Best Poetry Book: “Black Seeds” by Tariq Touré

Good political poems ought to be, as Lawrence Ferlinghetti named them, “living newspapers.” From Amiri Baraka to Adrienne Rich, the political poetry that sticks is the stuff that sings with an unwavering voice about the truth of its time. “Black Seeds,” from City Paper contributor Tariq Touré, rises to this mark. Released less than a year after the Baltimore Uprising, “Black Seeds” offers a radical look at the roots of the long-standing disenfranchisement that boiled over in April 2015. The poems offer an unobstructed view of white supremacy, black pride, and respectability politics in Baltimore and beyond. “Black Seeds” is a living newspaper that pulls back the curtain on where Baltimore is and how we got here, as the poems live up to Ferlinghetti’s call for “dispatches to some supreme managing editor who believes in full disclosure and has a low tolerance for bullshit.”

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