Happy National Poetry Month 2014

npm2014POSTERCourtesy of Poets.org (from The Academy of American Poets). Designed by Chip Kidd.

Happy National Poetry Month! If you’re a lover of poetry, hope this month affords you lots of time to read some of your favorite poets’ works, attend (or participate in) a few poetry readings, and/or write some poetry yourself (the NaPoWriMo Challenge, perhaps?). I’ve been doing all of the above. On my Facebook page, I’ve also been celebrating by sharing snippets of poems and performance videos of some of my favorite poets’ works.

Like music, singing, art, cooking/baking, poetry/writing is like a lifeforce for me. It speaks/sings to my soul. It doesn’t matter how often or how little I write it or how long I’m away from it, I always find my way back to poetry. Like writer Marisa de los Santos says, “Poetry foregrounds the quality [of music] in writing.” And how amazing is it when a poet’s words are not only singing on the page but singing/speaking to your soul?

If you haven’t already, check out posts on a few poets who’ve deeply affected me and inspired my work:

  1. Maya Angelou
  2. Langston Hughes
  3. Nikki Giovanni
  4. Sonia Sanchez

Here’s to you poets, and those who love them! Hope you have a beautiful National Poetry Month!

In love and poetry, BuddahDesmond

Thank You, Langston Hughes!

hughes1Image courtesy of Travalanche.

Today is not only the first day of Black History Month, but it’s also the birthday of poet, novelist, playwright, and activist Langston Hughes (1902-1967).  Hughes is one of the reasons why I write poetry today.

Growing up, I spent countless hours in the library losing myself in Hughes’ masterful poetry.  His poetry was jazz.  It was blues.  It was filled with so much spirit and life.  He captured the richness of our culture and history so eloquently.

Even given the social ills of the day, his work was evidence of his hope for a world where unity and equality trumped racism, inequality, and injustice.  Though the times may be (somewhat) different, the relevance of his writing remains strong.  The same can be said for the influence and inspiration of his artistry.

Thank you Langston Hughes for not dimming your light.  We honor you for your greatness and the blessings of your many contributions.  Here’s to you!

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes

I, too sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

Happy 1st Anniversary to ‘Prevail’!

  
Wow, it’s been one year since I published my first book Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics.  I still recall the happiness and sense of accomplishment I felt holding Prevail in my own hands for the first time.  Prevail represents a dream come true.  I stuck to my guns and made it happen.  Not without a lot of support though.  I couldn’t have done it without those (my spouse, family, friends, and mentors) who’ve encouraged me along the way.  

It was a rocky journey making the dream happen.  If I’d listened to all the things people told methat I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t fit the mold, that I didn’t do things the traditional way (as if that’s something wrong)I wouldn’t have this book or anything else published.  I wouldn’t be working on my next book.  I would’ve stopped writing… I would’ve stopped doing a lot of things.  But I didn’t.  I persevered.  Yet I know there’s still much more to do.  More dreams to achieve.  Still more to learn.  More platform building to do.  Many more people to connect and build genuine relationships with.  More outreach.  And I welcome it all.

As I say in the introduction of Prevail, “We never know what’s coming to us in this life, but we do know that if we get through it—whatever it is—we will be better, stronger, and wiser. No matter what, we know we must prevail.”  

Thank you for your support!  Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings, BuddahDesmond

Prevail is available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.

Related Posts:
BuddahDesmond Appearing at the Baltimore Urban Book Festival (BUBF) on 7/14/13
101 Days Project: Prevail
Nothing But Love
The Music of Life
It’s Not That Serious
Happily Ever After?
Desperation
Gone Too Soon

It’s Time To Celebrate

Well grades have been posted. I earned a 4.0 this semester.  The MBA is officially done! To say that I’m elated would be an understatement. Traveling down the road that brought me here was far from easy. But I didn’t give up. Further proof of the fruits that faith, determination, diligence, and commitment can can bring you.

Before I move on to the next thing, I’m going to take some to reflect and bask in the glory of this moment. It’s something I’ve often neglected to do after major milestones in my life. I usually just keep it moving… Going forward with little or no breaks. Like a maniac of sorts. But recently, I’ve committed myself to taking it easy and truly living in the moment (especially after major life events like these).

But you know what else it’s time to do? It’s time to CELEBRATE!

Until next time…

Peace, Love, and Many Blessings,

BuddahDesmond