When Mary Lee put out the call for Poetry Friday hosts, I knew that I had dabbled and showed up and reaped where others had sown for far too long. So I gathered my courage, picked what looked like an unremarkable week in August, and signed up to host Poetry Friday for the first time.
Little did I realize at the time that this week had SIGNIFICANCE!
It's the anniversary week of the passing of the 19th amendment. There's so much to learn and so many opportunities available. I still haven't watched the American Experience: The Vote (a two part PBS special I recorded). I saved the special section from Sunday's New York Times, "How American Women Won the Right to Vote," and I'm slowly reading the articles. While writing this post, I discovered 14 Ways to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. While written for residents of Washington, several links lead to online opportunities.
It's the week of the Democratic National Convention, a convention unlike any we've ever seen before. And I've been lucky to watch the proceedings and commentary of the first three nights and am looking forward to the final night's events on Thursday evening.
It's the anniversary week of my first post for Poetry Friday. Mind you, I'd been a lurker and commenter for a long time, but it was during this week (six years ago) that I finally took the plunge and began my journey as a some-of-the-time participant in Poetry Friday. And guess who left a comment on that first post? None other than Lee Bennett Hopkins! It still makes my heart happy to read his words on that post.
Here are my poetry offerings for this week:
Evie Shockely's "women's voting rights at one hundred (but who's counting?)" was co-commissioned by the Academy of American Poets and the New York Philharmonic as part of the Project 19 initiative (with new poems by nineteen contemporary women poets). Shockely's poem reminds us that amid celebrations of the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, we should remember the ongoing struggle of black women to claim their voting rights.
Say Her Name arrived in the brown bag that I picked up curbside recently at my local branch of the library. Zetta
Elliott is a new-to-me author and I'm not sure how I learned about this
book. The back cover of the book has this endorsement: "Award-winning
author Zetta Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create
a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage
of Black women and girls. ...these poems pay tribute to victims of
police brutality as well as the activists championing the Black
Lives Matter cause." As I read this book, I discovered that I have much to learn. After my first reading of the book, I found the notes at the end which helped provide much needed context for many of the poems and led to another reading of the book, flipping from poem to notes in the back for the additional information.
Here's a link to Camp TV (fast forward to 47:05 to find the exact spot) where you can listen to Zetta Elliott read her new picture book (published July 2020), "A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart."
I look forward to reading your blog posts and seeing what you'll share this week.