Have You Read Any of Carolyn M. Rodgers’s Poems?

I’m writing an entry about Carolyn M. Rodgers.Well, I’m not writing it yet. I’m actually in the reading stage. I’m reading everything I can find about her. Rodgers began writing poetry during the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s. Gwendolyn Brooks was one of her mentors. She attended The Gwendolyn Brooks’s Writers Workshop and became a member of the Chicago Organization of Black American Culture.

Yesterday, after I ran to the library to find Valerie Lee's (One of my favorite professors at Ohio State.) book, The Prentice Hall Anthology of African American Women's Literature, I decided to look on my own bookshelf. I found a treasure. Mari Evans’s Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation. Was that luck or what? It has an entire section devoted to Rodgers. The section opens with an interview Rodgers did with Mari Evans.

Rodgers’s reply to Evans’s last question on page 376 spoke volumes to me:

EVANS: How concerned are you with form, structure, the physical geography of a poem?

RODGERS: Form and structure are important, of course. I’m presuming you mean how it is written, how it sprawls or sits neatly on a page. That’s such a hard question for me to answer. I put the poem on paper by sense and touch, much like a blind person fumbling in the dark for light.

How’s that for a primer about the writing process?