Poems by Ntozake Shange

resurrection of the daughter

senses of heritage

Bocas: A Daughter's Geography

 


Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf: A Choreo-Poem, with its spectrum of revelatory voices exploring a black woman’s experience, changed the face of American theater forever.  She writes, “I wuz cold / I wuz burnin up / a child and endlessly weaving garments / for the moon with my tears / I found god in myself / and I loved her / I loved her fiercely”.  Her volumes of poetry include Nappy Edges, A Daughter’s Geography, Ridin’ the Moon in Texas, From Okra to Greens, and The Loved Space Demands: A Continuing Saga.  In addition, Shange has written a novel: Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo; and a children’s book, I Live in Music.  Shange’s columns regularly appear in Philadelphia’s Real News, and her articles and poetry may be found in Uncut Funk, Callaloo, Muleteeth, and Essence.  She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Medal of Excellence from Columbia University, and the Distinguished Medal of Literature from Barnard College.  She was also Heavyweight Poetry Champion of the World from 1992 to 1994. 

Shange’s work provides a sense of immediate contact with a volatile and expressive set of emotions.  In both poetry and prose, she makes us creatively rethink the dangers that face our contemporary world.  The Houston Chronicle has called her, “a poet who knows how to loosen the structures, to give form to the warm exudates of the black self and the pain and joy of the black heritage, and to chart the rushing waters of the old and new rivers confluent at the mouth of the present.”  Shange’s poetry is a colorful new spectrum of warm, sensuous voices.” Shange has taught at Sonoma State College, Mills College, and University of California Extension, and tours as a performance poet. 

 

 

 

Poetry Center Reading:

Spring 1999