Roya Marsh


Bronx, New York native, Roya Marsh is a nationally recognized poet, performer, educator and activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Roya’s work has been featured in Poetry Magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Frontier Poetry, the Village Voice, Nylon Magazine, Huffington Post, The Root, Button Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital, Lexus Verses and Flow, NBC, BET and The BreakBeat Poets Vol 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket 2018). In Spring 2020, MCD × FSG Originals published Roya Marsh’s dayliGht, a debut collection of experimental poetry exploring themes of sexuality, Blackness, and the prematurity of Black femme death—all through an intersectional feminist lens with a focus on the resilience of the Black woman.  Source


      is the sound of me thinking

in a language stolen from my

ancestors. I can’t tell you who the

first slave in my family was, but we

are the last. Descendants

of the sun. Rye skinned

and vibrant, wailing to

a sailing tomb. We twist

creoled tongues. Make English

a song worth singing. You erase

our history and call it freedom.

Take our flesh and call it fashion.

Swallow nations and call it

humanity. We so savage

we let you live. 

       I can’t tell you who the first slave

in my family was, but we remember

the bodies.   Our bodies remember.

We are their favorite melody. Beat

into bucket. Broken

into cardboard covered

concrete. Shaken

into Harlem. The getting over

never begins, but there

is always the get down. Our DNA

sheet music humming

at the bottom

of the ocean.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Memory & The Past

Racial Injustice

Strength & Resilience

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


A device in which the last word or phrase of one clause, sentence, or line is repeated at the beginning of the next.

Bleeding Title

when the title of a poem acts as the first line


the usage of words in a clause that are repeated in reverse order

Internal Rhyme

A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.