Thursday, February 18, 2021

Black Poetry 2021

In celebration of Black History Month, I'd like to lift up new poetry books for young readers due to be or already published in 2021 and written by Black poets including Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman. Covers were not yet available for all these titles, but I can't wait to get my hands on all these books. Some of these titles were projected for 2021, but may be pushed back to next year. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, it's exciting to see nearly 20 titles by Black poets in this year's crop-- novels in verse, anthologies, poem biographies, and poem picture books. And it's exciting to see established names like John Agard, Zetta Elliott, Nikki Grimes and Marilyn Nelson alongside newer names like Safia Elhillo and Amber McBride. Kudos to Carole Boston Weatherford who has multiple books in verse coming in 2021-- as she often does. Works by Black poets continue to represent a substantial portion of new poetry books published for young readers every year-- and often get recognized for their outstanding quality with Coretta Scott King Awards and Honors. I'm predicting now that one or more of the books listed below will be on that CSK list next January! Add them to your list to buy, read, and share now.

1. Agard, John. 2021. Coyote’s Soundbite: A Poem for the Planet. Ill. by Piet Grobler. Oxford: Lantana. 
2. Barnes, Derrick. 2021. [Bio of Muhammad Ali] Ill. by Gordon James. Boston: HMH/Versify.
3. Browne, Mahogany L. 2021. Chlorine Sky. New York: Crown. 
4. Charles, Tami. 2021. Muted. New York: Scholastic.
5. Elhillo, Safia. 2021. Home is Not a Country. New York: PRH/Make Me a World.
6. Elliott, Zetta and Miller-Lachmann, Lyn. 2021. Moonwalking. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 
7. Giovanni, Nikki. 2021. A Library. Ill. by Erin Robinson. Boston: HMH/Versify.
8. Gorman, Amanda. 2021. Change Sings: A Children's Anthem. Ill. by Loren Long. New York: Penguin Random House.
9. Gorman, Amanda. 2021. The Hill We Climb. Ill. by Loren Long. New York: Penguin Random House.
10. Grimes, Nikki. 2021. Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Ill. by Ekua Holmes and 17 other artists. New York: Bloomsbury. 
11. McBride, Amber. 2021. Me (Moth). New York: Feiwel & Friends. 
12. Nelson, Marilyn and Lawson, Tammi. 2021. Augusta Savage: The Shape of a Sculptor's Life. New York: Macmillan/Ottaviano.
13. Shepard, Ray Anthony. 2021. Runaway: The Daring Escape of Ona Judge. Ill. by Keith Mallett. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
14. Tallie, Mariahadessa Ekere. 2021. Karma's Footsteps. Flipped Eye Publishing.
15. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. Dreams for a Daughter. Ill. by Brian Pinkney. New York: Atheneum.
16. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi. Ill. by Chris Hsu. New York: Little Bee Books.
17. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. The Faith of Elijah Cummings: Champion of Truth, Justice & Equality. Ill. by Laura Freeman. New York: Random House Studio.
18. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2021. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre. Ill. By Floyd Cooper. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner/Carolrhoda. 

Please let me know of any other new titles for young readers by Black poets that I should add to this list. Thanks! Now head on over to There Is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town (LOVE that blog name!) where Ruth is gathering all the Poetry Friday posts that you won't want to miss! 


jama said...

Thank you for another wonderful list!! So many good books, so little time . . . :)

jan godown annino said...

Gracious Goodness, dear Sylvia. I feel connections to this important & storytelling list. I first learned of John Agard from Prof. Morag Styles [ visiting at Hollins U.] & am delighted to add a title from him to my shelves. Currently I have anthologies he enlivens. A Highlights Found. verse novel group brought me to author Ray Shepard, so RUNAWAY is brightly anticipated at this house. I am pleased to know that a sculptor born here in Florida, Augusta Savage, is receiving such an esteemed, important platform from Marilyn Nelson.And so on with these beautiful Black titles.
How can I not read & share every book here. How can all of us in ReaderLand not be uplifted by this list, all year, always.


author amok said...

Thanks for this list, Jama. I'm especially excited about Nikki's LEGACY because I loved ONE LAST WORD.

Linda Mitchell said...

Ahhhhhh, wonderful curation! And, I just so happen to have Legacy...on this snow day. Headed for the tea kettle and a comfy chair. Thank you!

Kay said...

What a fantastic list of books! Thanks for sharing this resource.

Mary Lee said...

Putting ALL of these on hold at the library. Except for LEGACY. Loved that one already. Thanks!

Janice Scully said...

Thanks for this list, Sylvia. It's a great resource!

Janice Scully said...
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Linda B said...

Thanks, Sylvia, I have three of these, will note the others. I appreciate it every time you share!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Many thanks, Sylvia, as always, for your careful, enthusiastic curation--we appreciate the legwork! I'll be sharing this link in my teacher communities, and the NCTE Poetry Committee.

Gail Aldous said...

Sylvia, thank you for this poetry list and also for your Sneak Peak list. I love and appreciate all of your poetry lists. I'm curious if any of your students are doing poetry reading videos? They are always well done and fun to watch.