What Kind of Omen Am I by zakia henderson-brown

Winner of the 2017 PSA Chapbook Fellowship

What Kind of Omen Am I
by zakia henderson-brown, selected and introduced by Cate Marvin.

Edition: 500 copies of the winning books were printed by the Prolific Group and designed by Gabriele Wilson, with covers by Kitty McCall.


I love henderson-brown’s poems for their intelligence, their variety, and most especially for their refusal to assimilate amongst themselves. The poems in this collection act in the manner that gears yoke a bicycle’s wheel, parts pulling in an opposite direction that all the while maintain the tension that creates the working whole.

—Cate Marvin

zakia henderson-brown

Zakia is of starshine and clay lineage. She is the author of What Kind of Omen Am I, winner of the 2017 Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship, selected by Cate Marvin. She was a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poets fellow, and has received additional fellowships and support from the Fine Arts Work Center, Callaloo Journal, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Cave Canem.

A Thousand More

                   Free your mind and your ass will follow.
                                                              – Harriet Tubman

Maryland’s bare back is a canvas for propaganda: flanked in showy
goldenrod, studded with French mulberries; Chesapeake sweet water,
satin for soil. Funk from the field’s choke and wild petunias collected
in jars make the quarters feel lived in even when no one’s been there
for hours. Raccoons whistle through switchgrass tapping tiny holes
in the dark. All the muscle from the day’s work stretches into song
and string, one wide-open drum with hands muting its mouth.
Voices kindle a half mile from the big house, hidden from the light
of the moon. Just eyes, and teeth curved into grins, then only the
night on their skin.

All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

More chapbooks

Here I am O My God

Dujie Tahat

See Details

Other Small Histories

Darien Hsu Gee

See Details

You Should Feel Bad

Laura Cresté

See Details

Through The New Body

Isabella DeSendi

See Details

More from the shop

Poetry In Motion

For fans of the beloved public arts program

See All
PSA Award Winning Books

A selection of collections by PSA award-winning poets

See All
Broadsides Etc.

Collectible editions of treasured poems

See All