not have to do with me, these are extremely good and highly recommend reading or listening to them!
Rich in Color
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Review copy - Digital ARC via Netgalley and purchased final copy

Zetta Elliott truly created magical poetry in this powerful collection. The poem I Make Magic explains,

but I
make magic
with the words
in my mind
I weave syllables
into silver

and shes not wrong. These poems are not just sitting on the page. They demand engagement. They ask readers to feel something, to acknowledge truths, to take care of themselves, to celebrate, and to remember the names of those who are gone. Readers would be
...more
Tonya Burks
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a beautiful book of poetry through and through. The cover art and illustrations are just as amazing. Zeta Elliotts words are ones that will stay with me. I highly recommend reading this. ...more
Alyssa
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This collection of haikus written for us by us is an amazing way to celebrate black girl magic. This book showcases the diversity of what it means to be a black woman. It features classics like Audre Lordes A Woman Speaks and Lucille Cliftons Wont You Celebrate with Me as well as modern haikus featuring topics that affect black women today.

When I read this book I am reminded of the line in F.U.B.U. by Solange that reads, Don't feel bad if you can't sing along, just be glad you got the whole
...more
Sacha
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC! Review to post in January...!

Updated on 1/14/20:

This is a fantastic collection of poems, and I love the variety of personas, characters, subjects, inter-textual aspects, themes, and global considerations. The attention to tone and placement is masterful, and the voices are authentic, developed, and individualized.

I will absolutely be teaching these works in the Young Adult section of my Children's Literature course.

The notes section will be
...more
Julie
This was such a gorgeous collection, the writing and the art. I loved every page.
Dawn Ferencz
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful collection.
Hannah
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A quick read with deep history. Zetta Elliott builds in the tradition of women poets who came before her, and dialogues with the past, present, and future. She cries for us to "feel something." I did: anger, sorrow, disbelief, pride, celebration.
Alice
Jul 02, 2019 added it
Shelves: ala-2019
Very though-provoking (not rating because I had an advanced reader's copy not finished product)
Jozef Syndicate
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a saying that you should be the adult for a child/teen that you needed in your life. In the literary realm, Zetta Elliott's "Say Her Name" embodies that. It is the collection of poetic truth delivered with genuine emotions of racial obligation, laughter, error, fear, responsibility, pride and steadfast respect that we needed to read, memorize, and absorb then in our youth and now.

In the introduction, Elliott writes a statement from the Combahee River Collection (1977) that she finds
...more
Kristen
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, poetry
Netgalley provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a beautiful, powerful collections of poems--many inspired by the work of powerhouse African American women like Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, and many more. Elliott samples some of the most powerful lines from hard-hitting pieces and weaves them into something all her own.

Touching on subjects of police brutality, the specific oppression of African American women, sexual assault, racial
...more
Amber
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Thank you to NetGalley, Disney Book Group, and Zetta Elliot for a digital ARC of this book.)

Oh, my heart! Say Her Name is truly one of the most stunning collections of poems Ive ever read. It is equal parts inspiring, uplifting, and heartwrenching.
I read this book three times in one night, trying to figure out which poem was my favorite (I couldnt pick just one, FYI). I felt like each poem was written with me in mind. It was like Zetta Elliott could see me - my fears, my hopes, my strengths.
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Liz Murray
A gorgeous collection of poems that lift off the page. Seven haikus mark sections of the book with the rhythm coming as a chorus. Each poem bites and builds portraits of strong Black women and girls from all walks of life. The poems are community and deeply felt emotion. The illustrations by Loveis Wise weave themselves perfectly into Zetta Elliott's words with life and color.
In her introduction Zetta says she doesn't see herself as a poet (or didn't?) but this volume begs to differ and is
...more
Rebecca
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 16-18, 14-15
Starshine, clay, & black girl magic meets Black Lives Matter✨

But seriously, wow. This collection is two-fold gorgeous.
2
The art: Dreamy, lush, and just right.
🎨
The words: Theyre provocative. They tackle timely subjectsracism, police brutality, activismwithout fear. They dance to the past and back in a way thats wholly accessible. The haiku that divide each section are particularly poignant.
🌟
Elliots voice is the equivalent of the cool adult that every teen needs in her life. Encouragement
...more
Dre
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Say Her Name by Zetta Elliot is a collection of poems inspired by the #SayHerName movement launched by the African American Policy Forum. Topics ranging from self-love, black resistance, and police brutality, Say Her Name not only gives readers a glimpse into the mind of black women in America, but offers messages of hope and resilience. This is a quick read that I think many could pull insight from. I believe that collectively, the poems found in this book would make for great conversations ...more
Mary Bronson
I thought this was such a great collection of poems from young ladies. I think this is very important for people to read and let their voice ring and tell their stories and stories of others. Some poems I liked were, "Free Them All", "Ascension", "Say Her Name", "Sacred", Mermaids", "Panther", Lullaby", and "Black Girl Miracle". Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC of it early. This book comes out Jan 14 2020. I want a physical copy because the art work from the cover make the ...more
Monica Shastri
A poetry collection where every haiku drips with feminism, racial injustice, gender discrimination and women pride. The poems are contemporary and presented in a way that is relevant, accessible and enlightening. Each poem is unique and I can't pick just one favorite.
However, a few lines stood out prominently and left me feeling something.. Something that agreed and felt the pain. One of them being - "My halo is not your to regulate"
Dixie Keyes
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An anthology like no other...multi-dimensional in it's use of engaging and relevant art to various forms of poetry, yet all cohesive to the theme of racism. Elliott's haiku writing are like golden sprinkles on top and help readers dive deeply into their emotions and understanding. Elliott is as thorough in the introductory pages as she is in the addendums in the back, giving readers background, extensions, and outreach information. A must for classrooms!
O Williams
3.5. Many of these poems, especially the ones toward the end about connections to foremothers (or ancestresses as I like to say) resonated deeply with me. I also enjoyed reading the authors context for each poem, and seeing her mentor texts (Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Phyllis Wheatley, etc.) dispersed throughout. It was engaging to find the connections and influences throughout the authors poetry. Thank you Zetta Elliott for sharing 🙏 ...more
Jennice
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a huge fan of poetry but I really like this book because it drew from other poets both past and present and reminded us of all th brutality of Black me and women jn the last 10 years or so. However it wasnt overly sad and gave hope also by reminding Black women and girls of their power and magic. I really like the references to other poets like Angelou,Wheatley and Hughes as well as music by Nina Simone, and James Brown. It was very Black and I enjoyed it very much.
Angelita
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bb20
I knew I would like this book once I started reading the introduction. I love the idea behind it and all of the powerful words the young women used to express themselves. It has also encouraged me to revisit and look up works I am not familiar with. This all thanks to the back section highlighting each poet.
Farah Paloma
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection of poems really touched my heart ❤. As a person of color, I felt some of the poems carry out the sentiment of what is to be a woman 👩 and a minority in a society that does value who we are. ...more
Julie Wasmund Hoffman
I received an Advance Reader Copy in November and I have read it it cover-to-cover three times. I love everything about this book. Zetta speaks truth, names pain, calls to action, and instills hope. Pre-order the book!
Beth
Even thought Zetta Elliott said that she doesn't consider herself a poet in the introduction of this book of poetry, but I'd venture to say that she's a legit, real-deal poet. I'd love to see more books of poetry by her in the future.
Mrs. Krajewski
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous poetry that will empower the young minds that read it. Book talking this one!
Annese
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LOVE THIS! My library hold came just in time. I NEEDED this! I'm getting a copy to keep in my bag as a daily reminder that its okay to just be. self/care
Nicki
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would!! Let their voices be heard!!
Sarah Hamilton
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an important collection of poetry by Zetta Elliot. I love how she incorporated other prolific black authors and poets.
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Im a Black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. I was born and raised in Canada, but have lived in the US for 20 years. I earned my PhD in American Studies from NYU in 2003; I have taught at Ohio University, Louisiana State University, Mount Holyoke College, Hunter College, Bard High School Early College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College. My poetry ...more

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