I've been taking a longish break from blogging about poetry. Taking time to regroup and to change directions. But look, two scholar-artists know released chapbooks this year, and that gives me reason to write a little bit about verse. Sequoia Maner's Little Girl Blue (Host Publications) and Angel C. Dye's Breathe (Central Square Press) are thought-provoking, enjoyable reads.
I met Sequoia, a new assistant professor of literature at Spelman College, some years ago at an NEH summer institute on black poetry hosted by the University of Kansas. She was sharp then; she's sharp now. I knew of her as a scholar long before I knew of her as a poet, though in retrospect I should've known from the jump.
I met Angel, who's currently a PhD student at Rutgers University, back in 2016, as she participated in a summer program for undergraduates I teach for at the University of Texas at San Antonio. At the time, she was a student at Howard University, and after graduating, she earned an MFA at the University of Kentucky.
So often, I get conventional volumes of poetry, and it's much rarer for me to buy chapbooks. But I'm glad I became aware of Little Girl Blue and Breathe and that purchasing copies online was such an easy process. I was of course pleased to check out the poetry debuts of two writers I've followed for a while in different venues.
Moving forward, I'll publish a few blog entries about aspects of their books that caught my attention.Entries: