There has been so much greatness in poetry this week, and we are bringing you the best from our hotel at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam. We can’t wait to share some of the poems we’ve been filming this weekend, but in the meantime, check out the links below!
Volume I Issue II from Black Napkin Press – This issue features work from a plethora of talented writers, including Siaara Freeman, whom you might know from the video of her poem, “The Drug Dealer’s Daughter.” Siaara has an incredibly strong voice, wielding her vulnerability with impeccable skill. “My father is dead / at my wedding. / He is a slow dance of bullets/.”
“Reasons It’s Important to Rest” by Franny Choi – Poem by Franny, video by Tess Brown-Lavoie. Some poems are best experienced in video form, but not the traditional shot of a poet behind a microphone. This is a poem like that, with a beautiful video to match its changing structure and natural movement.
7 More Dope Black Women Poets You Need to Know –This incredible list from Black Girl with Long Hair briefly introduces you to seven amazing black female poets currently putting in work and putting out beautiful pieces. Included is Aja Monet, the finals stage feature form College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in 2015.
How Saul Williams Found Courage by Scott Timberg – In the history of poetry slams, Saul Williams is one of the most important and influential names around. In addition to being a poet and spoken word artist, Saul is a rapper and musician. Here is an excellent interview about his new song “Think Like They Book Say,” in which he talks about his own experience of sexuality, and some of his influences.
English Teacher Re-Titles Classic Poems as Clickbait… – When I first started attending poetry slams, I thought I could never like “classic” poems, and so I didn’t give them a chance, until college literature classes made me. Then I realized my mistake. In an effort to help some students do the same, one teacher came up with pretty hilarious titles for poems by Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, and more. Take a look and see if you think the titles change your perception!
Summer Online Writer’s Workshop from Winter Tangerine Applications close on June 15th for this incredible workshop opportunity. With a focus on getting past your internal editor and writing boldly, this workshop provides a more affordable and travel-free alternative to writing retreats. Some of the guest facilitators include Button author Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Dark Noise collective member Franny Choi, and prize-winning author Safia Elhillo. Get those applications in!