Capital BookFest will also feature the unveiling of Family Pictures: Poems and Photographs Celebrating Our Loved Ones, which features poetry from such greats as E. Ethelbert Miller, Lucille Clifton, and Tony Medina. The book also includes poems by writers all over the world, including 11-year-old Washington, D.C. student Kyndall Brown, and me. Several of the poets featured in Family Pictures will read at the event.
I have to thank poet/performer Thandiwe Shiphrah for my poem, "Lost in America," which appears in the book. Thandiwe inspired me to write the piece at one of her motivating Women's Gatherings in Nashville. (God bless you Thandiwe!)
Lost in America
by Alicia Benjamin
I am the Geechee Girl. Lost in the English of America. Mangoes are what I like. Orange, green, and fleshy.
I prefer the heat, but when it's cold my grandfather talks to me from the walls of my house.
He says, "One day oona gwine see me agin. On dat day, we gwine rejoice fa true." Then I'm warm again.
My grandfather also tells me that I am the droplets of the Orishas, spilled into the womb of his wife. I carry the strength of my mamas, who were warriors, from Sierra Leone, Senegal and Angola.
Gather me mother and father. Gather me and give me the power to make my child the warrior she needs to be.
The Capital BookFest will be held on October 6, the Blvd. at the Capital Centre, 931A Capital Centre Blvd., Largo, Maryland from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.