Poetry

Colorful covers of six books.

#ColorlinesReads: 6 Books That Complicate the Idea of 'Independence'

In lieu of celebrating “Independence Day,” we present a selection of titles that explore the idea of liberation via the lives, poetry, history and art of people of color.

Porsha Olayiwola. Black woman with black hair in white outfit performs behind black microphone and stand in front of black background

5 Writers of Color Who Should Win the Poets Laureate Fellowship

The Academy of American Poets’ new grant program will support the poets who head arts initiatives for cities, tribes and states across the country.

Ntozake Shange. Black woman with short cropped brown hair and silver facial piercings smiles in black dress with pink flowers in front of yellow and pink and grey background with black text

Playwrights Remember Ntozake Shange

Anna Deveare Smith, Suzan-Lori Parks and several other Black women in the theater world reflect on the ways the late writer inspired them.

Two rows of four books including the titles we can't breather, looking for lorraine, black radical tradition, all you can ever know, ghosts in the schoolyard, unapologetic, citizen illegal and bunk

The Race-Focused Books We're Reading This Fall

As the nights grow long and the warm weather recedes, let these books on race, history and culture offer you insight and reflection this fall. 

 A grid of summer books with titles like "sick," "if they come for us," "we built the wall," "assata taught me," and more

The Must-Read Race and Culture Books of the Summer

From memoirs to poetry to fiction, these titles will deepen your understanding of what’s going on, inspire activism and even entertain the kids.

A person rests their head on their cross arms with San Juan and the water in the background.

Author Q&A: Understanding Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis Through Marx, Monsters and a Queer Decolonial Lens

Colorlines talks to Philadelphia poet laureate Raquel Salas Rivera about their new book, “lo terciario/the tertiary,” which revisits Karl Marx’s “Capital” to examine Puerto Rico’s debt crisis from a queer decolonial lens.

Front cover of a pink book with blue text that says 'The Easy Body' and Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta.

2017 Favorite: Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta's 'The Easy Body'

The Colorlines team is sharing our favorite 2017 videos, books, hashtags, movies and more. Here, editorial assistant Catherine Gonzalez explains why “The Easy Body” by Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta helped her get through this year.

Jamila Woods in purple- and blue-hued light

Singer, Poet and 'Blk Girl Soldier' Jamila Woods Talks New Album, Chicago Youth Movements and Self-Care

The Chance the Rapper collaborator’s debut solo album, “Heavn,” drops July 11 on Closed Sessions. 

Muhammad Ali stands in front of red, blue, yellow, white and orange flags at the dedication of his Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY.

'Ali Was Our Butterfly, Bee and Hawk'

Poet, publisher and Black Arts Movement builder Haki R. Madhubuti pays tribute—in new poetry and prose—to the mighty Muhammad Ali. 

Five John Trudell Quotes to Commemorate His Exceptional Life

The respected 69-year-old Native activist and poet died this week.

‘Breaking’ Presents: Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Poet With Movement-Building In His Bones

This Bay Area-bred poet’s experimental form and progressive ideology harkens back to the golden age of spoken-word and experimental works, but with renewed relevance.

 

Read Derrick Weston Brown's Devastating Poetic Response to Charleston

Also check out a statement from the prolific poet, whose latest work was posted to Facebook and is making rounds on social media. 

Claudia Rankine's Anti-Racist "Citizen" Shortlisted for Forward Poetry Award

The author’s innovative work of lyric essays is in the running for the prestigious UK poetry award. 

'Queer People Don't Have the Luxury to Stop Telling Our Stories'

Christopher Soto, editor of the new queer poetry journal “Neptanla,” isn’t satisfied with mere visibility. He thinks the LGBT community deserves more.

new journal by and for queer people of color,

There's a New Literary Journal for Queer Poets of Color

And it’s not trying to be apolitical.

DarkMatter: 'We're Proud of Our Resistance'

Culture editor Jamilah King is chatting with queer and trans artists of color throughout June about the creative mind and the path toward liberation.

Vijay Seshadri Becomes First South Asian to Win the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry

Seshadri said in an interview in 2004 that he began writing poetry at 16.

Emotional Dad Rocks Arsenio with Love Poem to Son

“I get extra praise, and for what? Doing what I’m supposed to do,” he says.

Amiri Baraka, 1934-2014

The literary genius was 79.

Nikki Giovanni Recites Poetry Live on MSNBC

Celebrated poet Nikki Giovanni made an appearance on Melissa Harris-Perry’s #Nerdland segment over the weekend. She performed a poem called “Ego Tripping” and said, “I am so hip, even my errors are correct.” Watch the segment below.