Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2022

"Blood on Your Hands", a plea to the United States Congress to act on gun violence

Hello, my name is George L. Cook III. I wrote this poem, "Blood on Your Hands" in response to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. I am begging the United States Congress to actually do something about gun violence in this country, and thoughts and prayers is not what I want. Watch me recite the poem in the video below.

This poem is in my new poetry book, The Blood Is On Your Hands Poems About Gun Violence available now on Amazon.

Purchase the book on Amazon:

Paperback******* Kindle

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Amanda Gorman writes poem in response to school shooting in Uvalde, Texas

In the wake of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas poet Amanda Gorman tweeted out a poem that points out the reality of gun violence in America.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Amanda Gorman releases New Year's Poem

In collaboration with Instagram, Amanda Gorman on Wednesday released her new, New Year’s-based poem titled “New Day’s Lyric,” in which she reflects on the year 2021 and looks ahead to 2022. Wach video of her reciting her poem and read the transcript below:

Transcript of New Day's Lyric

“New Day’s Lyric”

May this be the day
We come together.
Mourning, we come to mend,
Withered, we come to weather,
Torn, we come to tend,
Battered, we come to better.
Tethered by this year of yearning,
We are learning
That though we weren’t ready for this,
We have been readied by it.
We steadily vow that no matter
How we are weighed down,
We must always pave a way forward.

This hope is our door, our portal.
if we never get back to normal,
Someday we can venture beyond it,
To leave the known and take the first steps.
So let us not return to what was normal,
But reach toward what is next.

What was cursed, we will cure.
What was plagued, we will prove pure.
Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree,
Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee,
Where we weren’t aware, we’re now awake;
Those moments we missed
Are now these moments we make,
The moments we meet,
And our hearts, once all together beaten,
Now all together beat.

Come, look up with kindness yet,
For even solace can be sourced from sorrow.
We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday,
But to take on tomorrow.

We heed this old spirit,
In a new day’s lyric,
In our hearts, we hear it:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
Be bold, sang Time this year,
Be bold, sang Time,
For when you honor yesterday,
Tomorrow ye will find.
Know what we’ve fought
Need not be forgot nor for none.
It defines us, binds us as one,
Come over, join this day just begun.
For wherever we come together,
We will forever overcome.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Amanda Gorman has the top spot on USA Today best-seller list

Amanda Gorman is touting her new book as the first poetry title to land the top spot on USA Today's best-seller's list in its nearly 30-year history.

The newspaper announced this week that Gorman's book "The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem" is the first collection of poetry to snag the No. 1 position on its collection of best-selling books since the list began in 1993.

The 23-year-old Harvard University graduate stepped into the international spotlight and shot to fame in January when she recited her poem of the same name at President Biden's inauguration.

"That rumble above is the sound of the poetry ceiling cracking," Gorman tweeted Friday about the USA Today news.

"Thank you thank you thank you to all the people who chose to bring my words into their lives," she said. "I can't wait to see even more poets stand beside me on the best-seller list."



Friday, February 21, 2020

Phillis Wheatley: First African American woman to publish a book of poetry

Phillis Wheatley, also spelled Phyllis and Wheatly (c. 1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry.

Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent.

On a 1773 trip to London with her master's son, seeking publication of her work, she was aided in meeting prominent people who became patrons. The publication in London of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral on September 1, 1773, brought her fame both in England and the American colonies.

Critics consider her work fundamental to the genre of African-American literature,and she is honored as the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry and the first to make a living from her writing.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Nobel Prize winner, Toni Morrison dies at 88

Toni Morrison, the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, is gone. But her unique voice – earthy, poetic, powerful, elliptical – endures in novels like "Beloved, "Song of Solomon," "Sula" and "The Bluest Eye."

She died Monday at age 88 in New York following a short illness, according to her family and publisher.

The Morrison family issued this statement via Morrison's publisher: “It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends. She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends. The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing. Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life."

The family continued: "While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family. We will share information in the near future about how we will celebrate Toni’s incredible life.”

Morrison won a Pulitzer, the Nobel Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Read more: Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize winner, author of 'Beloved,' dies at 88

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Princeton professor named country's next poet laureate

Tracy K. Smith has a long list of accomplishments, from publishing three books of poetry to winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2012, and she just added one more prestigious achievement.

The Library of Congress named Smith its 2017-18 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, an honor she shares with only 21 others.

"I am profoundly honored," sad Smith, a creative writing professor at Princeton University. "As someone who has been sustained by poems and poets, I understand the powerful and necessary role poetry can play in sustaining a rich inner life and fostering a mindful, empathic and resourceful culture."

"I am eager to share the good news of poetry with readers and future readers across this marvelously diverse country," she said.

Smith is the author of the poetry books "Life on Mars"; "Duende"; and "The Body's Question"; all of which have won awards. Her memoir, "Ordinary Light", was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction and recognized as a notable book by The New York Times and the Washington Post.

Smith was appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on Wednesday, and is succeeding Juan Felipe Herrera.

Hayden called Smith a "poet of searching," and said she has a way with her poems.

"Her work travels the world and takes on its voices; brings history and memory to life; calls on the power of literature as well as science, religion and pop culture," Hayden said.


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Black History Month: Gwendolyn Brooks award winning writer

Gwendolyn Brooks was an award winning writer who went on to become the first African American to win a certain literary award.

Learn more about Gwendolyn Brooks here:

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Nine Republicans Reject Naming Post Office After Maya Angelou

Congress held a vote today on the rather mundane subject of renaming a post office, which normally passes with all 381 votes going for the renaming. That was not the case when a vote was held to rename a post office in Winston-Salem, N.C. after the world renowned poet and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, Maya Angelou.

The measure did pass with 371 votes, but its very telling that a party that claims not to be racist has nine white men voting no on naming a post office after a black woman.

The nine Republicans who voted against naming the post office after Maya Angelou were GOP Reps Mo Brooks of Alabama, Ken Buck of Colorado, Michael Burgess of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Andy Harris of Maryland, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Alex Mooney of West Virginia, and Steven Palazzo of Mississippi. Rep. Don Young of Alaska voted present.

Rep. Steve Israel, D-Ny., released a statement saying:

"Naming post offices is one of the most benign and bipartisan duties we perform in the House of Representatives, and there is rarely any opposition. That's why I was shocked today as nine Republicans voted against naming a post office after Maya Angelou, indisputably one of our country's greatest poets, authors and civil rights activists. The fact that these nine Members would cast a no vote shows a blatant disrespect and only adds to the damaging actions they've taken this year to reverse progress from long and hard fought civil rights battles."

Monday, January 19, 2015

LOVE, a new collection of poems.

Normally my blog reports on issues in the African American community. In this post I would like to publicize the re-release of my new book, LOVE. It's not about gangsta's, strippers, or drugs but features poems about love. I'm not dissing those that write urban-lit or the genre itself ( I have written one title myself), as there is room for all genres but I am saying that there is much diversity among the topics we as black authors write about. Many authors write poetry (although we know it doesn't sell well) and I would like to share mine with you. I hope you check it out and let me know what you think and feel. I have provided links to Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords so that you can red the book on your phone, kindle, Nook, or laptop. Please check it out, it's only 99 cents.

LOVE, a collection of romantic poems. Poems about love of a spouse, child, family, or even the love of your favorite sports team.




Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou reading her poem "Abundant Hope" (2011)

In honor of the late Maya Angelou here is a 2011 recording of her at a ceremony honoring black women civil rights leaders reading her poem titled "Abundant Hope" in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rest in peace Maya we love you and will miss you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Maya Angelou explains her recent health issue.

American icon and poet Maya Angelou had to back out of a Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game ceremony due to health issues. She left a post on her Facebook page giving an explanation for not being able to attend.

On her Facebook page she posted:

While she does not give any details on what the illness was it is great to read that she is getting better each day.

George Cook

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Amiri Baraka, Poet and Playwright, Dies at 79

Amiri Baraka, a poet and playwright of pulsating rage, whose long illumination of the black experience in America was called incandescent in some quarters and incendiary in others, died on Thursday in Newark. He was 79.

His death, at Beth Israel Medical Center, was confirmed by his son Ras Baraka, a member of the Newark Municipal Council. He did not specify a cause but said that Mr. Baraka had been hospitalized since Dec. 21.

Mr. Baraka was famous as one of the major forces in the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and ’70s, which sought to duplicate in fiction, poetry, drama and other mediums the aims of the black power movement in the political arena.

Among his best-known works are the poetry collections “The Dead Lecturer” and “Transbluesency: The Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, 1961-1995”; the play “Dutchman”; and “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” a highly regarded historical survey.

Mr. Baraka, whose work was widely anthologized and who was heard often on the lecture circuit, was also long famous as a political firebrand. Here, too, critical opinion was divided: He was described variously as an indomitable champion of the disenfranchised, particularly in the racially charged political landscape of Newark, where he lived most of his life, or as a gadfly whose finest hour had come and gone by the end of the 1960s.

Read more here: Amiri Baraka, Polarizing Poet and Playwright, Dies at 79 Hear two of Mr Baraka's poems below:

Amiri Baraka: Obama Poem