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These 11 Black Poets Wrote The Decade’s Best Poetry Collections

These 11 Black Poets Wrote The Decade’s Best Poetry Collections

A reflection on the closing decade would not be complete without highlighting the important contributions of Black poets for the world of poetry and the culture overall.

The featured poets write in the spirit of a long line of Black poets who have written before them. Their work is a reminder that poetry by Black folks is here to stay and more alive than ever is interested in taking risks, is masterful with form, and does a wonderful job at tackling the human condition through a variety of perspectives.

Some of the common threads amongst the works of the featured poets is in how they explore themes of life and death, violence, the human’s will to survive and to change, what joy looks like, what pain looks like, and what it means to be Black in this world. These poets are just a sampling of the incredible work that many other Black poets have done over the past ten years. I would say the future of Black poetry is a bright one despite the struggles that one must navigate.

1. salt by Nayyirah Waheed (2013)

2. Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (2011)

3. Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth by Warsan Shire (2011)

4. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (2014)

5. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay (2015)

6. Redbone by Mahogany L. Browne (2015)

7. Olio by Tyehimba Jess (2016)

8. Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith (2017)

9. A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland by DaMaris B. Hill (2019)

10. The Tradition by Jericho Brown (2019)

11. & more black by t’ai freedom ford (2019)


Read the full article here

Written by By Nadia Alexis @BLACKSTEW

Artwork by: Charly Palmer

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