I love Wanda Coleman and wish that I had the chance to meet her while she was alive. Her poetry is fantastic, and I’ve heard that she was a wonderful person to spend time with.

Poetry in Protest

Two poems today, because Wanda Coleman’s work is too good not to celebrate as much as possible. Wanda could write well about any topic, and from any angle, but she often focused on issues of class and race that affected her growing up in Los Angeles. She was an incredible poet, and one I highly recommend to virtually anyone.

The first poem today is “February 11th 1990,” written on the occasion of South African activist and poet Dennis Brutus, a refugee living in America at the time, being “unbanned” from South Africa. The second is “Requiem for a Nest,” a poem that screams Los Angeles to me in a way that is beautiful but dripping with sadness and frustration.

February 11th 1990
by Wanda Coleman

                                          —for Dennis Brutus
This year the leaves turn red green black
freedom colors each leaf
each stitch of grass. I am amazed

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