Along with its annual celebration of Black Music Month, the June 2007 edition of ESSENCE Magazine includes the poem “My One Favorite City,” by Savannah author-poet Aberjhani, marking the writer’s tenth year publishing work in the famous periodical.
“I’m not just happy about reaching this personal milestone,” said the writer, who last year won the Connect Savannah Readers’ Poll for best poet and spoken word artist. “I’m especially happy just to know that ESSENCE Magazine still publishes poetry since a couple of years ago it was announced that they no longer would. That announcement was a huge blow to the literary world because ESSENCE is one of few major magazines––with a readership of 7.6 million––that takes poets and poetry seriously.”
The author’s poem appears on page 204. The first work he published in ESSENCE was a cover story in 1997 titled “This Mother’s Son,” about the challenges of becoming a caregiver. The magazine later began publishing his poetry every year and listed his Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance on its list of recommended gift items.
In addition to the poem in ESSENCE, readers have also taken note of Aberjhani’s “A Dancer’s Strength and Grace,” a poem that he wrote as a review of actress-author Victoria Rowell’s bestselling memoir, “The Women Who Raised Me.” Ironically, “A Dancer’s Strength and Grace” was posted on the Amazon.com page for Rowell’s book just as the Internet giant was preparing to release Aberjhani’s new Amazon Short title: “The Harlem Renaissance Way Down South.”
Other poets in the June issue of ESSENCE include Cathy Delaleu, Wendi E. Hill, Lisa Gillard, Jahbu, Tawana Moore-Cedeno, Omar Massey, Tanya Bush Richard, Gabriela Hall-Chung, and Linda J. Fuller-Browne. Grammy-winning hip hop artist Mary J. Blige is featured on two alternate covers of the issue, one by herself, and one with her husband Kendu Isaacs. The magazine also shines spotlights on performing artists: Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Jay-Z, Rihanna, The Roots, and T.I.