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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.

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

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 · LGBT · 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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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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