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Audre Lorde

I am the sun and moon and forever hungry the sharpened edge where day and night shall meet and not be one. — Audre Lorde, from “From the House of Yemanjá,” The Black Unicorn: Poems. (W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition, August 17, 1995) Originally published 1978. Advertisements

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · American Counterculture · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Jazz · Passage · Poetry · Surrealism · The Beat Generation · Uncategorized

Bob Kaufman

In order to exist I hide behind stacks of red and blue poems And open little sensuous parasols — Bob Kaufman, from “Afterwards They Shall Dance,” Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness. (New Directions, January 17, 1965)

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Glbt · Poetry · Race

Saeed Jones

Her blue dress is a silk train is a river is water seeps into the cobblestone streets of my sleep, is still raining is monsoon brocade, is winter stars stitched into puddles is good-bye in a flooded, antique room, is good-bye in a room of crystal bowls and crystal cups, is the ring-ting-ring of water… Continue reading Saeed Jones

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry

Rita Dove

Describe Yourself in Three Words or Less I’m not the kind of person who praises openly, or for profit; I’m not the kind who will steal a scene unless I’ve designed it. I’m not a kind at all, in fact: I’m itchy and pug-willed, gnarled and wrong-headed, never amorous but possessing a wild, thatched soul.… Continue reading Rita Dove

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African-American Culture · African-American Literature · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Excerpt · Fragment · Harlem Renaissance · Passage · Poetry

Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly. —  Langston Hughes, from “Dreams,” The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. (Vintage; 1st Vintage classics ed edition, October 31, 1995) Originally published November 15th 1994.

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Claudia Rankin

Yes, and the body has memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight. The body is the threshold across which each objectionable call passes into consciousness-all the unintimidated, unblinking, and unflappable resilience does not erase the moments lived through, even as we are eternally stupid or everlastingly optimistic, so ready to be inside, among,… Continue reading Claudia Rankin

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