Posts tagged ‘poetry’

Camron ~ Invest in a Young Poet

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to fledgling poet, Camron McDonald: the 13-year old son of my former Little Sister, Alette. (When she was ten years old, she and I were matched for eight years through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Marin and we’ve stayed in touch.) Now I’m thrilled to work with Camron. Once a week for the past three months we meet to revise the poems he began writing in a 2017 summer enrichment program. His natural affinity and sheer joy of exploring emotion through words amazes me. How many 8th grade boys do you know who’d spend three hours after school seriously revising poems?

Back in November 2017, on our first day of revising, I promised Camron that as long as he showed up and worked I was happy to help. He is still holding up his end of the bargain and here’s an opportunity for you to help, too:

Camron is in need of a laptop to do homework and work more efficiently on his poetry. I’m asking you to invest in this young poet. Through our small family foundation make a donation—of any amount—toward the purchase of the laptop and receive a copy of his debut chapbook:


Nikki and Nikky @ ASU in Albany, GA


This was very cool:

How could the 1000 people who recently attended Albany State University’s 8th Annual Poetry Festival possibly process the enormity of the event: being in the same room with Nikki Giovanni and Nikky Finney? With Frank X Walker, Hoke Glover and Lita Hooper.

Kudos to my mother, Irene Jones‘ alma mater and HBCUs everywhere.

Billy Collins is himself a poem

I’m sure it’s illegal somewhere to do what the erudite Billy Collins does so well with the 26 letters of our alphabet. And I’m so glad he gets away with it. If a poem is a cultural artifact then Billy is a poem… Read more…

Botlahle ~ 11 years old. South African. Poet. Prophet

I’m no big fan of  “Got Talent” shows, but this is too good not to share. I have my dear friend Judith on The Park in Brooklyn to thank for sending these links:

I’ve never seen anyone quite like this 11-year old South African girl, Botlahle [bo-TA-lay]. Read more…

Ancient Calls

Free write

by Anita Gail Jones
(written Oct. 23, 2009)

Albany, GA    • Photo by Anita Gail Jones  © 2012

Wrap the children in revival language
Swaddle them in the sound from our past,
the liquid coos and grunts of ancestors,
left to us like ancient calls from birds
now extinct but remembered through the
the Mockingbird’s song on my garden fence.

The sound of our past carries through,
rides the waves of time and people
to arrive safely on our lips—
not to languish there,
but to be passed on,
a hot potato—don’t drop—don’t stop—
let it fly like an aeroplane,  catching wind;
like a balloon filled with the hot air of desire not
to to be forgotten,
to live forever in the hearts and minds of
all who hear,
and all who know what it is like

Head Off and Split ~ Poems by Nikky Finney

A while back in my Skinny Widget, I posted video of Nikky Finney—born Lynn Carol Finney—accepting the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry, her speech —a poem itself—is already legendary for its power and originality. (Scroll down to see it). Many of you missed that Skinny so I’m back to bring more attention to her book and amazing body of work.

“My responsibility as a poet, as an artist is to not look away.”  ~ Nikky Finney

She is more skilled with language than her fishmonger could ever be with his whale knife, cutting and shaping images and emotions, leaving you shaking your head tryin’ to figure out what kinda hurricane called Nikky just hit you. I ate many a mullet fish from the Flint River growing up on Hazard Drive.

Buy the book.

“The girl is sent for dinner fish. Inside the market she fills her aluminum bowl with ice blue mackerel and mullet, according to her mother’s instruction. The fishmonger standing there, blood on his apron, whale knife in hand, asks, Head off and split? Translation: Do away with the watery gray eyes, the impolite razor-sharp fins, the succulent heart, tender roe, delicate sweet bones? Polite, dutiful, training to be mother, bride, kitchen frau. Her answer, Yes.” ~ from book Head Off and Split

Listen to her read poem, Left on page 13 of book:

%d bloggers like this: