In this writing salon, Mahogany L. Browne will pay tribute to Miss Cicely Tyson and lead you through a journey of poetic discovery using her new YA novel-in-verse, Chlorine Sky. We will break down the prescriptive norms of being “girl”, write together, and hear Mahogany answer questions about poetry, writing in verse, and living the poet’s life.
Prompt #1: Remembering Miss Cicely Tyson
What is your purpose? And what are you going to do with that purpose?
Prompt #2: Unpacking Rules
Think back to your childhood. What instructions do you remember being told you? Rules that may have contradicted themselves? Rules that you still follow?
Prompt #3: Poetic Discovery
What images or moments kept your attention while listening to Chlorine Sky? Use a line from Chlorine Sky to kick off your own “instruction manual” or use a line to close your poem.
Some of Mahogany’s Reading Recommendations:
- Girl by Jamaica Kincaid
- We Will Not Cancel Us: Breaking the Cycle of Harm by Adrienne Maree Brown
- Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
- The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.
This event was originally recorded on January 29, 2021.
Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. She is also the Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of Chlorine Sky (Penguin Random House), Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby & Black Girl Magic (Macmillan), Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books) & Dear Twitter (Penmanship Books). She is also the founder of the Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign) & as an Arts for Justice grantee, is completing her first book of essays on mass incarceration, investigating its impact on women and children. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.