Author: kwoyafaginmaples

  • Becoming a Poet: Making It

    This is the final post in the series. My mother has five children. She has always considered me her turtle. And I am–sometimes to my own frustration. But being a turtle works, too, because little by little, bead by bead, you are moving forward.

  • Becoming A Poet: The MFA

    I wish I was a better student and peer when I was in graduate school. I had an exceptional opportunity at the University of Alabama. I had free tuition and a monthly stipend. My professors in the creative writing program were kind. I finally had the chance to write and focus on the love of […]

  • Poetry as Protest (Protesting at the James Marion Sims Monument)

    Read about James Marion Sims, here. Sims is known as the “father of gynecology.” He conducted gynecological surgery on at least eleven slave women without anesthesia from 1845-1849 in Mt. Meigs, Alabama. This case is the subject of my book of poetry. It was the morning of the solar eclipse.

  • Becoming A Poet: Belonging

    Even though I practically slept in the computer lab on campus so I could write, I still wouldn’t call myself a poet. I didn’t own a laptop. Real poets looked cool, spoke cool, and wore cool shoes– not to mention they were mega-talented and mysterious.

  • Becoming a Poet: I Choose You

    I wasn’t a spoken word artist. The words moved out of me with a tangible rush as I read, but as much as I loved vowels I didn’t stretch them out over my tongue and colorfully use my hands and body while I read.

  • Becoming a Poet: The Side-Chick

    At 17 years old I made a decision that would change the course of my life. I moved eight hours away from home (Charleston, S.C.) and began my college education in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  I didn’t know anyone. My biological father lived in the same town, but he would continue to be MIA for as long […]

  • Becoming a Poet: Just Messing Around

    Maya Angelou was the balm to my loveless and desperate teenage heart. She knew what it was like to love and not be loved back.

  • Becoming a Poet: Before I Found Poetry

    This is the beginning of a series that tells the story of how I became a poet and why I love poetry. That’s me (second from the left) standing (very) awkwardly with a group of friends.

  • Is Black Motherhood Radical?

    I have three young children. Whenever I have them in public it’s always a gamble.

  • Don’t Wait (Bad title, I know.)

    I’m 34, and I’m just learning how to swim. I grew up in Charleston, and visited the ocean often, but I never learned to swim. I walked on my hands near the shoreline, even spent time holding my breath underwater, but I couldn’t survive in the 6 foot end of a pool. I kept promising […]