Peep This Poet
A poet and performer known for his political edge, Essex Hemphill openly addressed race, identity, sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and the family in his work, voicing issues central to the African American gay community. Hemphill died of complications from AIDS in 1995. Read the whole bio here
Cordon Negro (excerpt)
Each morning I open my eyes is a miracle.
The blessing of opening them
is temporary on any given day
I could be taken out.
I could go off.
I could forget to be careful.
Even my brothers, hunted, hunt me.
I am the only one who values my life
and sometimes I don’t give a damn.
My love life can kill me.
I’m faced daily with choosing violence
or a demeanor that saves every other life
but my own.
full text here
Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, a Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor at Kinfolks Quarterly: a journal of black expression
, she received an MFA in poetry at the New School. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-winner of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, and winner of the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. In addition to appearing in several journals and anthologies including “The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop,” her work has been translated into Arabic
self-portrait in case of disappearance
i am afraid that everyone died & it did not fix
the world this was meant to be the afterlife
to the burning countries our mothers left behind
girls with fathers gone or gone missing
sistered to dark boys marked to die & our own
bodies scarved & arranged in rows on prayer mats
we go missing too & who mourns us who
falls into the gap we leave in the world
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