It’s Black History Month, as if we could relegate all the contributions of Black Americans to one month. As most of my followers know, I’m a poet. I love to read and write poetry and enjoy listening to other poets read their poems. I’m proud of Noir Jente ‘s Breaking Bad Open Mic & Poetry Slams in DeLand, Florida. He’s brought culture to our city. I’ve enjoyed judging some of the events and being the sacrificial poet at one reading.
This morning, I reflected on some of my favorite Black poets. For example, it was a privilege to meet Toni Morrison and to hear Maya Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. I love Langston Hughes’ blues poems and mention them in my book, Backpack Blues: Ignite the Fire Within. My book is modeled in part after Spoon River Anthology, but I give voice to young adults coming of age, not dead people in a cemetery.
But… my new favorite poems appear in the novel in verse, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. Now I must confess, I may be biased because I write novels in verse. Novels in verse combine poetry and prose. Jason Reynolds hooks the reader from the first poem.
Watch for my work in progress to be published sometime in the future. In the meantime, who is your favorite Black poet? I’d love to hear from you.