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Poetry By Heart Blog

Black poets matter – the Poetry By Heart poem collections

26th November 2020

In response to emails from a student and a teacher at different times this term, we’ve been thinking about all the black and minority ethnic poets featured on the Poetry By Heart website.  As our filters don’t yet make it easy to see them all in one place, we’ve gathered the 75 poems from across our collections and put them all here! If you click on a poet portrait, you’ll be taken to a poem by that poet somewhere on the site. Some poets have more than one poem so you’ll find some portraits repeated. Sometimes they cluster together and sometimes they are further apart – we sequenced them by the poem’s publication date. You’ll find exciting contemporary poets (some of whom are our national competition judges and MC) as well as poets who lived in the 20th century, and a few from previous centuries. There are poets born in or who migrated to Britain, and poets from other regions and countries including the Caribbean, India and the USA. There are favourite poets whose poems have featured regularly in school anthologies and there are poets who are less well known. The poems are drawn together from all the different timeline and showcases.

We hope this blogpost will be a source of joyful discovery, reading and sharing these poems aloud – and a resource for classroom discussion, independent research and student projects on poets they want to explore further. We’d love to see inspiring and magical performances of all these poems recited in this year’s competition – if your students want inspiration, some of the poem pages also feature student performances. And we’d love to have additional suggestions to consider in our next review of the site in the summer term.
phyliis_wheatley2phyliis_wheatley2Dunbar-Paul-jpegDunbar-Paul-jpegWilliam_Stanley_BraithwaiteSarojini NaiduDuBois-WEBE Pauline JohnsonRabindranath_Tagore_portrait_(1)Rabindranath_Tagore_portrait_(1)Sarojini NaiduAlice_Dunbar-NelsonLangston_Hughes_1936McKayMcKaygeorgia d johnsonbats3Margaret Walker (1915-1998), pioneering African American poet, novelist and critic, is best known for her 1943 poem, FOR MYLangston_Hughes_1936Langston_Hughes_1936gbrooks3-23-12_RobertHaydenJamaica MarketMiss Lou Portrait ColourGreenfieldTubmancropDove-Rita-jpegJohnson-Linto-Kwesi-jpeg731px-Joy_Harjo_smiling,_2019Dabydeen-David-jpegNichols-Grace-jpegBhatt-Sujata-jpeggbrooksKhalvati-Mimi-jpegMoniza AlviKay-Jackie-jpegMoniza AlviAgard-John-jpegMoniza AlviZephaniah-Benjamin-jpegBerry-James-jpegBerry-James-jpegNichols-Grace-jpegNichols-Grace-jpegDharker-Imtiaz-jpegDove-Rita-jpegLondon, UK. 13 June, 2012. Valerie Bloom performing at POEM 2012 Poetry Olympics, Queen Elizabeth Hallsilhouette - femaleLondon, UK. 13 June, 2012. Valerie Bloom performing at POEM 2012 Poetry Olympics, Queen Elizabeth HallBerry-James-jpegAgard-John-jpegBerry-James-jpegHardi-Choman-jpegBerry-James-jpegBrathwaite-Kamau-jpegOlive SeniorDharker-Imtiaz-jpegAgard-John-jpegMorris, Mervyn 300Nichols-Grace-jpegNagra-Daljit-jpegKay-Jackie-jpegAgbabi-Patience-jpegMarkham-E.AJospeh-Anthony-jpegZephaniah-Benjamin-jpegdorothea-smarttRose-Jacob-Sam-La-jpegDharker-Imtiaz-jpegDharker-Imtiaz-jpegAgard-John-jpegObserver New ReveiwJoseph Coelho, award winning poet at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019, Scotland, UKsilhouette - femaleObserver New Reveiw


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