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Charm City Stories Releases First Publication

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Baltimore’s New Student Art and Literary Magazine of Mental and Physical Health Debuts

You know an event is a success when there are more people than chairs. On Friday, April 6th, Charm City Stories, Baltimore’s first student literary and art magazine of mental and physical health, released its first publication with a poetry reading and gallery showing.

The slim and bold art magazine features the work of at least five Goucher students, including Natasha Hubatsek, ‘21, Michelle Cheifetz, ‘20, Ruth Diaz-Rivera, ‘20, Donche Golder, ‘19, and Sarojini Schutt, ‘18.

The magazine was founded by Johns Hopkins student Arunima Vijay. Through her experience living in Baltimore, Vijay had begun to notice many experiences with illness in the community around her, as well as the abundance of art. She desired to find a way to combine medicine with art, a desire which eventually led to the creation of this publication. Charm City stories is inspired by the field of Narrative Medicine, which is rooted in the idea that effective and humane healthcare relies on the ability to interpret and be moved by the stories of others.

Starting out, Vijay was nervous about how others would respond to her idea. “I didn’t know if I was the only one who thought there was a need for a publication doing this kind of work,” she said.

As it turned, however, Vijay was not alone in wanting a student publication focused on health. She was able to form a team of editors with three other students from Johns Hopkins: Anuradha Haridhas, Julia See, and their magazine and website designer, Coleman Haley. The team publicized through social media, student writing/art groups, and outreach to the heads of the art and writing departments at Johns Hopkins, Goucher, Loyola, UMBC, University of Maryland College Park, and Morgan University. Through these various outlets, they received student poetry, art, creative nonfiction and fiction, all of which was related to physical and mental health. “The most fulfilling part was the overwhelmingly positive response we got from the community,” said Vijay.

In addition to the support of the community, a student publication also requires financial backing. Charm City Stories was fortunate to receive funding by the Mellon Arts Innovation grant from Johns Hopkins University.
Between applying for the grant for funding, contacting writers and artists, designing the magazine, creating the website, and planning the exhibition, Vijay estimates that, altogether, putting together the magazine took several hundred hours. “It’s a year’s worth of hours and effort,” she said.

The publication opens with a poem from Goucher student Natasha Hubatsek entitled “maybe that’s another morning.” Hubatsek’s free verse poem wanders from crisp detail to sensory snapshot, tracing the thoughts of someone asking and answering the question of why they keep on getting up in the morning.
Further into the publication, Michelle Cheifetz’s contemplative poems, “Don’t cry,” “What isn’t,” and “science: Rome,” slide between italics and regular font, images and ideas, beauty and destruction. Cheifetz and Hubatsek both read from their work at the gallery showing and magazine opening.

About halfway through the magazine, Donche Golder’s poem, “This is what you need to hear, and why” speaks directly to the perpetrators of sexual assault. At the end of the poem, the poem’s speaker then addresses a particular yet general “you,” saying, “I could have inserted a name, but this poem isn’t for one person./ This poem is directed at “you,” whoever “you” may be,/ wherever “you” are, for whatever “you” have done wrong./ This is what you need to hear, and this is why.”

Many of the Goucher students involved submitted to the publication because they were in a writing class with Professor Katherine Cottle, and wanted to see how their work would be received outside of the classroom and the Goucher community. It appears that the response was largely a positive one, as the publication features the work of so many Goucher students.

The current team of Charm City Stories editors, consisting entirely of JHU students, hopes, in future years, to have more students from other schools involved in editing the publication. They would also like to have a broader audience, more submissions, a larger event venue…and more chairs.
To read the publication online, visit charmcitystories.com.

If you’re interested in applying for an editor position for next year, click here to fill out an application form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeV8pkhuw70NKOcwf_rL-jcQe-CIFfAuf3sSIrOTzwAHm_TZA/viewform

Featured Image: Charm City Stories Logo. Photo Credit: Charm City Stories Facebook Page

Club Chat: Veritas – Philosophy Club

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This week, I got the chance to talk to Veritas – Goucher’s philosophy club. I spoke with Dustin Taylor (‘18) President of Veritas and Antonia Pettit (‘20) Treasurer of the organization.

What are the goals of your organization?
DT: We have two goals. The primary one is that each year we organize and host an undergraduate philosophy conference. We rent out a space, and take philosophy paper submissions from undergraduate students on campus and other schools. There are eight papers presented and people get to ask questions. Students and professors from other schools participate. Then we usually have a keynote speaker at the very end – usually an established professor from another school- who lectures on a topic of their choosing. The conference is the type of experience that will help you if you want to go into academia later on.
Our second goal is to give undergraduate students a more relaxed place to talk about philosophy. We share readings and articles and we get the chance to riff off of each other.

AP: And it’s not just for Philosophy majors. The department here is excellent, but it is a smaller program, so having students from other departments engage with us is really important, especially through the conference.

DT: There’s a lot of things professors might touch on in class, and we decide to talk about it some more. For instance, our professor Margret Grebowicz did an interview with Playboy a few years ago where she talked about the philosophy of kink and BDSM. We were able to have a conversation about that in a place with less pressure to “be right” or impress.

AP: We’ve definitely set up a culture where you can have a philosophical conversation without having a professor judging what you are doing, or having the pressure of writing a paper about it or something like that. It’s all about being able to have those open, free flowing conversations.

How long has the club been going on?
DT: I don’t know about the club, but this will be our 15th conference, so at least 15 years.

What have you done in past conferences?
DT: There’s not an overarching theme in each conference, since we get so many different papers. Our keynote speaker will often end up imposing a theme, which is often about politics; whatever the mainstream political discourse is.
[This year] is Daniel Smith from Perdue. He specializes in cybernetic theory and Gilles Deleuze, who is a French postmodern philosopher.

Is the conference open to the public?
DT: Anyone that wants to come can come. You don’t need to RSVP. All day, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. We provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner – free of charge.

AP: It’s in Buchner. April 7th, on a Saturday.

Why should people choose to spend time with your club?
AP: Because Veritas is so infrequent, it’s not the biggest time commitment. And the conference is only one day, so if you can make that commitment, you can get a lot out of the club.

DT: I think that every department or form of intellectualism is a type of applied philosophy. I think it offers people a chance to think about things on a level that they might not always get to.

Any plans for the future?
DT: Our philosophy of Science fiction class last year would throw movie nights where we would meet as a class and talk about the movie. That’s something I plan to do at least once this semester with Veritas. Invite the club, department, anybody who wants to come.

AP: With me going forward with the club, I definitely want to create more of a structure, and figure out an exact plan of when meetings can happen throughout the semester. It’s hard to do, everyone’s busy and philosophy isn’t the first thing on a lot of people’s minds, but it’s still something that could be valuable to a lot of people.

And that’s that for this installment of club chat! Interested in having your organization featured in the next issue of the Q? Email me at firut001@mail.goucher.edu for your chance to be in the next edition!

Featured image: Goucher’s Philosophy Club, Veritas, will host their 15th annual conference Photo Credit: Goucher College

Goucher High Tide 2018

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An Insider Look at the High Tide Ultimate Frisbee Tournament

So I don’t know how the rest of Goucher students spent their spring break, but I was fortunate enough to spend my spring break in sunny South Carolina for the High Tide Ultimate Tournament with two ultimate frisbee teams from Goucher.
The Goucher men’s team, “Gophbusters”, and the Goucher women’s team, “All You Can Eat” are both part of the Ultimate Frisbee Club here at Goucher, but play as separate teams for the men’s and women’s brackets of the High Tide Tournament.
High Tide is a series of college ultimate frisbee tournaments divided across four weeks and taking place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Each of the week long tournaments draw in frisbee teams from colleges all across the East Coast and Midwest. As a result, my team and I had the opportunity to face off against a wide variety of opponents, each with unique strengths, weaknesses, and strategies to bring to the field.
Some teams showed better sportsmanship than others, but I personally never felt disrespected or degraded by any of the teams we played against. There was plenty of spirit to go around both on the frisbee field and off of it. Players on both sides swapped stories and jokes on the sidelines while chanting an endless supply of cheers to their teammates. After games you would often find teams congratulating opposing players on their accomplishments and successful plays during the game. When the Goucher men’s team had bye games we would go watch the Goucher women’s team to cheer them on and provide encouragement, and vice versa. The overall vibe of the High Tide Tournament seemed much more friendly and supportive compared to tournaments I’ve played in for other sports such as basketball and baseball.
At the end of the week, when I asked my teammate Brian Barger, ‘21, what his favorite part about High Tide 2018 was, he quickly told me that while he really enjoyed all the time spent playing frisbee, “the community bonding was huge.” Both Brian and I have been part of the ultimate frisbee team since the beginning of the school year, attending numerous practices for two to three days a week for months on end, but spending a week together in a house with the team showed me sides of my teammates that I never saw during practices or games. The senior members of the team did a great job of taking care of the rookies and the rest of the team by helping them stay healthy and well rested in preparation for the rapid barrage of frisbee games we played each day of the tournament. Each ultimate frisbee game at High Tide is 70 minutes long, and teams play between one to four games each day, often back to back unless teams are lucky enough to get a bye game somewhere in between the cluster of matches. Ultimate frisbee involves a huge amount of running up and down the field and the pace of the game is very quick with constant movement and few timeouts. Captains were constantly encouraging teammates to drink plenty of water, gatorade, and even pickle juice for electrolytes to help with muscle cramps and fatigue. When I would finally come back to the house with the rest of the team after each long day of frisbee, both the men’s and women’s team would come together and cook meals for everyone and participate in a variety of bonding activities such as watching movies and making crafts. Captains would then tell us to get to sleep early each night in preparation for the next day of frisbee. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better spring break and High Tide had a lot to do with that.

What is the Green Fund?

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Goucher’s Renovation plans. Photo credit: Goucher Blogs

The Green Fund was created in 2013 with the goal of making the college more environmentally friendly. Every student living on campus pays a Green Fund fee of $18 a semester or $36 a year, for an approximate $50,000 a year, depending on the number of undergraduates living on campus. The money from the fee also rolls over from year to year if not all of it is used.
Every year, $5000 of the fund is allocated for student projects. Students can access this money through a grant-style application process, for which applications are processed by GESAC. Previous Green Fund grants have funded research on bicycle use in Towson, and the purchase of beekeeping supplies.
A portion of the fund goes to the GESAC itself for administrative costs such as advertising for the Green Fund, and the fulfillment of reporting requirements for sustainability initiatives, such as the President’s Climate Commitment. Money from the Green Fund fee also pays for consultants and for Goucher’s memberships to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Education (AASHE) and the President’s Climate Commitment.
GESAC also acts as a link among representatives from various sectors of campus (IT, Communications, and Bon Appetit, for example), who report problems and discuss problem-solving strategies in their different areas. For example, GESAC and FMS are currently working on an interactive online user interface to monitor our energy and water usage in near real-time, called Energy Dashboard.
The remaining funds of the Green Fund fee go to Facility Management Services (FMS) to support campus projects related to sustainability, like the Energy Dashboard.

Click here to read about decisions involving the sustainability coordinator position, or here, to read about the new student environmental coalition.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article published the Green Fund fee as being $84 a year when it is in fact $36.

Sustainability Coordinator Position Approved

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In the fall of the 2016-2017 school year, Matt Harmin was hired as the sustainability coordinator. As sustainability coordinator, his main role was to facilitate environmental action on campus, serve as a resource person, and collect data for annual reports. Harmin was paid an annual salary in the low $30,000 range, using funding from the Green Fund fee.

Now that Matt Harmin is no longer at Goucher, the Goucher Environmental Sustainability Advisory Council (GESAC) has been discussing whether or not to retain the position. Part of this discussion includes determining whether or not it is ethical to pay a salary from a fund created through student fees, as it may not be feasible as a long term source of funding. The newly formed student organization of environmental clubs, the Goucher Green Coalition, planned to petition for the position to continue, but before they could send out their petition, the position was approved by the administration and sent to be reviewed by Human Resources.

It remains a question, however, whether or not the coordinator will be paid through the Green Fund. In response to this, Grosso stated, “I think that I speak for a lot of students when I say that I would vastly prefer a Sustainability Coordinator paid via the Green Fund than no coordinator at all,” in an email conversation. She envisions the sustainability coordinator as essential in connecting environmental clubs and spearheading environmental action on campus.

For the year and a half that Matt Harmin was Goucher’s first sustainability coordinator, he chaired GESAC, acquired grant funds to support Energy Dashboard system, and worked with students on Green Fund projects, among other responsibilities. He also organized events like mushroom hunting, and instated a discount for students who brought their own bottle or mug to the dining halls.

Having a staff position entirely dedicated to sustainability also makes Goucher’s commitment to the environment more evident. The petition leverages this, bringing up the fact that Goucher is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and that President Bowen has signed the President’s Climate Consortium, and positing that hiring a sustainability coordinator will help Goucher uphold its commitment to these agreements.

Another reason for hiring a sustainability coordinator is for increased continuity of leadership around environmental issues. However, the salary may be detrimental to this proposed goal. Sophia Hancock, ’18, expressed concern that if a coordinator is paid a salary of around $30,000, they won’t stick around. How long would it be, she wondered, before they found a higher-salary position? If the sustainability coordinator were only in the position for a couple years, they would not be at Goucher longer than most of the student population. While the question of continuity may remain difficult to answer, if the position is renewed, Grosso is considering applying for it after graduation, and she encourages other students to do so as well.

To find out more about the Green Fund, click here.

If you’re interested reading a full job description for the sustainability coordinator, or in finding out more about the Goucher Green Coalition, contact Rachel Grosso at ragro001@mail.goucher.edu.

Environmental Clubs Create Coalition

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On Tuesday March 27th, a group of student leaders met to discuss the future of environmental action on Goucher’s campus. The group, currently named the Goucher Green Coalition (GGC), hopes to enact greater positive change through increased connectivity and communication among environmental clubs on campus. Because some of the clubs involved rely heavily on volunteers, such as Food Recovery Network, one goal of GGC will be to create a network through which clubs can ask for volunteers. The coalition also hopes to organize its own events, such as an Earth Day Campus Clean up on April 18th, and a Call-A-Thon for students to contact their representatives.

Rachel Grosso, ’18, was inspired to organize the coalition after attending the first annual Baltimore Student Environmental Conference, which brought together student leaders of environmental organizations from colleges and universities in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins and Loyola University both have an umbrella group that coordinates collaboration among environmental clubs, and this organizational structure inspired Grosso to start something similar at Goucher. Grosso noted that since Goucher Energy Action Revolution club, or GEAR, dissolved 3 or 4 years ago, Goucher has not had a “strong environmental presence,” which is something she hopes to change. As this is her final semester at Goucher, however, the continuance of GGC will rely on other students.

To form the group, Grosso made a list of people she had spoken with at the conference and looked for related clubs on the club page on Goucher’s website. As she began talking about her plan, more students became interested who were not already involved in a particular environmental group.

In this first meeting, which only lasted a half hour, the GGC discussed their purpose, vision, and concrete goals. Most of the meeting was spent discussing a petition to hire a new sustainability coordinator, but club leaders also made announcements about what they are working on.

Food Recovery Network (FRN) leader Allie Sklarew, ’17, stated that FRN will be hosting a Move Out for Hunger event at the end of the semester. This event encourages students to donate any leftover non-perishable food they have in their dorm rooms to be delivered to food banks, homeless shelters, and/or other organizations fighting hunger.

In a similar vein, Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, ’17, announced plans organize the “free store” at the end of the semester. A large project, the end-of-the-semester Free Store involves maintaining an on-campus space where students can bring items that they no longer want or need (clothing, books, electronics, etc.). The items brought to the Free Store can then be taken up by other students, or, if they remain in the “store” at the very end of the semester, be delivered to Goodwill. While there is a Free Store throughout the semester located on the top floor of Mary Fisher between Hooper and Dulaney, the Free Store at the end of the semester is much larger.

Because this Free Store project only operates at the end of the semester, unlike FRN, there is no consistent pool of student volunteers to pull from. For this reason, the Free Store exemplifies exactly the kind of project for which an organization like the Goucher Green Coalition can be helpful.

The Goucher Green Coalition had their second meeting on Monday, April 2nd.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Goucher Green Coalition, contact Rachel Grosso at ragro001@mail.goucher.edu. And if you’d like to volunteer to help with the end-of-the-semester Free Store, contact Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum, at brrap002@mail.goucher.edu.

Featured Image: The Second Meeting of Goucher Green Coalition. Photo Credit: Rachel Grosso

Goucher Students Published in Charm City Stories

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On Friday, April 6th, Charm City Stories, Baltimore’s first student literary and art magazine of mental and physical health, will release its first publication. The magazine will feature the work of at least four Goucher students: Donché Golder, Natasha Hubatsek, Michelle Cheifetz, and Ruth Diaz-Rivera.

Print copies of the free publication will be released at Johns Hopkins University at a gallery exhibition in the Second Decade Society Room of the Center for Visual Arts from 7-9pm. The publication will also be available online at charmcitystories.com.

Charm City stories is inspired by the field of Narrative Medicine, the idea that effective and humane healthcare relies on the ability to interpret and be moved by the stories of others. The first annual publication builds on the collaboration of writing departments at Johns Hopkins, Goucher, Loyola, UMBC, University of Maryland College Park, and Morgan University. The first annual publication of the free magazine is sponsored by the Mellon Arts Innovation grant from Johns Hopkins University.

One day, Goucher writing professor Katherine Cottle asked her writing students to submit at least one piece for publication before they left class, and this was the assignment that led to the publication in Charm City Stories for Donché Golder. Golder, ’18, submitted a poem, entitled “This is what you need to hear, and why.”

Through his poem, Golder explores themes of healing and accountability. “Without beating around the bush,” he said, “the poem is about sexual assault. The bulk of the poem addresses the agony of those who have been effected by sexual violence/abuse and the last four lines drive the point home: ‘I could have inserted a name, but this poem isn’t for one person./ This poem is directed at “you,” whoever “you” may be,/ wherever “you” are, for whatever “you” have done wrong./ This is what you need to hear, and this is why.’”

Golder, a 4th year English Major, Professional Writing minor, was inspired to submit for Charm City Stories because, he admitted, he hadn’t been published since seventh grade. “I’ve come a long way since then and I think it shows in my work,” he said.

To find out more, visit charmcitystories.com.

Track and Field Landmark Conference

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On Saturday, February 24th, the Gophers competed in the Landmark Conference at the indoor track and field Landmark Conference championship. first-year Brian Sullivan, from the men’s team, came in ninth place in the 60-meter dash and tenth place in the 200-meter dash with respective times of 7.42 and 24.03 (seconds). On the field, sophomore Darby Bauer finished ninth in the weight throw, launching the weight a whopping 39’8.50”.
Sophomore Natalie Kent, finishing second in the shot put, scored the highest for the women’s team, leading them to a sixth place finish. Sophomore Taylor Gunter placed fourth in the shot put with respective tosses of 35’ 9.25” and 34’ 11.75”. Gunter also placed third in the weight throw with an effort of 44’ 6.25”. Sophomore Gabby Blazek made third place in the pole vault clearing 9’ 5.75”. On the track, sophomores Michell Wolinsky and Anna Galina and first-years Kennedy Lowery and Enid Swatson took third in the 4×200 meter relay with a time of 1:55.24. Gallina had high finishes, placing seventh in the 200-meter dash (28.18) and tenth in the 400-meter dash (1:07.48). In the distance medley relay, first-years Jennifer Alves, Enid Swatson, and Isabel Srour and sophomore Victoria Wheeler took sixth place with Alves, Swatson, and Wheeler running distances they have never run on the track.
The indoor track team is saying goodbyes to seniors Brandon Creed and Katie Thompson. Creed was named to the Landmark Conference All-Sportsmanship Team along with sophomore Anna Gallina. Goucher will miss the heck out of these folks.
On Saturday, March 24th, the Gophers will host the Goucher Classic Invitational. Come support the Gophers on the track, because, as Coach John Caslin always says, “it’s a great day to be a Gopher!”

Featured Image: Landmark Conference Logo. Photo Credit: Goucher College Website

ISABEL SROUR

Goodbye (for now) to Athletics Director Geoff Miller

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The Gophers and Goucher College are saying a tearful goodbye to Director of Athletics Geoffrey Miller after gracing Goucher with his love and hard work for twenty two years. Not only was dear Mr. Miller the Director of Athletics. Additionally, Mr. Miller graced Goucher as a professor in Goucher’s graduate school’s M.Ed. program, concentrating in sports administration and leadership. Mr. Miller’s previous work had him in Washington College working as the Director of Athletics for seven years. Thankfully, he decided to come to Goucher in 1994 to serve as the Director of Athletics in hopes of “building of an athletic program” for the students and community here at Goucher.
During his time at Goucher, Mr. Miller has been a force of change, overseeing the addition of the track, pavilion and turf field, and the conversion of classrooms into the weight rooms in the SRC. Mr. Miller also brought Goucher to the Landmark Conference, which he helped to create. While making changes, Mr. Miller also noted changes around him, including the many curriculum changes. According to Mr. Miller, “we aren’t salesmen, but we’re trying to sell the school to our students.” To Mr. Miller, change is for the better.
As for the future of Goucher, Miller hopes that the Gophers bring home the metaphorical gold, winning more conference championships and gaining more national recognition for grades. After more then twenty years of work, Geoffrey Miller will be truly missed by the faculty and the students for his friendly and kind-hearted attitude. And although this is a goodbye, it’s not goodbye forever, as Mr. Miller plans to keep in touch with Goucher’s teams. From all of us in the Goucher Community, bon voyage and may the next step in your life’s journey be fruitful and pleasant.

Featured Image: Geoff Miller, with his daughter Sara, on Beldon Field in 2011. Photo Credit: WordPress blog by Billy Weiss, ‘11

ISABEL SROUR

The Poetry Corner

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This semester, the Kratz Center for Creative Writing is sponsoring a series of events entitled “Poetry as Community.” In conjunction with this theme, the Q has asked student poets to write about poets whose work they appreciate, to send in along with their own poems.

Here is Goucher poet Donché Golder, ’18, on poets who he considers to be great:

Lady Ise 877-?940

Lady Ise is a Japanese poet who wrote her work and the ‘Waka’  form. The term ‘Waka’ refers to poetry written in a 5-7-5-7-7 metre, (5-7-5 look familiar?) although it was once an all encompassing word form poetry in Japan. Lady Ise was the premiere female poet in Kokinwakashū, the first anthology of waka commissioned by Emperor Daigo. She is also, alongside Ono no Komachi, one of the premiere female poets in the Japanese early classical canon. Her works on the season are very beautiful and when translated are among some of my favorites.

*Note: Waka when translated into English or other languages may not always retain their metre.

ISE SHŪ 37 (*Ise Shū is the poetic memoirs of Lady Ise)

yo ni sakanu        Never blooming in this world,
mono ni ariseba    Were it such a thing,
sakurabana        A cherry blossom;
Fito ni amaneku    To all and sundry
tugezaramasi wo     It would be better not, to announce it so!

KOKINWAKASHŪ XVIII: 1000 (located in the 18th book of the kokinwahashū, the 1,000th waka chronologically.)

yamagaFa no        A mountain brook
oto ni nomi kiku    Babbling is all I hear
momosiki wo        Over the many-stoned palace
mi wo Faya nagara    Swift as the current would I return to the days
miru yosi mo gana     I saw it-how I wish it could be so!

 

Fujiwara No Teika 1162-1241

Like Lady Ise above, Fujiwara No Teika (Teika), was a renowned Japanese poet who wrote in the waka form. His works were inspired by the occurrences in his life, and show fluctuations due to his status at court and his physical health. Nonetheless he is still an inspiration to me as a poet. His works are recorded in the Senzaishū and the Shinkokinshū.

SENZAISHŪ V: 355

sigure yuku        Touched by drizzling rain,
yomo no kozuwe no    All around, the treetops
iro yori mo        With their colours say
aki Fa yuFube no    Autumn in evening is
kaFaru narikeri     A time of change, indeed.

SHINKOKINSHŪ VIII: 788

tamayura no        Fleeting, indeed, are
tsuyu mo namida mo    Dew and tear drops, both
todomarazu        Unceasing;
nakibito koru        She loved
yado no aki kaze     This house, where Autumn winds blow now.

 

Lucille Clifton 1936-2010

Lucille Clifton was an African American Poet born in New York City.  Since it isn’t my job to give you a full chronicle of her life, I’ll keep it brief. Clifton’s work focused on the African American experience, both as an African American woman and as a member of an African American family.  She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her works Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980, and Next: New Poems, which were both published in 1987. Clifton was also Poet Laureate of Baltimore City (My hometown). All in all, Clifton’s work speaks to me as an African American and makes me aspire to write as well as she did.

homage to my hips

these hips are big hips

they need space to

move around in.

they don’t fit into little

petty places. these hips

are free hips.

they don’t like to be held back.

these hips have never been enslaved,

they go where they want to go

they do what they want to do.

these hips are mighty hips.

these hips are magic hips.

i have known them

to put a spell on a man and

spin him like a top!

 

my dream about being white

hey music and

me

only white,

hair a flutter of

fall leaves

circling my perfect

line of a nose,

no lips,

no behind, hey

white me

and i’m wearing

white history

but there’s no future

in those clothes

so i take them off and

wake up

dancing.

 

Other poets Donché recommends:

Featured Image:  Lucille Clifton. Credit: The Poetry Foundation

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