Secondhand Books Need Love, Too

In February, I spent a few days in New Orleans and one of my favorite things about the house where I stayed was that it had a mini library. There were shelves of books in the hallway that just added to the loved look of the house. 


I think that as someone who loves books, I’m always excited to see books in homes. Books make homes look lived in, they add so much to a house: aesthetic pleasure, add color and culture, and the proximity to books might make for committed readers. 

Books add character!

 As I’ve stated previously, in the future, I hope to build my dream library instead of merely having shelves in several rooms and boxes of books in other places. 

However, I recently realized that another the thing that I also love is buying books that someone else has already loved. I donate books and I love adopting previously owned books. I am also donating a huge box of books to my favorite local secondhand book shop

I am currently toying with the idea of a giveaway for a recently acquired, new book that I have no intention of reading. I’m going to give it away because I don’t think it should sit on my desk when someone could read and love it. 

My Dream Writer’s Conference Panel

I was inspired to create this post by Eventbrite and since it falls right in line with something that I have been working on lately (more on that in a later post) I thought it would be perfect as my first post of May. With the amazing opportunity to create my dream book conference panel, I was inspired to put together the following incredible conference. 

 Since I have an affinity for Southern literature, which isn’t at all surprising considering that my family are Southerners, I would have the conference at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. 

My conference would consist of different sessions. Ta’Nehisi Coates would moderate and Alex Haley would be the keynote speaker. 


One session would be “Classic Voices” and would feature some of my favorite authors and poets with:

Zora Neale Hurston

Maya Angelou

Lucille Clifton

Langston Hughes 

Gwendolyn Brooks


The next session would be “Southern Ladies” with: 

Lee Smith

Harper Lee

I would also want to feature several of my favorite fictional characters so I would have the “True Character” session with: 

Atticus, Scout, Jem, Boo and Cal from To Kill A Mockingbird

Delia from “Sweat”

Missy May from “The Gilded Six Bits”

Laiyah from Mine to Have and Mine to Keep 

The entire Serendipitous Love gang especially Charlie and Nix! 

Iris and Rob from The Truth

Fire from Waiting in Vain 

Then because I love mystery there would be a session devoted to that genre “Don’t Forget to Look Behind You” with:

Chester Himes

Agatha Christie

Rachel Howzell Hall

Attica Locke

The “Voices of the Diaspora” session would feature my favorite Caribbean writers with:

Colin Channer

Kwane Dawes

Edwidge Danticat 

Since I love romance there would be a session titled  “A Love Thing” with:

Christina C. Jones

E. Lynn Harris

Tè Russ

AshleyNicole

And finally, there would be a session with a few women writers that I admire for their various writing styles and topics with:

Susan Straight 

Leslie Esdaile Banks

Claudia Rankine

What do you think? Would you attend this conference? Who would be on your panel? 

If you are planning your own event and are looking for a resource to help you organize or are searching for local conferences click on this link for Eventbrite. 

https://www.eventbrite.com/l/conferences/

Untitled

This piece is a rarity written by me because it’s untitled right now. I’m going to be tweaking it a bit and rewording some of the lines to add more depth. It is a rough version of what it will be but I still wanted to share it.

You want to put a spell on me

Like your name is Nina or you 

Can conjure the blues greats 

But I’m immune

My people talk the fire out of burns,

read dreams,

and see dead people. 

There is no magic you can weave 

strong enough

to break generations 

of bindings

to rip the ties that bind 

Sarah and Lymon’s 

blood coursing through these veins.

My people wove dreams from land

ripe with cotton, scuppernong vines and sweet potatoes.

They poured sweat into the future 

and brought forth

their own brand of magic.

Look for Me-Ted Kooser

I apologize for slacking this past week, I had poems selected to share and didn’t have them drafted the way I should have. I rarely ever slack like that during National Poetry Month so I am posting twice today to end on a strong note. This poem is by U.S Poet Laureate Ted Looser and he shared it in celebration of his 87th birthday. 


Look for me under the hood

of that old Chevrolet settled in weeds
at the end of the pasture.

I’m the radiator that spent its years
bolted in front of an engine
shoving me forward into the wind.

Whatever was in me in those days
has mostly leaked away,
but my cap’s still screwed on tight
and I know the names of all these
tattered moths and broken grasshoppers
the rest of you’ve forgotten.

What Do You Call It?- Write Azaglo

Poetry is more than words. It is a force for change, the song of our souls, a call to action, a means to claim pride, or to capture a moment. Sometimes, the voice of the poet is so powerful that it leaps off the page! That’s what happened with this piece. I am proud to share with you the words of one of my favorite poets, Write Azaglo. This piece first appeared on her Instagram and I begged her to let me share it here. 

Hope you enjoy! 

What do you call it 

When they bottle up your blackness too

and place your body in the hands of white supremacy?

As if it was supposed to soothe their hunger for peace

Like they didn’t cause it to starve in the first place 

Like we ‘pos to just cheer on another black body being handed to  the police

For them to drink

For them to consume

For them to destroy 

Like we have smiles on our faces when we mourn

Like we don’t have tombstones written at the bottom of our soles

What do you call it? 

Aubade-Claudia Rankine

They say brave but I don’t want it.
Who will we mourn today. Or won’t we.

Black all the windows. Lower

down the afternoon. I barricade

all my belonging. I am mostly never real

American or anything

availing. But I do take. And take

what’s given. The smell of blood.

I breathe it in. The dirt so thick with our good

fortune. And who pays for it. And what am

I

But fear, but wanting. I’ll bite

the feeding hand until I’m fed

And buried. In the shining day. 

All deadly good

intentions. A catalogue of virtues

 This is how I’ll disappear.