Poetry is a language that helps people communicate everything from intense emotions to smaller daily struggles. Specifically, within the multicultural community, shared experiences often lead to similar emotions. Not only do the lives of people of color matter, but so do their feelings. Here are some upcoming and prominent poets of color.
1. Denice Frohman
According to her official website, Frohman is an award-winning poet, performer, educator and writer. The focal point of her work is racial disparity, identity, sexuality and celebrating the Latinx culture. Frohman uses her voice to vividly detail her experience as a member of the Latinx and LGBTQIA+ communities. Her memorable phrases are fused with strong passion. In “No Child Left Behind,” she says, “The first time I read a book by a Latina author was in college … It had been 18 long years of textbooks filled with everything but me. For the first time, my body knew a world that can hold it.” One of her other spoken word pieces is “A Queer Girl’s Ode To The Piraguero.”
2. Aziza Barnes
Barnes’ unapologetic personality shows her strong pride in her black heritage. Her blunt, powerful words take on topics of microaggressions perpetrated by non-people of color, as well as racial and gender stereotypes. Barnes is the winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize. She published her poems in her book “i be, but i ain’t” from YesYes Books in 2016.
3. Javon Johnson
This professor and director of African American and African Diaspora studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas uses his artistic creativity to show the essence of black magic. His poems unpack political, social and economic issues within the black community. Johnson also empowers and celebrates black joy in his work. Some of Johnson’s work includes the spoken word “Baby Brother” and “Black and Happy.” He published the book, “Killing Poetry: Blackness and the Making of Slam and Spoken Word Communities,” in 2017.
4. Hieu Minh Nguyen
As a Vietnamese-American poet, Nguyen details the emotional hurricanes of his daily life. He uses his platform to connect with people who may have dealt with issues ranging from fat-shaming to being a first-generation American. Nguyen is the author of “This Way to the Sugar,” published in 2014. He also has a collection of poems titled “Not Here” that is set to be published and released in April 2018. Nguyen also participates in various spoken-word poems as well that can be viewed on YouTube.
5. Fatimah Asghar
Asghar is a national poet, educator and screenwriter. Publications such as Poetry Magazine, BuzzFeed Reader, Teen Vogue, The Huffington Post and the Academy of American Poets have featured Asghar’s work. She is also a member of the multicultural Dark Noise Collective. Her book “After” was published by YesYes Books in 2015. She is also the writer and co-creator of the web series “Brown Girls,” which aims to show the spirit of women of color. Her first book of poems, “If They Come For Us,” is set to be released this summer.