The first book of poetry dedicated to the issue of colorism, Colorism Poems features the best poems submitted to the 2014 and 2016 Colorism Healing Poetry Contests. The poems published here represent a diverse range of voices, ages, languages, ethnicities, and styles. This collection explores the complex politics of complexion, hair, gender, beauty, race, nationality, mixed-race identity, stereotypes, family, heritage, healing, love, and more.

This is a particularly great read for teenagers, young adults, students, educators, poetry lovers, and anyone interested in the topic of colorism.

Featured Poems By:

Cassandra Alfred (email), Arianne Amparo, Nureen Ansari, Dana Bradshaw, Jabari Butler, Allayah R. Carr, Amy Chiem, Omoyemi Davies, Cynthia Davis, Marlana Edwards, Marina Ellis, Zoe A. Everett, Hannah Fradkin, Arthurine Harris, Khloe Henry, Esmeralda Hic, Naomi Jeanpierre, Rebecca Jimenez, Min Su Kim, HK, Chyna Leopoldo, Taylor Janay Manigoult, Marielle Medina, Danielle Milton, Cát-Phuong Nguyen, Kiki Nicole, Rina Nkulu, Sydney Odell, Basirat A. Owe, Akos Owusu-korkor, Paulamia Pass,  Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, Gabrielle Richards, Letonia Louis Robertson, Katrina N. Robinson, Gwendalynn Roebke, Sherrin Sen, Ren-Caspar Smith, Amaris Wilson.

Listen to Sherrin Sen read her poem “Brown”:


“Although a poem may not seem like a large impact, it is the ideas and thoughts of everyone who has contributed to this anthology that I hope will reach anyone who may feel insecure about themselves.” –Min Su Kim, 2014 contestant whose poem “What Defines You” is featured in the anthology

“This book offers readers a unique opportunity to gain insight and nuances in a further understanding of colorism through a rich mixture of stories and perspectives through a highly expressive art form.” –Dr. Petra A. Robinson, Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University and colorism scholar

“Bold and beautiful work. Great job getting this wonderful collection out there” –Janice Ledet

Colorism Poems allows me to get vivid perspectives on the topic from a diverse group of everyday people.” –Dr. Jandel M. Crutchfield, Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi

“I am so grateful to be included in the publication of Colorism Poems. A first of its kind, Colorism Poems is a collection of poetic discourses on the issue of colorism. In this book, discussion, critique, and most importantly, healing takes place as individuals share their perceptions  of and experiences with ‘the color complex’.” –Casandra Alfred, 2016 contestant whose poem “The Baby Factory” is featured in the anthology