Black Contemporary Poetry

Sistah Girls, April is National Poetry Month! We are celebrating by giving you some Black contemporary poets who are taking over and shifting the literary atmosphere with their words.

Since I was a child, I have loved and had great respect for poetry. I marveled at the way a poet could string words I used every day to create art that spoke directly to my life experiences. Whether it is about love, life, or sadness a poet can always capture human emotion and deliver it on a page (or mic) so eloquently.

Celebrate National Poetry Month by reading some contemporary poetry…

Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans

From spoken word poet Jasmine Mans comes an unforgettable poetry collection about race, feminism, and queer identity.

With echoes of Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez, Mans writes to call herself—and us—home. Each poem explores what it means to be a daughter of Newark, and America—and the painful, joyous path to adulthood as a young, queer Black woman.

Brown Butter by Mel Chanté

Brown Butter by Mel Chanté

Brown Butter is a collection of poems, journaled thoughts and vows to self. Jotted experiences through the journeys of being Black, woman, human, daughter, sister, lover, friend. These pages explore the ever-evolving phases of love, joys, grief, healing and self-worth, and acceptance.

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker

The only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black woman sipping rosé and drawing a lavender bath, texting her mom, belly-laughing in the therapist’s office, feeling unloved, being on display, daring to survive.

Morgan Parker stands at the intersections of vulnerability and performance, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. Unrelentingly feminist, tender, ruthless, and sequined, these poems are an altar to the complexities of black American womanhood in an age of non-indictments and deja vu, and a time of wars over bodies and power.

These poems celebrate and mourn. They are a chorus chanting: You’re gonna give us the love we need.

The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic by (Editor), Jamila Woods, (Editor), Mahogany L. Browne, (Editor), Idrissa Simmonds, and Patricia Smith (Foreword)

A BreakBeat Poets anthology, Black Girl Magic celebrates and canonizes the words of Black women across the diaspora.

The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop by (Editor), Kevin Cova, (Editor), Quraysh Ali Lansana, and (Editor), Nate Marshal

Hip-Hop is the largest youth culture in the history of the planet rock. This is the first poetry anthology by and for the Hip-Hop generation.

It has produced generations of artists who have revolutionized their genre(s) by applying the aesthetic innovations of the culture. The BreakBeat Poets features 78 poets, born somewhere between 1961-1999, All-City and Coast-to-Coast, who are creating the next and now movement(s) in American letters.

The BreakBeat Poets is for people who love Hip-Hop, for fans of the culture, for people who’ve never read a poem, for people who thought poems were only something done by dead white dudes who got lost in a forest, and for poetry heads. This anthology is meant to expand the idea of who a poet is and what a poem is for.

Intimately Speaking by Ludy Wooten

A book of poetry that speaks from the heart of the author based on her life experiences. The author travels to the past, present, and future to touch on topics that speak to her and hope speaks to you. She writes about the highs, lows, and the in-between cycles of life. You are in for a treat, so buckle up and take this journey with Ludy.

Shades Of Me: Book of Poetry by Katchouscia Apollon

Shades of Me is a collection of poetry and short stories about love, social injustice, and faith in God. Although these poems were written years ago, the reader will come to realize that the feelings evoked are indeed timeless.

HER by Pierre Alex Jeanty

“HER” is a collection of poems that has become an inspiration for many women and a guide for many men. Women are praising this book because EVERY woman can see a reflection of herself and her heart on these pages.

Originally written from the perspective of a man trying to help other men get a clue, this short and simple read has become a go-to for the communication ladies seek. The kind you post and others love because it rings true! Whether you are trying to communicate with your partner, working on your self-love, trying to find closure to let go, or just need a boost of inspiration, there’s a quote that will speak to you

HIM by Pierre Alex Jeanty

HIM is a collection of “he-poetry” in a world of “she-poems” that tends to only refer to him when speaking ill. Through poetry and prose, Pierre wears his heart on paper and pens a tribute to men; their undelivered feelings, unrecognized strength, their loud silence, and their neglected complaints.

HIM celebrates good men, their love, their worth, and their beauty. The characteristics that often fall into the shadows are now brought to life.



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