Maybe there is karma, or some confluence of the universe, but earlier today I began contemplating if and how to begin work on an anthology of poetry from poets past and present that speaks to and from #BlackLivesMatter.
And then in my Twitter feed:
It is becoming increasingly clear that our poets, past and present, are guiding us in this crucial moment. https://t.co/nuZpKDLIhx
— Jen Benka (@jenbenka) September 23, 2016
Jen Benka, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets, speaks to the incredibly powerful fact that poetry matters in an era of #BlackLivesMatter—anchored by the printing of Langston Hughes’s “I, Too” in the NYT.
Maybe I am too hopeful as a poet, and reader of poetry, but I am compelled to think we may well need an anthology of poetry past and present to help begin the healing.
Until (if) this idea gains momentum, please send me a list of poems (and if accessible online) to add below.
“Incident,” Countee Cullen
“Allowables,” Nikki Giovanni
“The Talk,” Jabari Asim
“Middle Passage,” Robert Hayden
from Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: “Cornel West makes the point…,” Claudia Rankine