Essence London
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Essence London

“Because Your Mama Ain’t” no dishwasher, no garbage man, no mildew-out-the-grout scrubber, gnats fester in your house. You are not old enough to make your hardwood floors shine with your knees bent like a civilian man afraid to bleed so gnats buzz—or do whatever they do. One night soon, too many of those gnats will...

September 19, 2014November 29, 2018by
Robert E. Randolph, Jr.
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Robert E. Randolph, Jr.

“Somebody Gave Me This Madness” Ain’t it painful to feel an itch coming, knowing full well you ain’t gon be able to scratch it. –ej raines When we fuck, I think to myself trembling: men disappear and this is how it happens— with gentle weeping and the gnashing of teeth. I stake my claim gloriously with...

September 19, 2014December 2, 2018by
Newest Online Master Class Facilitator!
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Newest Online Master Class Facilitator!

We’re on to our third Online Master Class and each time gets better and better! We’re so excited to see that you guys are interested in these classes. The premise behind them was to extend those tingly retreat feelings–the fire, the intensity, the growth, the community–throughout the year; to provide graduate-level classes to anyone who...

Janel Cloyd
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Janel Cloyd

 “Just Add Water and Stir” As women, we have 1000 throats. Esophagus channels giving birth to truth-telling. Larynx voice upon voice into echoed lull. Silver tongued messenger carrying thunder from female Ancestors. We swallow problems and spit up pearls. We yodel songs of resistance. This mouth-bridge of life. This destination of bell and chime. This...

Bonita Lee Penn
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Bonita Lee Penn

   “Boxing Ring: Sons of Mother”  Her secrets, buried, under decayed carnage Ways family holds secrets: secured Like wax sealed envelopes, silenced Swallow breaths, inhales hold forever Never turns blue, nor faints, like fall Leaves, pressed in Bible: family evidence Tattered seeds released, free to sprout Grand in sisters, short lived brothers Who fought jealously,...

Poetry Contest Winners
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Poetry Contest Winners

M. Ayodele Heath Poetry Contest Winner Latorial Faison for “This.” Latorial is an African-American poet, author, educator, military spouse & mother of three sons. This UVA & VA TECH graduate is the author of Flesh, I AM WOMAN, Love Poems, and the trilogy collection, 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History. Faison’s writing has appeared in...

L. G. Parker
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L. G. Parker

“wound” Sitting on a step-stool, I look up at my mother & spell a-b-a-n-d-o-n, in my six-year-old stupor, as I learned it at Jesus Time, where I set nearest the white lady teacher & imagine her taking me home. Are adopt & abandon the same thing? Like any curious animal, I am trying to find...

2013 Watering Hole Retreat
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2013 Watering Hole Retreat

Highlights and history from our 2013 Watering Hole Writer’s Retreat. Organized by Co-Founders Candace Wiley and Monifa Lemons. Facilitated by Lita Hooper, Remica Bingham-Risher, and Tyehimba Jess.

2014 Online Masterclass Archives
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2014 Online Masterclass Archives

You can access any of our archived Online Masterclasses at our online store. Saturday, August 16, 2014 with M. Ayodele Heath This was a 3-hour Online Masterclass with M. Ayodele Heath, author of Otherness. Find more on Ayodele here. Purchase your copy of the archived Masterclass HERE.   Saturday, June 14, 2014 with L. Lamar Wilson This was a 3-hour...

February 15, 2014November 29, 2018by