Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

Poetry > Reading Poetry

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2871 comments Mod
Each year I say one of my goals is to make more time to read more poetry.
At the end of year, it seems that I miss that goal.

So I have started reading Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole (which has been nominated for several awards and I am surprised that I am enjoying more than I thought) and one of his essays is about one of his favorite writers/poet Tomas Transtromer.

After reading that essay this is what I wrote:

When reading Cole's essay on Tomas Transtromer I was taken by Cole saying that Transtromer's poetry was one of his ports of refuge and that he turns to him "when I wish to come as close as possible to what cannot be said." But it is Cole's advice that "to read Transtromer - the best times are at night, in silence, and alone and "the poems remember us and, if we are perfectly still, give us a chance to catch sight of ourselves" that gave me an idea on how to make reading poetry are more integral part of my life. I have decided that for one hour each week I will seek the quiet and solitude and read poetry.

So this week will be by first week to give this plan a try.
Friday nights are my nights to "decompress" so thought I would start there - a glass of wine, some quiet, and a poem or two. I will have a notebook handy in case I want to write down some thoughts.

I would be interested to know if anyone has a routine for when they read poetry - or how they fit poetry into their reading life.

message 2: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3699 comments Mod
I'm a neophyte but I really intend to get more into it this year. I love a lot of the new radical poets - or those deemed radical, shaking things up now. I fully endorse your method of reading bits at a time. April is National Poetry Month . Hmmm....

message 3: by B. P. (new)

B. P. Rinehart (ken_moten) | 34 comments I'm a late-comer to this thread, but I know a lil bit about poetry. I like to read poetry that is based on things I like or am curious about reading about in-general. I think the fact that I grew-up reading Langston Hughes and listening to Hip-hop inspired my love of poetry.

My routine reading poetry or reading in-general is to be listening to music that I am in the mood for or that is related to what I am reading.

message 4: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3699 comments Mod
B. P. wrote: "I'm a late-comer to this thread, but I know a lil bit about poetry. I like to read poetry that is based on things I like or am curious about reading about in-general. I think the fact that I grew-u..."

B.P., have you read This is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album? Edgy, current, smart...Admittedly, not your consummate poetry connoisseur, but I enjoyed this pithy collection. Wish more people would read it.

message 5: by B. P. (new)

B. P. Rinehart (ken_moten) | 34 comments Can't say I have, but I have read Blues In Black And White: A Collection Of Essays, Poetry, And Conversations by May Ayim which more people need to read.

message 6: by Beverly (last edited Feb 06, 2020 09:41AM) (new)

Beverly | 2871 comments Mod
I am reading more poetry now than I have in the past, so glad to see postings in the Poetry thread.

I think a couple of reasons I am reading more poetry now is:
- youtube videos of poets reading their work
- one of my granddaughters (19) - poetry is her favorite genre.

Announcing the 2020 Frost Medalist, Toi Derricotte.

The Poetry Society of America is pleased to announce that Toi Derricotte is the 2020 recipient of the Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.

The Frost Medal citation from the Poetry Society of America's Board of Governors reads:

"There are few poets who are as brave as Toi Derricotte; brave in her subject matter and brave in how she insists that even the deepest hurts must sing on the page. Derricotte’s New and Selected is an amazing statement of her dedication to craft, vision and invention, which she has built, book by book through her writing life. Her work dives into the interior of African American womanhood, and brings back such lyric beauty. Her poems have given vast permission to the poets who have followed her to tell the truths of their lives, and in doing that, have allowed us all a chance to re-discover the world."

Toi Derricotte’s sixth collection of poetry, “I” New and Selected Poems, was published in 2019 and shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award. Other books of poetry include The Undertaker’s Daughter, Tender, Captivity, Natural Birth and The Empress of the Death House. Her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Her numerous literary awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was awarded the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement, a Distinguished Pioneering of the Arts Award from the United Black Artists, the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry and the 1985 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.

With Cornelius Eady, Derricotte co-founded the Cave Canem Foundation in 1996. They are co-recipients of the Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award, the City of Literature Paul Engle Prize and the MLA Phyllis Franklin Award.

She is Professor Emerita from University of Pittsburgh and a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

message 7: by William (last edited Jun 05, 2020 11:22AM) (new)

William (be2lieve) | 1246 comments Mod
Jabari Asim whose book of short stories,"A Taste of Honey" was discussed here, went on to become the editor-in-chief of the Crisis, the journal of the NAACP, and publish works of fiction and nonfiction, including a brilliant collection of essays titled “We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival.” Asim is now a professor at Emerson College in Boston. His debut collection of poetry, “Stop and Frisk," will be published by Bloomsday Literary on June 19.

The Talk

It’s more than time we had that talk
about what to say and where to walk,
how to act and how to strive,
how to be upright and stay alive.
How to live and learn,
how to dig and be dug in return.

When to concede and when to risk,
how to handle stop and frisk:
Keep your hands where they can see
and don’t reach for your ID
until they request it quite clearly.
Speak to them politely and answer them sincerely.
The law varies according to where you are,
whether you’re traveling by foot or driving a car.
It won’t help to be black and proud,
nor will you be safer in a crowd.
Keeping your speech calm and restrained,
ask if in fact you’re being detained.
If the answer is no, you’re free to go.
If the answer is yes, remained unfazed
to avoid being choked, shot, or tazed.
Give every cop your ear, but none your wit;
don’t tempt them to fold, spindle, mutilate, hit
or otherwise cause pain
to tendons, bones, muscles, brain.
These are things you need to know
if you want to safely come and go.
But still there is no guarantee
that you will make it home to me.
Despite all our care and labor,
you might frighten a cop or neighbor
whose gun sends you to endless sleep,
proving life’s unfair and talk is cheap.

message 8: by ColumbusReads (new)

ColumbusReads (coltrane01) | 3699 comments Mod
William wrote: "Jabari Asim whose book of short stories,"A Taste of Honey" was discussed here, wen..."

So very powerful. Thanks so much for this and I’ll certainly be picking this one up. A Taste Of Honey is one of my all-time favorite linked story collections.

message 9: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 565 comments I'm a big fan of Asim.

Also a friend shared this Lit Hub article in a Tweet today and I don't know how I missed it 1June, but this seems like the perfect thread to share it. The photo alone is haunting and beautiful and makes me fear so much for its subjects.

Let the World Be a Black Poem: Poetry at a Time of Protest

The first poem it displays is Morgan Parker's, A Brief History of the Present:

“On the phone I ask Jericho how the south is treating him. He says today he wasn’t shot to death, and we laugh. There’s no way a black woman killed herself, because everyone knows we can withstand inhuman amounts of pain.”

back to top