Thursday, April 2, 2015

Blues Vision - April is National Poetry Month

 Blues Vision
African American Writing from Minnesota
Edited by Alexs Pate With co-editors Pamela R. Fletcher and J. Otis Powell

Blues Vision is a groundbreaking collection of incisive prose and powerful poetry by forty-three black writers from Minnesota who educate, inspire, and reveal the unabashed truth.

In celebration of April as National Poetry Month three poems from Blues Vision are featured this week. This anthology was co-published with the Minnesota Historical Society Press, which was made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2004.

Birth of the Cool: Minnesota
Philip Bryant

I know, Miles,
you didn’t have rural southern Minnesota
in mind when you
blew your classic mute
on your famous Birth of the Cool
sessions in New York, circa 1949.
But it’s the way the paper-thin
ice forms on the edge of the lake
in late October:
meeting at the cold dark water’s edge
---still open and free
though not for long---
with the ripples of these short choppy
muted notes of yours
blown just out of reach
this cool windy autumn morning.

Inland Sea
Roy McBride

Nearly everyone
you meet
in Minnesota
goes up to the lake
up to the shore
(white people that is)
Black people go to Chicago
Cleveland   Detroit   Gary
            down home
Native American people are home
Many Southeast Asian brothers
dream of home
                                                in their sleep
I go with them
                        up to the lake
                                                to the shore
                        to Chicago
                                                            down home

Carrying Home
Angela Shannon

I am carrying home in my breast pocket:
land where I learned to crawl,
dust that held my footprints,
long fields I trod through.

Home, where Mother baked bread,
where Papa spoke with skies,
where family voices gathered.
In my palm, this heap of earth
I have hauled over hills and valleys.

Releasing dirt between my fingers,
I ask the prairies to sustain me.
May my soil and this soil nurture each other,
may seeds root and develop beyond measure,
may the heartland and I blossom.

Artwork by Ta-couma T.Aiken, “Speak”
Available for purchase at Minnesota Historical Society Online store and on

1 comment:

  1. Your post is really wonderful i can read your full post. Great words are used this.