About Us

A Note to Our Community

June 09, 2020

The great poet and activist Audre Lorde once said: “Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.” At the present moment, when protests across the nation are expressing anger and frustration with systemic racism and its power to oppress, victimize, and kill Black people, it is up to all of us to lend our support to our communities in pain. We are outraged and heartbroken by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others at the hands of the police.

The Poetry Society of America recognizes that silence is complicity, that the time for change is now, and that it’s important to raise our voices to sustain the momentum against racial violence and discrimination by standing in solidarity with anti-racist efforts.

Today, right now, two of the questions we must all face are: "What are we going to do moving forward?" and "How are we going to change?"

We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do know that poets, like Lorde, have always been at the forefront of movements demanding justice and equality and defending the right of civil disobedience.

On the Site
Black Poets Speak Out

Poetry & Protest
Poetry & Democracy

Literary Organizations

Cave Canem 
Black Table Arts 
We Need Diverse Books 
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Black-owned bookstores around the country
The Free Black Women's Library

Antiracist Reading

An Antiracist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi (The New York Times)
Books to Educate Yourself on Racism (Bookshop.org)
5 ways to show up for racial justice (ReWire)

Audre Lorde quote ​from Conversations with Audre Lorde, edited by Joan Wylie Hall (University Press of Mississippi, 2004).