In my opinion, Poetry Month is about the Black poets that have galvanized and impelled me to crave the sensation of writing with rhyme in the Blackest way. Utilizing alliteration, enjambment, metaphor, imagery, antithesis, caesura, anaphora, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, apostrophe, euphemism, and anapest to express Black emotion. Using phrases like: “He was as cold as ________ ”, and “She was as dark as ________ ”, comparing things to fruits, drinks, medicines, tools, insects, plants, shapes, and so forth, to build Black anticipation. Giving drastic hand gestures, facial expressions, lower body movements, and different tones, volumes, and enunciations to build a mental drawing of people with mocha-like skin. Capturing the listener’s soul and intellect in ways that some can’t even plumb, starstruck and flabbergasted by the measure of artistry and creativity being displayed right before their eyes. 

Rudy Fransisco

Black poets like Rudy Francisco have used these particular devices, phrases, comparisons, ways of presenting, and effects on crowds in many of his pieces. Some of his write-ups include poems like: “My Honest Poem”, “Scars / To the New Boyfriend”, “Teen Movie”, and  “A Lot Like You”. He has  performed at colleges, community centers, and universities. Rudy also does coaching and workshops to aid those that desire to pursue a career within poetry. He has shared stages with Gladys Knight, Jordin Sparks, Musiq Soulchild, and Jill Scott. He has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and he has been chosen as the 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam Champion and the 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, as well. Rudy embodies Black culture within poetry and proves that by being your Black self, you can accomplish so much. 

Pages Matam

Pages Matam is another Black poet that uses an abundance of literary devices, common phrases, similar comparisons, impactful ways of presenting, and other effective strategies to be able to touch many audiences through his works. Some of his poems are: “Wings”, “Unforgettable”, “The Boy with Many Mouths”, “Spoiled Child”, “Piñata”, “The Heart of a Comet”, and many more. He won Best New Book 2014 from Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and the Teaching for Change Bestseller award. He has appeared in The Guardian, Google Voices, Upworthy, Huffington, and OkayAfrica, and has spoken at the NAACP Youth Conference, the Afropunk Festival, the Pentagon, the Kennedy Center, the Apollo Theater, and tons of other venues. Pages speaks gracefully about Black trauma, Black youth, and Black advocacy. 

Kai Davis

Kai Davis is a Black, female, queer poet that uses rhyming and word play to express Black womanhood and sexuality, elaborating on mental health, racism, Black love, and queer love. Her works include poems such as: “Music & Marrow”, “The Falling Action”, “Black Chronicle”, “Ain’t I”, and so on. She has done readings at TEDXPhilly, the San Francisco Opera House, Gramercy Theater, The Kimmel Center, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Ivy Q, The Diversity Inclusion & Fairness Conference at Georgia Southern University, and the Black Students Alliance Conference at Smith College. Kai has also appeared on CNN, BET, PBS, and NPR. She has won the International Grand Slam award, Brave New Voice, The College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, and the Leeway Transformation Award. Kai is the faithful spokesperson for Black intersectional identities, Black expression, and Black femininity. 

Even if other races have disapproved or found their works unacceptable — even if other races have turned their backs, smacked their lips, given them the cold shoulder, eye rolls, huffs and puffs, and glares — even if other races have shaken their heads in disappointment, crossed their arms, and whispered disagreeing comments to others, on account of us living in a society that would rather give half the truth than the whole truth (and often only want to speak of the things that ‘Make America Great Again’ instead of the things that are making it not great — these poets have still stayed strong and have walked with purpose and absolute power! They are unfailingly gallant and invested in opening the eyes of others to different aspects of Black struggle! 

To me, these poets embody the greatest form of fortitude and heroism, which is why I choose to celebrate them for Poetry Month this year!

Anyla aspires to become a poet, short story writer, and essayist speaking about racism against Black people, current world problems, and hot topics. When she writes, she does it with purpose and passion. Anyla feels destined to touch others with her words, and wants to be known as someone who takes a stand and impacts lives with her writing.

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