This was the question Tabia Yapp ― the founder of BEOTIS, a boutique agency that represents leading writers, speakers and multidisciplinary artists of color ― posed to a group of contemporary poets she admired.
The open-ended question provided respondents with ample space to play. Some poets answered the prompt in two words, while others filled up pages, all while attempting to describe a time categorized by so much fear, anger, hope, action and love.
We’re only two months into 2017. At times, it feels like the year has already stretched beyond its 12-month boundaries. Yet at the same time, 2017 still doesn’t feel quite real. Just as Black History Month comes to a close, the following poets are helping us make sense of this uncertain moment in history, using language as a guide.
Behold, 34 poets of color summarize 2017 in verse*: