A Poem That Would Not Let Me Go

When I Found Multiple Truths in the Work of 18th-Century Poet Phillis Wheatley, She Became Some Kind of Kin

1

I do not remember how old I was when my grandmother showed me Phillis Wheatley’s poetry. Ten, maybe 11? Young enough that my hands were open to everything she put in them: a crochet needle and thick hot pink yarn, a sewing needle, a gingham apron. Young enough that I obeyed, old enough to roll my eyes in secret when I didn’t want to listen. My grandmother used Scrabble to sharpen my spelling, fed me Du Bois and folktales about people who could fly. Things I needed to know; things …

Poetry’s Unique Power to Change Its Readers and Sustain Them Too | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Poetry’s Unique Power to Change Its Readers and Sustain Them Too

During a Pandemic, Poems Offer ‘a Space of Words Where You Can Dwell’

What is it about poetry that allows us to escape our greatest anxieties, find space for introspection, or even achieve catharsis? What is it about the poetic combination of meter, …

Jai Hamid Bashir Wins Zócalo’s Ninth Annual Poetry Prize | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Jai Hamid Bashir Wins Zócalo’s Ninth Annual Poetry Prize

In 'Little Bones,' a Girl Considers a Utah Sunset, Intoxicated on 'Untold Plans for Eternity'

Since 2012, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize has been awarded annually to the U.S. poem that best evokes a connection to place. This year, talking about “place”—a concept always …