by Nour Salama
For World Poetry Day, here are some POC poets you should check out!
"If the olive trees knew the hands that planted them, their oil would become tears"
Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet and author who was regarded as the Palestinian national poet. He won numerous awards for his works. Darwish used Palestine as a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile.
"Raise your poems from your flesh and let them grow daggers for jaws. You were made to write because your ache asked nicely"
Noor Unnahar is a modern-day artist and poet whose work combines handwritten text, tactile collage, and photography to illuminate themes of hope, home, self-love, culture, acceptance, and survival.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
"The day of judgement is here. A restless crowd has gathered all around the field. This is the accusation: that I have loved you"
Faiz Ahmad Faiz MBE NI was a Pakistani poet, and author in Urdu and Punjabi language. He was one of the most celebrated writers of the Urdu language in Pakistan. Faiz's early poems had been conventional, light-hearted treatises on love and beauty, but while in Lahore he began to expand into politics, community, and life.
"How fast can I choose differently, a presence I pretend in the darkest sweater I own I'm almost cold"
Khadija Queen is a fantastic poet and playwright an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She published six books including poetry collections Conduit, Black Peculiar and Fearful Beloved.
"And when you left I slept a full necklace of days, woke convinced the blood had gone solid in my legs"
Safia Elhillo is a Sudanese-American poet known for her written and spoken poetry. Elhillo received a BA from the Gallatin School at New York University and an MFA in poetry from The New School. Elhillo has performed all around the world.
Louisa Renee Choi
"I will never be a mother. I wouldn't want to pass down this pain to another lifeless soul who will bury my remains"
Creator of the all my friends zine, Louisa is a young poet who is best known for her her collages that accompany her writings. Publishing her first book in freshman year, Louisa is an inspiring poet who views art as a way to express herself and share her thoughts.
Michelle Chan Brown
"My mother is in a state of not-dying. I say it flat as if a phrase could capture a pulled-out place in the inky universe"
Michelle Chan Brown was born in London and grew up all over Eastern Europe. Her work has appeared in Witness, Sycamore Review, The Missouri Review, Tampa Review, Gertrude, The Concher, textsound, and others. She has a chapbook, The Clever Decoys.
Don Mee Choi
"For poetry- I have you. One need not be a House-One need not be a Nation or a Master for that matter."
Born in Seoul, South Korea, poet and translator Don Mee Choi is the author of The Morning News Is Exciting, Hardly War, Petite Manifesto among other books. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and the 2012 Lucien Stryk Translation Prize.