Book 16: Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth–Warsan Shire

I first learned about Warsan Shire through Beyoncé. Her visual album, Lemonade, had all this great dialogue in between songs, and it turns out it was attributed to Shire, so of course I had to know more. She was born in Kenya to Somali parents and immigrated to the United Kingdom. What’s wild to think…

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Book 15: Homegirls & Handgrenades–Sonia Sanchez

Another book of poetry, another reminder of how difficult poetry is (can be) to fully grasp. I feel like to truly appreciate Sonia Sanchez I need to read this in a class with someone facilitating a discussion; someone who knows more about her, knows how to interpret her stylizations. I never could figure out what to…

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Book 9: Black Feeling Black Talk (1968)–Nikki Giovanni

I always shy away from reading poetry and remember, after I force myself to sit down and read it, why: it’s harder than reading prose. But it’s often so much more gratifying so then I wonder why I don’t read more poetry. Nikki Giovanni has an inexplicable way of communicating so much with so few…

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Book 4: Selected Poems–Gwendolyn Brooks

I don’t read much poetry. I don’t really read any poetry the way I did in my AP Lit class senior year of high school. It’s unfortunate, because there’s so much great poetry out there. But it’s also not surprising, because poetry can be difficult to read. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American to…

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