Renée Watson’s Pillars of Poetry

April 22, 2020

For National Poetry Month, over at the Lily, Renée Watson reflects on four black poets that she turns to for strength and inspiration: Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, and Margaret Walker. “I am turning to poems like one calls up an old friend who always knows what to say,” Watson writes. “I am handwriting notes to loved ones and including lines from poems that have touched me, made me smile or reminded me that hardship, uncertainty and loss are nothing new to this world, that people—poets—have come before me and left on record how to survive. I often say that I was raised by poets, I grew up memorizing their words and writing my own. They left their stanzas as gifts for me, as roadmaps to find my way.”

Image credit: Christopher / Shutterhacks

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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