Wednesday, February 22, 2012

YA Highway: Road Trip Wednesday #10

"Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic." Today's question on the YA Highway road trip is:

February is Black History Month and it's also the month of Valentine's Day. So let's show some writerly love by answering the following question: Who is your favorite African American author or fictional character?

Choosing one favorite African American author is a challenge. As you can see from this post in which I link to the Pinterest board I created in honor of Black History Month, there are so many African American writers whose work I love. Incidentally, I've heard that Pinterest may have a wait list, so if anyone would like an invite, let me know in the comments. I'm not positive, but I think getting invited can expedite the process.

Okay, now that I've fully digressed, I'm going to split hairs and choose a favorite poet and a favorite prose writer.

Prose: Zadie Smith. Her "answer" to Howard's End, On Beauty, is a perfect novel. It's the kind of book that if she were to only have written one in her life, that book would secure her place in history. But she's a relentless machine of perfection, having also written White Teeth, The Autograph Man, and a number of short stories.

Poetry: Lucille Clifton. Though I love every poem of hers that I've read, this is one of my favorites:

wishes for sons

i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
i wish them no 7-11.

(Read the rest of the poem here at the Poetry Foundation.)


  1. I need to read some Lucille Clifton poetry for sure. I love that!

    1. It gives me goosebumps every time I read it. It's sort of like an Adele song!

  2. Haha, that is so so good:

    "i wish them a strange town
    and the last tampon."

    1. I know! It still resonates for me in the age of cell phone GPS, but I wonder if it would for teens. I hope so!!

  3. Nice poem! I like Clifton's style.

    1. Me too! It's powerful yet simple. It packs a punch without being obscure and making me feel clueless, which I can't say about a lot of poetry.

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