An African American blog of politics, culture, and social activism.
Ruth Ellen Kocher won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award for her first book of poems, Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press, 1999). When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press, 2001), her second volume, received the Green Rose Prize in Poetry. Her most recent collection, One Girl Babylon, called “tender, tough poems” by Al Young, was published by New Issues Press in 2003. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including The Missouri Review, She’r (in Iranian translation), Black Arts Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore and Crab Orchard Review. She is a contributor to Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, From the Fishouse, IOU, Angles of Ascent, Garden of Forking Paths, New Sister Voices and Approaches to Teaching Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, among other anthologies. She has been a fellow at the Bucknell Seminar, Cave Canem and Yaddo, and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Alice Coltrane and Discovers the World G/god is B/born
Brimmed sea light and green harp You know the squid spun sea
Phosphorescent chum Her fingers from which the sea
From which blue tortoise spin and drive to swim to swim
To swim and the creatures all get it, dig? Swim, swim
Shore to swim fur to shore warm fanged winters beast
And prey dawn and light plant and seed. Man, of course, beast
Comes from a harp.
His wings damp still deep in the rib harp
His first hunger. First hear hunger’s pangs harp.