The New List by Bustle: Top Poets of Color
Eduardo Galeano, Natalie Diaz, Giannina Braschi, June Jordon, Tupac Shakur, and Audre Lorde: Bossing the poetry game
Bustle Magazine came out with a list of the Must-Read Poets of Color. Check these exciting voices at your local library or download their works from Amazon.
Published on LatinoLA: October 3, 2016
1. Memory of Fire trilogy by Eduardo Galeano
Galeano has become famous for his historical work Open Veins of Latin America, which offers an in-depth and narrative look at Latin American history. But Galeano is also a poet, and in his Memory of Fire trilogy, he gives readers a more lyrical take on Latin American history. Fusing poetry, prose, fable, and personal accounts, the trilogy tells the history of Latin America as a story. It's a completely original and painfully beautiful epic poem.
2. Empire of Dreams by Giannina Braschi
It's hard to classify Giannina's Empire of Dreams, but I'm gonna go ahead and throw it on this list as poetry, because whatever else it is, it's definitely poetic. It's also largely about poetry. A thrilling blend of prose and poetry, humor and politics, it offers up a Latin American immigrant's-eye-view of New York. But it's also a love letter to Latin American poetry, a dissection of language and the politics that surround it.
3. The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde's name usually gets thrown around with her two most famous books, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name and Sister Outsider, both works of non-fiction. But Lorde was a poet first -- and a revolutionary one at that. So, now that you've read her experimental autobiography and her essays, it's time to dive into her poetry.
4. The Rose That Grew From The Concrete by Tupac Shakur
If you need proof that poetry isn't restricted to dusty ivy towers and old white guys, just turn on the radio. Sure, there's a lot of music out there with pretty inane lyrics, but then there's Tupac. Just listening to his songs should be enough to prove that he's got the heart of a poet, but pick up this book of poems he wrote in his teens, before his untimely death, and you'll experience a more private, more raw Shakur.
5. When My Brother Was An Aztec by Natalie Diaz (pictured)
A blend of poems about family, identity, history, and Diaz's life growing up on a Mojave reservation, this collection is raw and open. It will make you feel like you were there, living through the pains and struggles she describes.
6. Passion by June Jordan
If you don't know June Jordan, go to the bookstore and buy this immediately. She writes raw, punch-you-in-the-gut poetry that doesn't hold back. June Jordan's poetry is all of the things that forces POC poetry into the category of "other" or "protest poetry," and it's freaking beautiful. She writes with passion and power and so much beauty. And as much as her poems are about politics and race, they're also about humanity and love, because poetry can be personal as well as political.
Write-Ups on Each Book were written by Crystal Paul for Bustle