ChickenBones: A Journal

Guest Poets & Their Poems

Special Topics: Stories, Essays, & Other Criticism   Guest Poets 2  

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Dunbar -- Brooks

Guest Poets & Writers Index

     Paul Laurence Dunbar Bio                                      Gwendolyn  Brooks Bio  

Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048-- I became aware of Rudy Lewis’ labor of love a few short months ago during a visit to Kalamu ya Salaam’s e-drum listserv. As soon as I saw the title of the journal I knew it was about Black folks, and the power of the written word.  A quick click took me into a journal that’s long on creativity, highlighting well-known, little known, and a little known writers, and commitment to the empowerment of Black folks. I contacted Rudy to ask if he’d consider publishing some of my work. His response was immediate, and a couple of days after I’d forwarded some poems to him—they were part of ChickenBones. What I didn’t know was that this journal has been surviving for the last five years with very little outside financial support. . .  If we want journals like this to “thrive” we need to support them with more than our website hits, praise, and submissions for publication consideration.

—Peace, Mary E. Weems (January 2007)                       

  Kalamu ya Salaam Table

Writing Sonnets

On Writing Haiku

Life on Mars

By Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.

A Wreath for Emmett Till (Nelson) / Carver: A Life in Poems /  Marilyn Nelson Awarded Frost Medal / Murders of Till  / The Shocking Story 

Barack Obama: The corporate masters’ 21st century ‘House Negro’  /  A Day in the Life—Marvin X and Discussion 

A Day in the Life— 2  / A Day in the Life—Marvin X and Discussion 3 / Greetings from Japan‏ (Anastacia Tolbert)

Karma’s Footsteps

By Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

Somebody has to tell the truth sometime, whatever that truth may be. In this, her début full collection, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie offers up a body of work that bears its scars proudly, firm in the knowledge that each is evidence of a wound survived. These are songs of life in all its violent difficulty and beauty; songs of fury, songs of love. 'Karma's Footsteps' brims with things that must be said and turns the volume up, loud, giving silence its last rites. "Ekere Tallie's new work 'Karma's Footsteps' is as fierce with fight songs as it is with love songs. Searing with truths from the modern day world she is unafraid of the twelve foot waves that such honesties always manifest. A poet who "refuses to tiptoe" she enters and exits the page sometimes with short concise imagery, sometimes in the arms of delicate memoir. Her words pull the forgotten among us back into the lightning of our eyes.—Nikky Finney /  Ekere Tallie Table

Her Voice   / Mother Nature: Thoughts on Nourishing Your Body, Mind, and Spirit During Pregnancy and Beyond  



By Craig A. Garner

Other Books Books by Craig A. Garner: A Poetic Purpose to My Life  / ChickenBones Black Arts and Black Power Figures (Compiled by Rudolph Lewis)    

Pelican Heart—An Anthology of Poems by Lasana M. Sekou

Edited by Emio Jorge Rodriguez

Passion for the Nation is what comes out of Sekous poems at a first glance and at a deeper reading. The book is a selection gathered from eleven of Sekou’s poetry collections between 1978 and 2010. Rodríguez is an independent Cuban academic, writer, and essayist. He has been a researcher at Casa de las Américas’s Literary Research Center and founded the literary journal Anales del Caribe (1981-2000). María Teresa Ortega translated the poems from the original English to Spanish. A critical introduction, detailed footnotes, and a useful glossary by Rodríguez are also found in the book of 428 pages. The collection has been launched at conferences in Barbados, Cuba, and Mexico.

Rodriguez’s introduction to Pelican Heart refers to Dr. Howard Fergus’s Love Labor Liberation in Lasana Sekou, which is the critical commentary to Sekou’s work that identifies three cardinal points in his poetics. I would add as cardinal points: Belief or Driving Force of people in political processes, like his political commitment to make St. Martin independent, as the southern part of the Caribbean island is a territory of the Netherlands, while the northern part is a French Collectivité d’outre-mer.Sara Florian  / Lasana Sekou

Romare Bearden's Southern Sensibility / The song that lies silent in the heart of a mother sings upon the lips of her child. (Kahlil Gibran)

Devil in a Blue Dress and Cinnamon Kiss  (Mimi Ferebee)  / We Can't Afford To Not Fix Justice System  (Benjamin Todd Jealous)

Beverly Jenai: Do Cowboys Dance?   / That Which Binds   / The Painting  My Friend Yictove  Bevjenai Obama Order Page / The Crossings

Kalamu ya Salaam: in the hot house of black poetry another furious flowering --  Part I / Part II  /  Part III  /  Part IV  / What Is Black Poetry


The Black Arts Movement Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s  By James Edward Smethurst / ChickenBones Black Arts and Black Power Figures

Climbing Malcolm's Ladder /The Black Religious Crisis  / A Theology of Obligation & Liberation  / Pass the Mic Tour  / Responses to Pass the Mic 

Fanon: A Novel by John Edgar Wideman / The Wretched of the Earth /  We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For  / Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher

The Intersection of Beauty and Crime

Poems by Jawanza Phoenix

Macy Gray—I Try  / Macy Gray—She Ain't Right For You  /  Macy Gray—When I See You  /  Macy Gray—Sweet Baby 

  Rudy's Place : Sussex County: A Tale of Three Centuries  Public Education in Sussex County in Black and White   History of Jerusalem Baptist Church

The Big Boys  /  Industrial Me / Steadman Graham's Steps to Success

When Poets Grow in Factories
By Afaa Michael Weaver


O Black and Unknown Bards

How Do We Love Thee? Let Us Count the Ways

By Afaa Michael Weaver

New Work by Imamu Amiri Baraka (Black World, May 1973))

Poetic Sermons for Sundays

I Want Things, Remember Me, The art of seeing the blessings

By Ayodele Nzinga

Ayodele Nzinga Directs Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson


Dancing in a Book's Arms

A. Rita Gaines Reviews Kamau Daáood's


Tracy Chapman: Baby Can I Hold You Tonight  /  Talkin bout a revolution  / Give me one reason  / Crossroad / New Beginning

A Tribute to Lucille Clifton (1936 - 2010)

Poet Lucille Clifton was a mentor, friend, and teacher to scores of writers in Maryland and around the country. Clifton served as Poet Laureate for the State of Maryland and was Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She received the National Book Award for her poetry collection, Blessing the Boats (2000). Clifton wrote more than 16 books for children. She served as trustee of the Enoch Pratt Free Library from 1975 to 1984.Join us for this celebration of the life of Lucille Clifton. Poets from Baltimore and around the state will raise their voices to honor the memory of Clifton's life and works. We invite you to bring your favorite Lucille Clifton poem to share. Schedule: (click on the location to see map) Central Library   Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 (6:30 p.m.)  PrattLibrary

 (compulsion strikes the witness)

jorge's journey

  Notes for (jorge's journey)

Kelley, Everett, Dove, Madhubuti Win Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards—By Calvin ReidNov 16, 2010—The nonfiction award was presented to Robin D.G. Kelley for Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Free Press) and the fiction prize was presented to Percival Everett for his novel I am Not Sidney Poitier (Graywolf Press). For the first time in the history of the awards, there were two winners for poetry: Haki Madhubuti for Liberation Narratives: New and Collected Poems 1966—2009 (Third World Press) and Rita Dove for Sonata Mulattica (W.W. Norton).

Winners receive a statue and a cash prize. This year’s event also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, founded in 1990 by novelist Marita Golden and bibliophile Clyde McElvene as a resource center for writers, readers and supporters of African American literature.PublishersWeekly

The Passing of Poet

Carolyn Marie Rodgers 

(December 14, 1940—April 2, 2010)

Tracy Chapman: Baby Can I Hold You Tonight  /  Talkin bout a revolution  / Give me one reason  / Crossroad / New Beginning

Creative Writing at Dillard  / Dillard Faculty Focus  / English Faculty Focus Dillard / Dillard Writing Successes / Poems: Red Beans and Ricely Yours

 An Unmistakable Shade of Red & The Obama Chronicles (Mary E. Weems) /   4 Closure Poems Mary Weems on YouTube  / Nomination /


 For Katie Latimore  November 7, 1900 to February 2, 2010

Poem by Glenis Redmond

 Love One Another / The Ancestors Are Not Really Dead  /  Into His Arms  / On Learning of Walter Rodney's Death & Other Poems 

  Ralph Nader on Israel-Palestine, Barack Obama, John McCain

Preface to Eyes of a Poet

By Kalb Faouly Attimn Tshamba

Some Religious Pimps  For Men Only    Struggle Continues


Poor poetry, rich deceit

The Phrasing Of ISP Letters 

ISP Deceives 

Baroness Lynda Chalker

 Why South Sudan Wants Obama to Lose White House Bid (Mulumba)  / Obama and the Israeli Lobby   (Uri Avnery)

Obama Victory Creates African Excitement  Obama Declares Victory  / An Obama Love Story / Meditation for Obama /   Obama 2008 Table

whose really blues (Q. R. Hand Jr.)

Who Fears Death  

By Nnedi Okorafor

Well-known for young adult novels (The Shadow Speaks; Zahrah the Windseeker), Okorafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in post apocalyptic Saharan Africa. The young sorceress Onyesonwu—whose name means “Who fears death?”—was born Ewu, bearing a mixture of her mother's features and those of the man who raped her mother and left her for dead in the desert. As Onyesonwu grows into her powers, it becomes clear that her fate is mingled with the fate of her people, the oppressed Okeke, and that to achieve her destiny, she must die. Okorafor examines a host of evils in her chillingly realistic tale—gender and racial inequality share top billing, along with female genital mutilation and complacency in the face of destructive tradition—and winds these disparate concepts together into a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling

Vocal Landscape Poems by Paul Tyler  Drawings by Patricia Brown


George Washington Carver

 Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson

A Letter of Discovery by Sandra L. West

We Are A Dancing People  Leslie Garland Bolling   Wendy Stand Up with Your Proud Hair!  Coming of Age in 1960s Newark

Beltway Poetry Quarterly  inaugurates National Poetry Month with a new issue devoted to authors who have recently published their first, full-length, single-author books.  Five authors are featured, all with notable books, including A.B. Spellman, author of Things I Must Have Known 162 pp. Coffee House Press 2008. Spellman is a founding member of the Black Arts Movement and one of the fathers of modern jazz criticism.  A.B. Spellman Interview


A Poem by Ayodele Nginga

Psychedelic Literature is pleased to announce that the Summer 2010 issue of Black Magnolias Literary Journal is now available.  This issue features essays by Dr. Agnieszka Lobodziec (University of Zielona/Poland), Carl Schinasi (Miles College), and Shelia Bonner (Belhaven University), poetry by Rudolph Lewis (Editor of ChickenBones:  A Journal) and Nathan Harper aka Urban Raw (Jackson State/Mississippi State) and fiction by Tony Robles (author of two children's book and editor of POOR Magazine) and Katrina Byrd (Playwright in Residence for The Center Players).  To purchase a copy or view the complete table of contents and cover art, go to Psychedelic Magnolias

Black Magnolias Literary Journal is a quarterly that uses poetry, fiction, and prose to examine and celebrate the social, political, and aesthetic accomplishments of African Americans with an emphasis on Afro-Mississippians and Afro-Southerners. We welcome pieces on a variety of African American and Afro-Southern culture, including history, politics, education, incidents/events, social life, and literature. All submissions are to be made by e-mail as a Word attachment to . Each issue costs $12.00, and a year’s subscription is $40.00.



Sonnets in Memory of Nathaniel Turner 

Poet & Prophet of Southampton

By Rudolph Lewis

Nathaniel Turner TimeLine   1831 Confessions   Nathaniel of Southampton or Balaam’s Ass  / Grant Creates Nat Turner Tour  / Sonnets for Larry Neala

      Claire Carew files:  The Artist as Social Activist   From Birmingham Alabama to Qana Lebanon   It Ain't About Race   Healing Wisdom of Mexico 

Sitting ducks at the superdome Claire Carew: Giving Voice Through Art   

Mourning Katrina: A Poetic Response to Tragedy . . .

is about devastation and mourning, about the failure of humanity to act humanely, about the politics of poverty and race, but it is also about hope and healing. The poets give voice to the rainbow that comes after the storm and the revival of spirit that comes out of the depths of tested faith.  All of them share a willingness to see beyond their sorrow to reinvent the spirit of "Laissez les bon temps rouler!"  Though human suffering shaped the beginning of this project, the result of it is a morning of hope and inspiration

ChickenBones: A Journal has invaded my Sunday School class.  

Last week, I took a copy of the essay, “The Black Church Is Dead,” from ChickenBones, to class at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. Brother Warren read it out loud, and we all discussed it. We are members of a progressive black church, but we weren't always. We have had other experiences, and some not always so positive/ pleasant/nurturing. Cornel West—my Cousin West—calls the author of The Black Church Is Dead one of the finest new public intellectuals on the horizon, and he most certainly is, Eddie Glaude, I hope I have the spelling of his name. I just wanted you to know that ChickenBones continues to provide sustenance for constituents far and wide. Its impact upon the black community is most definite.—Sandra L. West

Ron Artest Ain’t the Problem!  People Did Not Have to Die  Another Stolen Election?   The Watts Rebellion   Protest to Stop Police Brutality

Both Water & Bridges

 (for Staceyann in the space/time continuum)

By Kalamu ya Salaam

Creative Writing at Dillard  / Dillard Faculty Focus  / English Faculty Focus Dillard / Dillard Writing Successes / Poems: Red Beans and Ricely Yours

How US Energy Policy Got Militarized—The association between "energy security" (as it's now termed) and "national security" was established long ago. President Franklin D. Roosevelt first forged this association way back in 1945, when he pledged to protect the Saudi Arabian royal family in return for privileged American access to Saudi oil. The relationship was given formal expression in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter told Congress that maintaining the uninterrupted flow of Persian Gulf oil was a "vital interest" of the United States, and attempts by hostile nations to cut that flow would be countered "by any means necessary, including military force." To implement this "doctrine," Carter ordered the creation of a Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, specifically earmarked for combat operations in the Persian Gulf area. President Ronald Reagan later turned that force into a full-scale regional combat organization, the U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM. Every president since Reagan has added to CENTCOM's responsibilities, endowing it with additional bases, fleets, air squadrons, and other assets. As the country has, more recently, come to rely on oil from the Caspian Sea basin and Africa, U.S. military capabilities are being beefed up in those areas as well. Alternet

Niyi Juliad: Osundare's Universe of Burdens  The Poet's Pen & Other Poems 


Artichoke Pickle Passion: A Sonnet

By Beverly Fields Burnette

Search for Black Men: Vietnam Post-Mortem  Searching for my Great Grandmother at Stonewall  Voices of the Culture


Attending The Ninth National Black Writers Conference 

A Report by Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd

Report on Third Annual African-American Spoken Word Festival  /  Larry Uklai Johnson Redd Table

9/11 (Are We Flying the Same Flag Now?)

By James Goodwyn

Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd Listen to Conversations of Africa  by following this link: You are invited to listen to this and join in the conversation and make it a discussion by calling in and participating at 347-215-7831! Remember this segment will begin at 8 PM Pacific Standard Time!  Conversations of Africa  / Attending The Ninth National Black Writers Conference   / Larry Uklai Johnson Redd Table

Send  a Gift to ChickenBones: A Journal  -- Perform a Selfless & Commited Act Give a New Gift Book -- Support Writers & Poets     

Only one copy of each title now available (except where indicated):  -- Donations at all levels welcomed

Files for Yictove On the Passing of Malvina Turk  American Money  Blue Print  (Poems) Jammin  Mr Politician  My Life Story  Tropical Love   

African Slave Castle (video)

Poetic Mission

A Forum on the Role of the Poet and Poetry

The First Time I Heard Billie

Poem by Amin Sharif

On Cultural Work

The Free Southern Theatre Institute

a Venue for Truth-Telling

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Did you know  . . .

April is National Poetry Month

We highlight Dudley Randall and Audre Lorde

 Reginald Lockett in Memory and Tribute

to Oakland’s Poet and Professor

Some Gangster Pain By Gillian Conoley

Some Gangster Pain  Slave Quarter  Suddenly the Graves  Goat Without Horns  / Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts


Poems for Peace in Kenya

By Maurine Otor

Poems of Love and Pain  (Maurine Otor)  /  Human Rights and Women's Rights

Love Poems by Amendrius Elizabeth McRae

Queen Africa: A Poem in Two Parts

By  Betty Wamalwa Muragori

Would You . . . ?   Tribe

Poems on Kenyan Political Violence by Sitawa Namwalie

Alberto O. Cappas, Poet/Writer   Never Too Late to Make a U-Turn An Educational Pledge and 15 Questions to Self-Development

Poems: Doña Julia Review   Cappas Bio  Nubian Voices   Doña Julia    Her Borinquen   Haiti in Puerto Rico My Home


windowshades and other poems 

By Raymond Brookter

The Healing Power of Words   / Global News:PoliticsLiterature & the Arts

Interview with Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd Author of  Loving Black Women     

 Remembering Chinwe  History to Destiny Through Afrocentric Poetry  Waiting for You    My Beautiful Wife    Journey to the Motherland


Whatbody Is Killing

   (a concave allusion to Amiri Baraka’s “Somebody Blew Up America”)

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Blue Voices for the Fourth of July  /  Somebody Blew Up America   Making Peace with the Loss of Things

Slo Dance Reviews   Celebrating the Release  Acknowledgements  Slo Dance Table   Slo Dance Introduction  A Real Long Look   The Protector  Mobutu and Zaire


Letter to a Relative: Poem for Leonard Peltier

 By Ayodele Nzinga 

Global News: Politics—Literature & the Arts

Tom Dent Speaks Tom Dent Bio  My Father Is Dead  Jessie Covington Dent  When I Do That Thing  


When I was a girl

By Mary Weems

On Almost Meeting Alice Walker  Five Poems   News at Noon   Argo Starch   Mary E. Weems Table

Man of Fire—Man of Passion  by C.P. Gause, PhD / Poems  by Andrea Barnwell To Myself: Lists    The Sudan     January Again     Rain Poem

A Poetic Purpose to My Life

By Craig A. Garner

Poems, Interviews, & a Story by Jane Musoke-Nteyafas: Meet Jay Lou Ava   Where Is the Love of All Things African? WE BE BLACK PEOPLE 

REMEMBER: CHEIKH ANTA DIOP   AFRO-DISIAC   FORBIDDEN FRUIT  Enough with the Poisonous Lyrics   Interview with Rudolph Lewis  

Malcolm     Shine & the Titanic   Poem for Our Fathers   Poem for Our Mothers

 By Professor ARTURO 

Global News: Politics—Literature & the Arts / Poem for Our Mothers (Video)

The Wondrous Wanda Coleman Poems  & Stories She Writes


Yictove Obituary & Poems

Written by daughter, Chie Lunn


Before Becoming Historical  / Yictove (Eugene Turk) made his transition suddenly Saturday evening,  July 28th 2007

Sundiata Memorials—A special Memorial for Sekou Sundiata takes place on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 (his birth date), at Tishman Auditorium, New School University, 66 West 12th Street, exactly from 6pm to 8pm, with poets, musicians, family and friends. . . . African Voices is looking for poems and short comments from friends and fellow artists who were influenced and inspired by Sekou Sundiata. Publisher Carolyn Butts and Editor Layding Kaliba are looking to publish as many dedications to him as possible; therefore, no submission should be longer than 500 words. African Voices also wants to include photographs to accompany the dedications All submissions should be sent to no later than midnight, August 20, 2007, in order to include materials gathered in the very next issue. Interested parties may submit materials via email and/or call African Voices at 212.865.2982.

Gifted Poet Sekou Sundiata (August 22, 1948 -- July 18, 2007) Obituary by Louis Reyes Rivera


Loneliness   40 Acres in a prison    Stand By Me

Poems/Lyrics by  Crystal Cartier

Check out Crystal's rousing Stand by Me video and her delightful Hello World video

The Afro-Blues Tradition: Glorious Child of The Africans  By Kwame A F Copeland


Emerge & See

By Tony Medina

I and I Bob Marley  / Love to Langston  / Christmas Makes Me Think  /  DeShawn Days  / Committed to Breathing

Ashé, a Poem of Homage & Love

for Iya Barbara Ann Teer‏ (1937-2008)

By Olabisi Askia Toure

Tavis Smiley Questions Minister Louis Farrakhan on President Barack Obama:  Part 1 Part 2 / Part 3 / "The Black Agenda is the American Agenda."

African Burial Ground

By Linda Mayfield-Hayes

Po-It Brotha Soul Untitled  Himacy  Lickwid  Langwij (A Musical CD)


Maya Angelou at Million Man March   /   1 in 2 Million  / Cries of a Ghetto Child  / The Chosen One 

My Grandma Rocks the Cradle and Rules the World

& Other Poems by Ellen Dunbar

37 Poems by Lasana Sekou taught at US university


Poet, Activist, Sonia Sanchez Reading Toni Cade Bambara / Kalamu ya Salaam Tribute to Toni Cade Bambara

"I like your Christ but I don't like your Christians, your Christians are so unlike your Christ"—Gandhi

The Autobiography of Medgar Evers A Hero's Life and Legacy Revealed Through His Writings, Letters, and Speeches 2006

By Myrlie Evers-Williams and Manning Marable  / Bob DylanOnly a pawn in their game (video) /The Ballad of Medgar Evers SNCC Freedom Singers

Second2Last Table --   a generation    Scene/Seen  Money  The 10 Step Program  Truth B   Conversation With Myself     Crown   Legion    Change



By Mackie Blanton

After Katrina (An Intro) Chapter I  (Neighbors and Invaders)    Chapter 2  ( Earthquakes and Baklava)  

Chapter 3   (The Lens in Plato’s Eye)   Malcolm’s Landing

Mackie Blanton: Malcolm’s Landing:  After Katrina   Chapter I  (Neighbors and Invaders) Chapter 2 ( Earthquakes and Baklava)  Chapter 3   (The Lens in Plato’s Eye)  

Neighbors and Invaders   Eh, La Bas, Cherie! (letter)  Beers and Transformation   Ode #95   The Struggle Ode 


How can we trust them?

 By Akoli Penoukou

Laura Ivers --What's For Supper   The Proliferation of a Lie  NEGLECT  The Price of Ignorance  Textbook Victimization  A Letter To Langston Hughes



Searching for my Great Grandmother at Stonewall

(For my great grandmother Mary Lewis Farrar)

By Beverly Fields Burnette

Voices of the Culture   Search for Black Men: Vietnam Post-Mortem

 Paula M. Patton-Ross -- Miss La Reba Potato's Salad   Tell Me Where  AfterGlow


Flowering Sky

By Arif Ay

 Poems Translated by Mevlut Ceylan

Carnations Guerrilla  Here   Looking at Istanbul  Ostlers & Doomsday   Parting  Poems of Destruction  RAMP  REQUIEM  

Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown. Edited by: Mary E. Weems, and Thomas Sayers Ellis. We grew up on James Brown’s hit me! When he danced every young Black man wanted to move, groove and look like him. Mr. Brown wasn’t called the hardest workingman in show business because he wasn’t. Experiencing a James Brown show was like getting your favorite soul food twice, plus desert. His songs, like black power fists you could be proud of and move to at the same time.  When Mr. Brown sang make it funky we sweated even in the wintertime.  Losing him was like losing somebody in our family. This is a shout out for poems about the impact James Brown had on our lives.  Poems that will help people remember, honor, and celebrate his legacy. Don’t be left in a cold sweat, send us your old and new James Brown poems today.

Submission Guidelines:  3-5 Unpublished and/or published poems with acknowledgement included. No longer than 73 lines  Deadline: December 31, 2007 (Receipt not postmark) Send hard copies along with a Word Document and short bio on a CD to: Dr. Mary E. Weems / English Department /  John Carroll University / 20700 North Park Blvd. / University Hts., Ohio 44118 / Send via e-mail attachment (Word Documents Only) to:,  and

A sudden thought for you & Other Poems

By Paul McIntosh

 Kalamu ya Salaam Reports: Post-Katrina New Orleans

  I Love You  It's Hard   I'm Crazy  Cracking Up  Stephanie  Take Deep Breaths  Spirits in the Dark  I Am Ashamed of Myself 

Breath of Life  The Storyteller of New Orleans  by Elizabeth D. /  LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE: The Neo-Griot New Orleans Project 

Reconstruction of a Poet: The Call: Ideology or Poetry?    My Life Is the Blues   Producing & Recording Poetry    A Black Poetics    African-American Language

What Is Life: Reclaiming the Black Blues Self (Kalamu ya Salaam)

 Conversations with Kind Friends /  Dollar Day--Katrina Klap (Audio-Video) / Katrina New Orleans Flood Index / Gorge Bush Doesn't Care  

People of Color Less Likely to Own Cars    Katrina-TimeLine    Chuck Siler Response to Katrina  / A Prayer for Our Enemies  (Fenton Johnson)

Obama 3 and Other Poems

By Mawiyah Kai EL-Jamah Bomani

My Soul is anchored: poems from the mourning Katrina national writing project -- now on sale



When Music is a Poet's Tool: Tame turmoil. Transform all the bile-flavored anger and anxiety into words. Vent. Review the outburst to discover the pattern the turmoil never told you it had. Reshape the pattern into stanzas or lyrics, dramatic monologues, and narratives. Polish. Repolish. Publish. There are times when poems must respond  to natural disasters and subsequent pandemics to the reflux acid of war, racism, genocide. At those times, it is only normal for poets to let the turmoil roll. If you want a poem rather than the droppings of a vatic pigeon, you must dance in a music that takes you to the other side of natural disaster and national tragedy. Jerry Ward, Jr., "The Katrina Papers," DrumVoices, Spring-Summer-Fall 2006                   


Speak the Truth to the People  by Mari Evans

We're in the Same Boat Brother by Huddie Ledbetter

  Literature & Arts

Poor poetry, rich deceit

The Phrasing Of ISP Letters 

ISP Deceives 

Baroness Lynda Chalker

Poems by Cheryl W. Robinson -- Weather It Is / WE / River of Living Waters

Saloy Files: Red Beans and Ricely Yours (2005) WE: A Poem  For Frank Fitch  For Daddy V  Mother with Me on Canal Street  A Life Won with Blood & Tears



How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love

By E. Ethelbert Miller

    It Must Be Lester Young   New York: St. Vincent's Hospital  A Poem for Richard Omar, Books, and Me    

     In Shadows There Are Men  All that could go wrong  Fathering Words  Galbus on Ethelbert

Congratulations to E. Ethelbert Miller-- Poets & Writers is thrilled to announce that the three recipients of its 2007 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award are E. Ethelbert Miller, Francine Prose, and Susan Shreve. Established in 1996, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, which is presented at P&W's annual dinner, recognizes authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. Honorees are nominated by a committee composed of past winners, other prominent writers, and the Board of Directors of Poets & Writers.  A Poem for Richard  It Must Be Lester Young   New York: St. Vincent's Hospital 


Mackie Blanton: Malcolm’s Landing:  After Katrina   Chapter I  (Neighbors and Invaders) Chapter 2 ( Earthquakes and Baklava)  Chapter 3   (The Lens in Plato’s Eye)  

Neighbors and Invaders   Eh, La Bas, Cherie! (letter)  Beers and Transformation   Ode #95   The Struggle Ode 


ChickenBones Poetry Book for 2006

The Sleeping

Poems by Caroline Maun

Reviewed by Rudolph Lewis

Katrina   Faceless / The Red Rat Snake / Colors  / Poems from  Ten Years of Feelings (Santos Vargas)

Saloy Files: Red Beans and Ricely Yours (2005)    For Frank Fitch  For Daddy V  Mother with Me on Canal Street  A Life Won with Blood & Tears



Interview with Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd

Author of Loving Black Women

By Rudolph Lewis

History to Destiny Through Afrocentric Poetry  Black Love/ Spoken Word Poetry Tour

 Remembering Chinwe  History to Destiny Through Afrocentric Poetry  Waiting for You    My Beautiful Wife    Journey to the Motherland  

Poems by Glenis Redmond

Lifting   Mama's Magic   She   Mango

Poems by Christopher Barnes All Ear   Also Ran  An Ignoble Liberty  Antiseptic For A Foot-Stomped Ego  Appetites  As Harry Puts The Bomb Under The Audi…

Hail to the Chief & Other Poems by Richard Lawson

View From Crook Peak  Tsunami - Villanelle  A Wood in Somerset, Iraq  Leaves on the lawn  The Shed



Literary New Orleans

Poems, Essays, Reports, etc.

Katrina by Caroline Maun  There's Another New Orleans: by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Kalamu ya Salaam The Call: Ideology or Poetry?    My Life Is the Blues   Producing & Recording Poetry   A Black Poetics    African-American Language

Poems by Yictove

That Town   Grandma Turk   Tropical Love

Poems By Jennifer Brown Banks

I Once Loved a Poet . . .  The Leather Pants   City Living

Poems by  Jennifer Brown Banks The Paradox of Racism  The Leather Pants CAN A WHITE WOMAN DO THIS?    City Living   Angry Black Man

Poems by Dwight Hayes



Necromancers of Negritude & Other Thoughts

By Vince Rogers

Legends and Legacies    Bad Brains    Necromancers of Negritude    Griot (for Rudy)    Kings of Crunk  An Angelic Trio   Talk To Me  For No Particular Reason

Turkish Legislator Poets

 Ziya Gokalp  Mehmet Akif Ersoy  Yahya Kemal Beyatli  Faruk Nafiz Çamlibel  Yusuf Ziya Ortac

  Kemalettin Kamu  Hasan Ali Yucel  Necdet Evliyagil  Mehmet Atilla Maras  Erdem Bayazit

Translated from the Turkish by Mevlut Ceylan

Poems by Mevlut Ceylan  Ceylan Index  Thresholds  An Awkward End & Other Poems  The Birth  Living Is An Art   Pilgrim   Survival  

Time &  Freedom   Open Your Arms   The Hanging  The Appointed Time  Bare &The Letter


The Sultan Poets   Psalms by Mevlut Ceylan

Mevlut Ceylan Interviews

Ahmed Ali (1910-1994)

Ceylan Index   Mevlut Ceylan Interviews Rudy on Poetic Process 

Skin Poems by Drisana Deborah Jack Introduction  saturday night  a poet's farewell  waterpoem 5

The Journey  Oceans of Love-- Table    Books N Review

Poetry, She Wrote I: Oh Magnify Him

By Dee Freeman

To Us From Us  Love in the Flesh  Who Am I?  Ain't I Somebody Too I Weep 

Minna Tsuei Poems   Hurricane Katrina: Did the Chinese Help   Chinatown Blues

Homespun Images

An Anthology of Black Memphis Writers and Artists

Miriam DeCosta-Willis & Fannie Mitchell Delk, Editors

Philip Dotson, Art Editor

Etheridge Knight:  He Sees Through Stone   Once on a Night in the Delta

We keep coming back and coming back & Other Poems by Kahlil Koromantee

 (compulsion strikes the witness)

jorge's journey

  Notes for (jorge's journey)

A Conversation with Myself 


Etheridge Knight Speaks

Poeting, Hustling & the Black Aesthetic

  He Sees Through Stone   Once on a Night in the Delta

Check out  Flowers' Meditations on the Longgame, and his -- Rootsblog: A Cyberhoodoo Webspace

 On Richard Wright and Our Contemporary Situation  

Trouble the Water

250 years of African-American Poetry

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

The Art of Tom Dent: Early Evidence  (essay) After the Hurricanes (poem)

 NOLA SPEAKS  Portrait of a Suicide/Death in Yellow Flooding   After the Hurricanes (poem)  Trouble the Water (book)

I'm in the Eye of Katrina

By Joe Williams III

After the Hurricanes

(for the radical writers in New Orleans)

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

A Tribute to Lee Meitzen Grue

New Orleans Poet

Booker: Black Night Keep on Falling  

Ellis Marsalis on Wednesday at Snug Harbor

Miss Marva Wright  Turbinton: The African Cowboy at Charlie B's

Walter Washington    Signed Poem    Miles

Night Train to Melbourne  Billie Pierce  Jazzmen Waiting 

At the French Market  Young Men in Wheel Chairs

French Quarter Poems  -- Introduction

 Poetry Forum  Fellowship Award  Literature a la Russe

photo credit: Phyllis Parun


  Sitting ducks at the superdome    It Ain't About Race

Poems by Claire Carew

    Katrina New Orleans Flood Index 

 Kam Hei Tsuei:   Hurricane Katrina: Did the Chinese Help /  Chinatown Blues  / Minna Tsuei Poems


north star

By Bro. Yao

 hell poem #2  clouds  they make a wall against armageddon  Reggie with the Box Top  guitar

Save Me from All These Pimps by Esther Iverem / SeeingBlack.Com Editor and Film Critic / Literature & Arts


African Slave Castle (video)

Poetic Mission

A Forum on the Role of the Poet and Poetry

The First Time I Heard Billie

Poem by Amin Sharif

On Cultural Work

The Free Southern Theatre Institute

a Venue for Truth-Telling

By Jerry W. Ward, Jr. 



Fishbone & Blues   Mystic Mam-A-Jama

Poems by Dorothy Marie Rice


Remembering Borsodi

The Passing of a New Orleans Artist

By Rudolph Lewis & Others

A memorial service will be held Dec. 27 / at noon at Breezy's Place, 2139 Soniat St

Chandra Lewis  --  Black Man Where Do You Stand   On the Wing of a Prayer     A Shared Moment   Back in Swamp Briars2

Neo-Folklore     Beachhead Preachment     

Ahmos Zu-Bolton HooDoo Poet

 Opened a Channel to the Ancestors 

Another Soldier Gone Candelight Vigil for Ahmos Zu-Bolton 

37 Poems by Lasana Sekou taught at US university


Black Girls Learn Love Hard

Poems by Ras Baraka

Sample poems #1  #4  There Are Some Black Men

 For Tom Dent's work with young writers, read Kalamu's Art for Life: My Story, My Song, especially When I Do That Thing  

What's Happening @ Sista's Place   Lest We Forget Killens   Scattered Scripture 

Inside the River of Poetry
By Louis Reyes Rivera
New York, New York

 Filiberto Ojeda Rios  Scattered Scripture  jorge's journey   Rivera Bio    On the Passing of Rich Bartee 

The Sultan Poets The Royal Poets of Turkey Translations by Mevlut Ceylan


Driving the Blues Away: Or Dying by Degrees (Rudolph Lewis)

Responses to “Driving the Blues Away”


Ode to a Magic City  & Didn't He Ramble  by Rudolph Lewis  / Buddy Bolden in New Orleans


   12 jazz haiku  for nia long 

 By Van G. Garrett


The Cruelty of Age  in Lorenzo Thomas' “Tirade”  African Folktales & Modern Thought 

Nidaa Khoury, Palestinian Poet  Signs Agreement 

with Caribbean Publisher Lasana M. Sekou  Haiti 200  Tortured Fragments   Visit & Fellowship II  

Lasana M. Sekou 

The Black Arts Movement Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s  By James Edward Smethurst / ChickenBones Black Arts and Black Power Figures

 The Importance of Civil Disobedience in Post-Katrina New Orleans By Elizabeth Cook  Katrina New Orleans Flood Index

Additional Files 

Amin Sharif

A Blues for the Birmingham Four

Arthur R. Flowers

     Another Good Loving Blues

     De Mojo Blues 

     Mojo Rising  

     Rootwork By Patricia R. Schroeder 

     Rootwork and the Prophetic Impulse

     Up Against the Wall in Haiti


Asili Ya Nadhiri

     and how do you warm when you alone


    Duh Measur'n Rod    



Askia Muhammad Toure

     Askia on Pan Africanism  


     Osirian Rhapsody: A Myth 

     Rudy Interviews Askia Touré Part 1   Part 2  


Binyavanga Wainaina


Banning Chinua Achebe in Kenya

Kwani? Kenya's Literary Journal


Bro. Yao



     hell poem #2 

     north star 

     Reggie with the Box Top  

     they make a wall against armageddon

Carolyn Butts

 3,000 Souls 

3-D Joy

Declaration of Independence  

God's Pen  


Crystal Cartier

     Bitter Valentine

     Crystal on Janet & Michael

     The Honeymoon Is Over  

     Missing You  

     Temporary Lovers  


Cynthia McOliver

Poems: Status quo / Being /  Self-image /  Dreams

DB Cox

     bird on the wing 

     breakdown lane

     endless river  

     for sonny   

     shades of ray 

     supernatural fire  

     repetition of a song    


Dorothy Riggs McCall


A Bed of Lies

 Days of Daze 

Nature’s Orchestra

The Things I See   

There’s A Future In Blackness


E. Ethelbert Miller

     All that could go wrong 

     Beltway: An On-Line Poetry Quarterly Edited by  Kim Roberts

     Fathering Words by Julia A. Galbus

     How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love (2004)

     In Shadows There Are Men

     It Must Be Lester Young 

     Memory and Influence: A History of DC Poets

     New York: St. Vincent's Hospital 

     Omar, Books, and Me  

     A Poem for Richard 


Etta Mae Ladson


Strange Land Songs

Sonnet #1  

Sonnet #2

Frederick B. Hudson

     My Father's Planting  

     The Prophet  

     When You Told Me You Could Carve

     Yours Was a Fierce Fire

Inventing Africa: New York Times by Milton Allimadi

Jerhretta Dafina Suite  

     Charm School


     I Wept Rivers  

     Mama and Me              


Jerry W. Ward, Jr.   

The Acklyn Model Not Sufficient  (conversation)         

The Art of Tom Dent: Early Evidence  (essay)

After the Hurricanes (poem)

Love Should Deflect Contentment   (conversation)


 I Couldn't Find Jesus at the Box Office (The Passion of Christ) John Sankofa 


lasana m. sekou

     Haiti 200

     Knighted ny Dutch Queen Beatrix 

     Tortured Fragments   

     Visit & Fellowship II 

Kola Boof

A Hymn to Kola Boof  by Rudolph Lewis

Bio-Chronology of Kola's Life

Interpretation in Small Containers  

My Master, My Husband

Turned On About Two Dreaming You


Laura Ivers

A Letter To Langston Hughes


Textbook Victimization 

The Price of Ignorance 

The Proliferation of a Lie   

What's For Supper?


Louis Reyes Rivera 


     (compulsion strikes the witness)

     Inside the river of poetry   

     Interview  by Rudolph Lewis

     jorge's journey 

     Lest we Forget Killens

     Notes for (jorge's journey) 

     On the Passing of Rich Bartee

     Rivera Bio

     Scattered Scripture

     Writers' Workshop   

Marcus Harris

Poems from Songs in Search of a Voice

Songs in Search of a Voice

Mawelulu Onwuku


     Anti-P.I.M.P. Manifesto

     Conspiracy Theories 101—

     The White Lie Must Die

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

     After All the Flame by Randy Wells

     Becoming Ebony  

     In the Begnning  

     Monrovia Women


     This is What I Tell My Daughter   


     Brotha Soul


     Lickwid  Langwij   


Remembering Borsodi

Stacey Tolbert

     Baring My Soul

     For Sisters Who Hate Fast Food  

     Sonia's Song  

     What's Goin On

Van G. Garrett

     African Folktales Still Influence Modern Thought

     12 jazz haiku 

     for nia long   

     Instructions for Your New Osiris 

     The Cruelty of Age  in Lorenzo Thomas' “Tirade”  

Yvonne Terry

     What Consolation Is Christ to Suffering?  



black people believe

in god, & i believe in

black people, amen


inspired by womb's gift

art is the only birth a

male can accomplish

Haiku by Kalamu ya Salaam

--from Nia: Haiku, Sonnets, and Sun Songs (2002)


there's no night so long

that we can not ride through to

taste tomorrow's dawn


summer rain showers

fall, in renegade silence

i strip search my soul


i'm desolate as

a wino sucking on some

discarded bottle


today bottled tears

are sold as spring water, its

dog eat everything


your patient water

indelibly sculpted my stone

your touch matured me


you pause on the edge

of me, testing my water

with your toe, please swim


thought i was gone but

my train rumbles in circles

each station is you


i enter your church

you receive my offerings

our screaming choirs merge


what we know limits

us, wisdom loves everything

not yet understood

Nia: Haiku, Sonnets, Sun Songs

Kalamu's Feminist Erotica

Feminism, Black Erotica & Revolutionary Love

Responses to Feminism, Black Erotica

Blue Print Contents

Grandma Turk  

Soliloquy for Cain



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