Edgar Allen Poe

When I first heard Poe’s “The Raven,” and “The Bells” as a child I immediately fell in love with poetry. This was in fifth grade, and I would say Poe is a big inspiration behind the darker/horror poetry I’ve written.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s played a major influence on me as both a writer and a human being in my early 20’s. His essay “Self-Reliance” was life changing for me on a spiritual level.

Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter

This choice may seem a bit abstract, but rappers are definitely writers, and Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” is what made me pick up the pen in elementary school. Poetry is the grandmother of hip hop.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was the first Black author I ever read. Her work is excellence, immortal Black Girl Magic that brings you to tears.

Phyllis Wheatley

What’s more bad ass than an emancipated African woman who became the first Black American author of a poetry collection?Biography:

C.L. Butler is an Afro-Dutch poet, essayist, and historian from Philadelphia, PA based in Houston, TX. His work has been featured in “Trampset Magazine,” “Lucky Jefferson,” “Versification,” “The Bayou Review,” and others.

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