It is very exciting to think toward the future, which is full of promise. A year of new words, new thoughts and revelations from Black writers and thinkers, poets and artists and authors; and the humanistic voice of the Black lens, which intertwines the gifts and challenges, dark days and the light, and the integral, honest outpouring of new expressions from all generations of our potent and vibrant history. These new collections of poetry are beginning the year with freshness and graceful artistry. 

“Side Notes from the Archivist: Poems by Anastacia-Reneé” | Harper Collins

2023 brings a new collection of poetry from Anastacia-Reneé, a feminist voice whose voice lends a fearless, unabashed, intelligent and graceful view of Black femme realities. “‘Side Notes from the Archivist: Poems’ is a multi-part retrospective that traverses time, space and reality to illuminate the expansiveness of Black femme lives,” says Harper Collins. Compiled as an archive to preserve and commemorate Black communities and culture through a Black feministic lens, “[e]very poem in ‘Side Notes’ elevates and honestly illustrates the buoyancy of Blackness and the calamity of Black lives on earth.” This collection, as a capsule of individualistic experimentation through poetry, will lead Black poetry and literature into a futurist, post-modern form of creatively relaying the past.

“No Sweet Without Brine: Poems by Cynthia Manick” | Harper Collins

Poet and writer Cynthia Manick’s latest collection of poetry is a playlist of thoughts, meanderings, emotional explorations and social commentary. “No Sweet Without Brine” “traces the circle of life for a narrator who dares to exist between youthful remembrances and adulthood realities,” according to Harper Collins. The poetic expression is doused with clarity as readers receive a view of the beautiful mechanisms Black women form and adopt to shield themselves from the intensity of the world. Manick’s universe, her perspective, her life and weaving of truth and Black femme imagery is a great addition to anyone’s Black literary collection.

“A Fire in the Hills,” by Afaa Michael Weaver | Red Hen House

A new collection from poet and short-story writer Afaa Michael Weaver offers reflective poems that inform a continuation of a culmination of work embedded in a deeply rooted thread of his examination of his sublimation and interpretation of the complexities of Black life. “[A]s a Black man born in America in the mid-twentieth century,” [his] poems [are] emanating from an attempt to follow Daoist philosophy for most of his life,” said Red Hen.

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