BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
As the senior managing editor at Luna Luna and the founding editor at Yes Poetry, you could say writing is important to me, especially poetry. For me, it’s vital to highlight poetic voices in order to support literature, activism, and expression.
Here are three of my favorite poems I read recently.
Tiana Clark - “An Excerpt from ‘The First Black Bachelorette’”
in salon chairs all day with black women
behind me, laboring and taming my mane.
I like the patterned crop circles carved
into my scalp right before the wefts
of somebody else’s Brazilian hair are sewn
like human icing into mine, delicious.
I want the fire to smell a type of threat
in me and back away. I want the fire
to know I was already consumed, burned
inside my belonging.”
Joy Harjo - “The Fight”
“I grow tired of the heartache
Of every small and large war
Passed from generation
But it is not in me to give up.
I was taught to give honor to the house of the warriors
Which cannot exist without the house of the peacemakers.”
Tanya Singh - “Prolonged Medication”
“i wish my father could see the left of my face, burning
when my mother asked me to offer my neck as a sacrifice,
our mother tells me, that’s how you hold your head high.
i open my hands and lay them above fire,
& pray that my hands are a hearth before they’re blue.”
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams, The Gods Are Dead, Marys of the Sea, Sexting Ghosts, Xenos, No(body) (forthcoming, Madhouse Press, 2019), and is the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault. They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is the founder of Yes Poetry and the senior managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Them, Brooklyn Magazine, BUST, and elsewhere. Joanna also leads workshops at Brooklyn Poets. joannavalente.com / Twitter: @joannasaid / IG: joannacvalente / FB: joannacvalente