Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t take anything for my journey now, Random House, 1993.
This book speaks to how Black women can and should be themselves un-apologetically. Angelou expands on how she is grateful for her journey as it has made her the woman she is…was. This book has allowed me to accept my journey as a writer, poet, female and to grow as much as I can on this journey that I am on.
Martin Versveld, The Philosopher’s Cookbook, Figment Publishing, 2007.
This book focuses on the art of slow cooking and thinking about what you’re cooking. The preparation of food is linked to how one’s life consists of many ingredients and how you are your own chef. It speaks to me as a writer and how I need to focus on what I’m writing and how I need to think about what I write. It inspires me to write work that people can read continuously but that they will obtain different meanings from each time they read it. This means that despite my work being directed to a certain group of people, that anyone should be able to relate to my work at different stages in their lives.
Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015.
I thoroughly enjoyed her naked poetry, her ability to bare all of her emotions, experiences, heartbreaks as well as the sweet moments in her life , into her poetry. I aspire to be a poet that can bear it all , without fear, without being apologetic. I aspire to be a poet that does not conform to the boxes that society has placed poets in but to move beyond the confines of society.
Youth Speaks, Brave New Voices (www.youtube.com/user/YOUTHSPEAKS)
This YouTube channel explores young poets and their views on many issues ranging from race, sexuality, class, languages and rape culture. This channel allows for different dissenting voices to be heard. I enjoy watching the videos as it allows me to hear the poems with the same emotions and accents that the poets wrote it with. One of my goals and aspirations is to perform on the Brave New Voices stage and to have my work recognized on that level. Most of the time it is much better to hear the poet recite their own work as opposed to reading it or having someone other than the poet reciting it.
Button Poetry, (www.youtube/user/ButtonPoetry)
This YouTube channel has a diverse range of poets. This channel allowed me to hear the rawness of Kai Davis’ poetry and her ability to address issues concisely. Her poetry speaks to how words can change people’s views and the power words possess. Kai Davis is also unapologetic in her poetry and her thoughts and embraces the rawness of her emotions and thoughts. The manner in which she shares her poetry is influential because of how she engages with the audience and how they respond to her poetry. Davis is one of my favorite poets.
Feature image taken by Charissa Cassels