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The Influential Female Poet Nordette Adams in National Poetry Month 2006
4/1/2006 5:13:00 PM
by Nordette Adams
|From NJ Spoken Word
Appreciation of Nordette Adams' poetry increases
New Orleans-raised poet Nordette Adams kicks off this year's National Poetry Month with a smile. She's filled with the inner warmth that comes from a sense of accomplishment. Less than three years ago only family and friends and a few strangers knew Adams wrote poetry. This week she learned that her poetry is starting to be recited by students on college campuses.
"I found out from a friend last week that a young woman named Randa Smith at Oregon State University recited one of my poems on a program there," said Adams, who added that she read the article herself online in The Barometer Online and was surprised to find her name in a piece that talked about college students reading the works of well-known poets like Nikki Giovanni.
Here is the paragraph that raised Adams' eyebrows.
The poem topics will be divided by a “scene” in which each performer will read a poem written by another influential female poet that relates to the topic matter. Smith plans to read a poem by Nordette Adams.
"What! I'm included with 'influential female poets.' Wait 'til I tell my mother this one," said the poet, who now lives in New Jersey. "One thing I'd like to find out is which of my poems did Randa Smith read. I guess this just shows the power of the Net."
She attributes her recognition to the Net because Adams has yet to submit a book of her poems to a publisher; nevertheless, appreciation for her work is growing. The Oregon State University student is not the only person reciting Adams' work. The poet's been contacted also by Miraisy Rodriguez, a student at Duke University, about using Adams' poem "New Orleans Lullaby" for a program, and last month the poet learned her poem "He Did Not Say F*%K Them Out" was used by Meg Thomas, a student at University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in a college paper.
"I also know that some K-12 teachers have been using my poem "Remembering a Life" about Martin Luther King, Jr., in the classroom as well as the webpage. I wish everyone who used the poem would let me know, but that is expecting a lot, isn't it?"
Adams, who also does spoken word performance, says she's been writing and reciting poetry since she was four or five years old. However she stopped writing poetry for about 15 years during part of her marriage.
"I started writing poetry again regularly in 2002 to deal with the emotional fallout of my divorce," she said. "But I didn't think of myself as a poet for a while. My bio on Writing.com used to describe me as a nonpoet who writes poetry, but I got a note one day from a very experienced writer and critic who said I should take that down. She said there was no question that I was a poet."
It's become customary for some poets to unveil a new poem during the month of April in honor of National Poetry Month. Adams has introduced a spoken word delivery instead for her poem "Stuck in a Black Bird's Groove." You can listen to the poem at this link: sw.writingjunkie.net/bbgrove.html.
Nordette's AuthorsDen Site: Nordette
Nordette's Love Poetry: Love À La Carte
Poetry About Black Men
From the Academy of American Poets: What is National Poetry Month?Another view of National Poetry Month: Against National Poetry Month As Such
Spoken Word Educational Links
Poetry Life & Times
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