Maya Marshall’s debut interrogates the current sociopolitical nature and its threat to reproductive rights, choice, and Blackness. – Caitie L. Young
They don’t like us outside
But now we ain’t gonna be inside
From the inside, I can see your insides
Looks like y’all don’t like yourself inside
y’all should’ve kept your opinions inside
– Reggie Johnson
Join Chris in conversation with Khalisa Rae, author of Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat (Red Hen Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!
Not into too many surprises
Unless it’s a special occasion
And whenever I’m with you
It’s a cause for a celebration
– Reggie Johnson
Paul Tran’s long-awaited debut collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, is a fierce reminder that Tran is one of the most talented and visceral poets writing in America today. – Ronnie K. Stephens
Running from the fears
When it’s coming from the inside
No more counted out
No where for me to hide
Who knows what happens when
Pain and perseverance collides?
– Reggie Johnson
Order your copy of A.R. Salandy’s Half-Bred! Only 100 copies available!
Discussing mental health in the classroom can be incredibly daunting, especially as educators face public criticism and accusations of indoctrinating students. – Ronnie K. Stephens
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I just need to breathe
Inhale exhale put my mind at ease
– Reggie Johnson
Each section speaks to a specific season, emphasizing the passage of time and its effect on our understanding of the world around us. – Ronnie K. Stephens
If I was going to try and convince someone that poetry is our most important verbal art, I would start with The Hurting Kind. – Ronnie K. Stephens
This month, I’m sharing some of my favorite pedagogical practices to introduce during National Poetry Month, as well as some of the poems I return to in my classes year after year. – Ronnie K. Stephens
This entire collection is a canal–a wrenching chasm opening for rebirth–a witness to the psyche, split apart, in a world ruled by men who abandoned their humanity for the sake of domination. – Melissa Ferrer
“Against Heaven is an ode to blackness with a question mark to Black Christianity. It is a tribute to queerness and transness. It is a love letter to polyamory, and the lovers had and yet to have….” Lyra Thomas
The nightmare is when all the magic stops
Boogeyman syndrome, stay away
– Reggie Johnson
Stewart is at her best, masterfully blending her understanding of craft with her keen ear for orality to offer a collection readers will be talking about for years. – Ronnie K. Stephens
Join Chris and Courtney in a sit down with @CropTopAssassin, author of The Porch (@yesyesbooks), in a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!
“When we write about family, we tread a complicated tightrope between sentimentality and honesty; The way that Njambi writes about family is what pulls each poem together”. – Caitie L. Young
Join Chris, of The Poetry Question, in a one-on-one with KB, author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press), about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!
“…let us be intentional in recognizing the incredible contributions that women of color have made & continue to make, not just in literature but in all fields”. – Ronnie K. Stephens
Join Chris and Courtney of The Poetry Question in a sit down with Gabrielle Bates about passion, process, pitfalls, and poetry!
There’s a deep hurt I feel when I share my food with others and they respond with, “That looks gross!” – Alex Dang
Chris sits down for a one-on-one with Reagan Myers, author of Afterwards (Button Poetry), to talk about passions, process, pitfalls, poetry… and YA lit!
Chris sits down for a one-on-one conversation with Taylor Byas, author of Bloodwarm (Variant Lit), for a conversation about passions, process, pitfalls, and poetry!
“I wonder if I can write an entire manuscript centered around the lines from [the Growing Pains] theme song. And that is what I did”. – Claire Taylor
“Hendrix does not shy away from the complex, daily horrors that were ushered in, and the microscopic to multidimensional trauma that came from hearing the city cheer nightly, like a ritual or like war”. – Rachael Crosbie
“I have also tried to be somebody that I’m not. It hurts to crack yourself into multiple parts. It is the loudest noise. It breaks you”. – Alex Dang
The song served as a reintroduction for my love for writing. For the first time, I was able to combine my love for both music and writing together.
My love for music dates back to me being a kid, where whenever my mom needed to occupy my time while she was busy, she would turn on the music videos.
But, damn, Poetry, you always have a way of bringing me right back. Because it turns out every writer, narrator, and subject matter, has a different make, model, obstacle, feel, and endgame. Plotlines do change. Stories do unfold. Forms to do come together. Characters do come to life.
What sustains us? What nourishes our bones and our souls? How do we sustain each other? In the space between our most authentic selves and our most complicated desires, how do we connect with one another?
Should’ve learned to love me
By asking questions
Instead of taking my actions for granted
And second guessing
All in all, it’s a one for one exchange of the original myth, albeit more fleshed out, modern, and quietly queer. – Lannie Stabile
This chapbook showcases a voice reclaiming words meant to hurt, detailing the traits wanted in a lover, and reminding the reader “not to accept what’s in front of you / at face value.”
She says her time is money
And I don’t have time to waste
Tired of dealing with the same dudes
Done with the copy and paste
Babygirl just like wine and I’m trying to have a taste
What makes The Dandelion Speaks of Survival special is that it is more than a collection by a Black writer, but rather an Ode to Blackness.
Filled with positivity
Strengthening my sanity
Took last year
As a moment of clarity
The things you see now
Bask in the rarity
I been doing this here since Wayne’s dedication
I been doing this here, hear the dedication
I’ve been doing this hair, na look at the transformation
Went bald on everyone
And look how things shaping up
If you ain’t growing with me
Then you had to be cut
Animals burn. Volcanos erupt. We aren’t told the story necessarily as it is; we are told how it feels to live and remember it.
I used discarded camera and computer parts to print into clay tablets. I bleached chicken bones, spray-painted various objects, drew large-scale oil pastel scenery, and cut up old books all for art installations.
I can be your new edition
Can you stand the rain
And when the grey clouds roll away
Does the sun reveal your pain
But as the moments move forward, nothing breaking through the quiet, we are met with the release of breath the speaker has been holding for far too long
This week’s #REPLAYS takes on “Love Line,” the newest track from British producer Shift K3Y, featuring Tinashe.
If this is what it means to be godly, why would anyone stay? And if you are already considered to be straying, why not have some fun with it?
“Home-Going Celebration” is a sly poem that bubbles with contradictions. An elegy rooted in mourning, the language pops with the dizzy rush of one sip too many.
I’m inspired a lot by stand-up comedians, so a lot of my work is me pretending I’m on stage telling a joke, trying to draw the audience in. – Shawn Berman
If I wanted someone to switch up on me, I’d take my talents to Nintendo
Opened up to you just to be shut out like a window
The price I paid for your love as you sent it to others like Venmo
See What Life is Like, is dark and brutal, unsparing in ugly detail. But during a first aid course last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about how smart and accurate her writing is.
Because so many false narratives are being told about Black bodies, it is so crucial to tell the truth about what happens to us and the crimes that are committed against us. I think the true art is sharing the horror in a way that isn’t just trauma porn, but it’s art for a purpose.
REPLAYS: MET HIM LAST NIGHT – DEMI LOVATO & ARIANA GRANDE
Bogeyman in my mind
Trying to creep into reality
Defeated him in the past
So right now he mad at me
REPLAYS: PinkPantheress – Pain
And I 99.9% mean when I say
I’m glad I washed my hands of any
And everything surrounding the pain
REVIEW: HOW OFTEN I HAVE CHOSEN LOVE – XIAO YUE SHAN (FRONTIER POETRY)
Shan’s natural metaphors connect the experiences in this collection to a deep relationship with the physical world, grounding these stories into the earth.
REVIEW: PERHAPS THERE IS A SKY WE DON’T KNOW: A REIMAGINING OF SAPPHO – ANNE PEDONE
Pedone’s poems are more demure than a cleverly placed erection joke, however. She unironically uses words like nectar, taste, and swollen…
CHAPBOOK CONTEST: SUBMISSIONS OPEN!
Submit your chapbook manuscripts to The Poetry Question! Guest Judges: Sofia Fey & Chris L. Butler.
“CONFUSION, DESPAIR, OR HOPE” – TALK TO ME: JIYE LEE
I hope to get the same emotions across whether that be confusion, despair, or hope to the readers and to enforce that in such a way it leaves them thinking about the poems for a while.
REVIEW: DUNCE – MARY RUEFLE (WAVE POETRY)
The poem claims to forbid but finds that grief is not powerful enough to truly erase the names of things.
BROWN STUDY: “SELF PORTRAIT AS A MERMAID OR DEAD GIRL” – GAIA RAJAN
I started thinking about who owns grief, how memory and grief affect the body, and soon enough, the poem turned into an elegy for someone I’ve lost.
REVIEW: STRANGERS – ROB TAYLOR (BIBLIOASIS)
Even if it can be painful, love will not settle down into abstraction. It reaches its fingers into the world, pinches and pulls.
REPLAYS: MY TIME IS NOW – TONE
Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately hear that the time is now.
GETTING THE GURLZ W/ SOFIA FEY & KHALISA RAE: AIREA D. MATTHEWS
“…in America, the plight of black womxn is fraught with neglect and abuse, where some who behold both our intellect and beauty can’t seem to assert us as either”.
REVIEW: WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY WRITTEN BY STREET CHILDREN GLOBALLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
REVIEW: WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY WRITTEN BY STREET CHILDREN GLOBALLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
These are the voices and verses of street children. Their stories of hardship and trauma, their dreams and hopes.
REVIEW: GIRLS LIKE US – ELIZABETH HAZEN (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)
Hazen has an acute ability to make a reader feel many unwanted things. Like recollection. Like commiseration. Like retroactive fear.
REPLAYS: PEACHES – JUSTIN BIEBER
We’ll be the one Justin sang about
saying love was until the end of time.
REVIEW: NEON HOLLYWOOD COWBOY – MATT MITCHELL (BIG LUCKS)
Made to look like a vinyl, the Neon Hollywood Cowboy fails not to be a soundtrack fit for queering what we know as the cowboy, the body, the wild west as depicted in hollywood.
REPLAYS: HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY – GIVEON
I love the emotion as his baritone voice accentuates the rawness and sincerity in its lyrics. The relatability of the song draws people in and you cannot help but sing along.
HUSTLE & BUSINESS OF POETRY – KHALISA RAE AND SOFIA FEY
Ranging from tips & tricks, to gripes, to gratitude, we have a lot to say! Welcome to the Hustle & Business of Poetry.
REPLAYS: BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE – MAROON 5 & MEGAN THEE STALLION
Beautiful Mistakes has just thrown its hat in the ring for Song of the Summer. As the weather warms up, I can bet we will hear this song blast all over the airwaves soon.
REVIEW: MUCH LEFT UNSAID – FINOLA SCOTT (RED SQUIRREL PRESS) – REV. BY MARIE ISABEL MATTHEWS-SCHLINZIG
REVIEW: MUCH LEFT UNSAID – FINOLA SCOTT (RED SQUIRREL PRESS)
Again and again, the poems invite us to follow them into landscapes familiar and foreign, present and past, and observe their colours, textures, atmosphere
“LETTING THE POEMS SAY MORE THAN I WAS AWARE THEY WANTED TO SAY” – TALK TO ME: KATE FOX
I think the rewards of communicating through neurodivergence are not using up energy on masking and hiding. Plus then embodying the fact that humans think/feel/experience the world differently.
REPLAYS: BRYSON TILLER – LIKE CLOCKWORK
In an industry where the price of fame can change a person for better or worse, Bryson Tiller has remained himself through it all.
REVIEW: MEDUSA RETOLD – SARAH WALLIS (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
The epic sets apart internal and external narratives through the usage of italic sections, but these lines start to blur as the story unfolds, reinforcing that our internal lives are inseparable from the outside world.
What will KDK include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
“IT’S RIGHT UNDER OUR FEET THE WHOLE TIME” – TALK TO ME: JENI DE LA O
there are thousands of Amanda Gormans submitting poems right now, being read and rejected right now, by readers and editors who simply haven’t the refined palate to discern a truffle from button mushroom.
REPLAYS: Russ – Misunderstood
I admire his appreciation for the craft. His consistency and his ability to have people relate to him through his songs is why his fanbase goes hard for the rapper.
#TPQ5: TYLER PENNOCK
What will Tyler Pennock include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
#TPQ5: DAMIAN WARD
What will Damian Ward include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: POETIC JUSTICE
It is Angelou’s poetry we hear in Justice’s voice, how she is trying to make good choices in a world where bad choices are sometimes the only choice. – Jessica Mookherjee
REVIEW: THE WORLD ISN’T THE SIZE OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ANYMORE – AUSTIN DAVIS (WEASEL PRESS)
It’s an age of transition, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, on the blurry path to independence.
#TPQ5: MAGGS VIBO
What’s Maggs Vibo included in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
“MUCH OF POP CULTURE STEMS FROM MY CULTURE” – TALK TO ME: CHRIS L. BUTLER
I think you have to be a bit selfish if you’re going to employ this style as a writer. When I say selfish I don’t mean greedy, but rather authentic.
REVIEW: TRICKS OF LIGHT – THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI (GREAT WEATHER FOR MEDIA)
He seems to consider care to be of utmost concern, not just for family, but also for strangers.
#TPQ5: ALICE CURLEY
What will Alice Curley include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
#TPQ5: EVAN WILLIAMS
What will Evan Williams include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
REVIEW: BREEZE BLOCK – JAKE HAWKEY (LUMPEN/THE CLASS PROJECT)
There’s the story — love, relationships — and the reader follows the dots Hawkey has so carefully placed. In the same poem, the dots are connected between pop culture and the reader
#TPQ5: WALE AYINLA
What will Wale Ayinla include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POWER OF POETRY #128: JANE ROSENBERG LAFORGE
Our classmates were the children of rock stars, writers, critics,visual artists, film editors and movie executives. But everyone in the neighborhood seemed famous to us, just for having been there.
#TPQ5: MIKE HICKMAN
What will Mike Hickman include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
REVIEW: LOOK LOOK LOOK – CALLISTA BUCHEN (BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS)
There’s a sense of absence in this first section as the mother’s body becomes a singular state once again, but there’s also a slip from autonomy.
REVIEW: WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP – JESSIE LYNN McMAINS (BONE & INK PRESS)
They are unafraid to show the awfulness and bitterness, old beliefs and traditions, terrible acts inflicted by the people who inhabit the snowy state.
#TPQ5: KATRINA LIPPOLIS
What will Katrina Lippolis include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
DISINTEGRATION – PAUL ROBERT MULLEN (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)
Very often I felt as though the poem depicted a moment I was forgetting; frantically trying to remember the details to, as to savor some beautiful moment.
Review of Worn by Adrienne Christian (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2020)
And when she writes of family, it’s of more exclusion – the striking disconnect from those with whom we are supposed to be connected.
#TPQ5: ERICA ABBOTT
What will Erica Abbott include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
REVIEW: YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE A FRIEND – ASHLEY ELIZABETH (NIGHTINGALE & SPARROW PRESS)
…Dear John letter, ending with the words, “you are hurting me. i am letting you. i do not want to.” There it is, cut and dry: a breakup. Except it’s not.
“AN EXERCISE IN LEARNING TO SURRENDER.” TALK TO ME: JONATHAN KOVEN
I think there’s a level of trusting that people will empathize with my story, and if not my story, then the music of my words.
WORKING ANIMALS – LIAM BATES (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)
After reading this body of work, I discuss its topics and subject matter with a respect that I did not expect to have when starting it.
REPLAYS: Streets by Doja Cat
Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately choose the success as we see in Doja Cat’s single, ‘Streets’.
#TPQ5: CARSON SANDELL
What will Carson Sandell include inside in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: WE DON’T TRUST THE NATURE INSIDE US
Spoken over the shots of a child spilling milk and a mother in tears, the poem reminds that we are made by moments that can not be undone.
REVIEW: THE SAMURAI – LINDA M. CRATE (YELLOW ARROW PUBLISHING)
Or perhaps she felt this unfamiliarity with her body all along and only made sense of the reason why after her discovery of the reincarnation. – Robin D. Hendricks