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Kwame Alexander

Now Available

This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets

PUBLISHED: Jan 30, 2024

This is the Honey

Available now at bookstores everywhere

A breathtaking poetry collection on hope, heart, and heritage from the most prominent and promising Black poets and writers of our time, edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander.

In this comprehensive and vibrant poetry anthology, bestselling author and poet Kwame Alexander curates a collection of contemporary anthems at turns tender and piercing and deeply inspiring throughout. Featuring work from well-loved poets such as Rita Dove, Jericho Brown, Warsan Shire, Ross Gay, Tracy K. Smith, Terrance Hayes, Morgan Parker, and Nikki Giovanni, This Is the Honey is a rich and abundant offering of language from the poets giving voice to generations of resilient joy, “each incantation,” as Mahogany L. Browne puts it in her titular poem, is “a jubilee of a people dreaming wildly.”

This essential collection, in the tradition of Dudley Randall’s The Black Poets and E. Ethelbert Miller’s In Search of Color Everywhere, contains poems exploring joy, love, origin, race, resistance, and praise. Jacqueline A.Trimble likens “Black woman joy” to indigo, tassels, foxes, and peacock plumes. Tyree Daye, Nate Marshall, and Elizabeth Acevedo reflect on the meaning of “home” through food, from Cuban rice and beans to fried chicken gizzards. Clint Smith and Cameron Awkward-Rich enfold us in their intimate musings on love and devotion. From a “jewel in the hand” (Patricia Spears Jones) to “butter melting in small pools” (Elizabeth Alexander), This Is the Honey drips with poignant and delightful imagery, music, and raised fists.

Fresh, memorable, and deeply moving, this definitive collection a must-have for any lover of language and a gift for our time.

This is the Honey On Tour: A Great Day in Poetry

In 1958, Esquire magazine commissioned Art Kane, a young photographer, to photograph as many of the luminaries of the New York jazz scene as possible together. The group included Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, and many other notable artists. The photo would be used for Esquire’s 1959 Golden Age of Jazz edition, as a way to highlight and celebrate the soundtrack of America. Over the years, other facets of Black America’s Cultural landscape would be commemorated in similar ways: A Great Day in Hip Hop (1998), A Great Day in Hollywood (2018).

In keeping with this tradition, Kwame Alexander has organized A Great Day in Poetry, with events primarily taking place on February 1, 2024—Langston Hughes’ birthday. Coinciding with the publication of his 40th book, This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, A Great Day in Poetry will feature various contributing poets gathering in select bookstores across the U.S., including New York, Washington, DC, Charleston, SC, Boston, and Los Angeles, reading from their work and paying homage to the legacy, and future, of African-American poetry.

Wednesday, January 31: A Great Day in Poetry Eve

Montclair, NJ
6:30pm ET
Watchung Booksellers at Montclair Public Library supporting Howe House
Featuring: Kwame Alexander with special guests Reginald Harris, Jacqueline Johnson, and Chris Slaughter

Thursday, February 1: A Great Day in Poetry

Washington, DC
6:30pm ET
MahoganyBooks at Planet Word Museum
Featuring: Abdul Ali, Kimberly Collins, Kyle Dargan, Brian Gilmore, Reuben Jackson, Alan King, Chet'la Sebree, Clint Smith, Truth Thomas

Charleston, SC
5:30pm ET
Buxton Books the Charleston County Public Library, John L. Dart branch
Featuring: Joanna Crowell, Gary Jackson, Asiah Mae, Dr. Tonya Matthews, Ronda Taylor

Boston, MA
7:30pm PT
Brookline Booksmith at the Public Library of Brookline: Coolidge Corner
Featuring: Jarita Davis, January O’Neil, Pamela Taylor

Los Angeles, CA
7:00pm PT
Malik Books - (Westfield Culver City)
Featuring: LeRonn Brooks, Safia Elhillo, Jonterri Gadson, Yvette R. Murray

Saturday, February 3: Seen, Sound, Scribe series, hosted by Lincoln Center Poet-in-Residence Mahogany Browne

New York, NY
7:30pm ET
Lincoln Center
Featuring: Nikki Giovanni, Kwame Alexander, Mahogany Browne, Tony Medina, Evie Shockley, and Quincy Troupe; with live musical accompaniment by composer and pianist Donal Fox

Sunday, February 4

Reston, VA
3:00pm ET
The CenterStage
Featuring: Kwame Alexander

Thursday, February 8

Norfolk, VA
6:00pm ET
Pure Lagos African Art Gallery & Boutique
Featuring: Kwame Alexander