Born on July 16, 1923, Mari Evans grew up in Toledo, Ohio. She attended the University of Toledo.
Among her books of poetry are A Dark and Splendid Mass (Harlem River Press, 1992), Nightstar: 1973-1978 (1981), I Am a Black Woman (1970), and Where Is All the Music? (1968). Her books for children include Dear Corinne, Tell Somebody! Love, Annie: A Book about Secrets (1999), Singing Black: Alternative Nursery Rhymes for Children (1998, illustrated by Ramon Price) Jim Flying High (1979, illustrated by Ashley Bryan), Rap Stories (1974), and J.D. (1973, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney).
She is also the author of the plays Eye (a 1979 adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes... more »
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I am a Black Woman
I am a black woman
the music of my song
some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in a minor key
can be heard humming in the night
Can be heard
in the night
I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath
from my issue in the canebrake
I lost Nat's swinging body in a rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew....I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tire/d fingers