Angel Nafis


Angel Nafis is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Rattling Wall, The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, MUZZLE Magazine, The Rumpus, Poetry magazine, and elsewhere. Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of a Millay Colony residency, an Urban Word NYC mentor, and the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. In 2011 she represented the LouderArts poetry project at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. With poet Morgan Parker, she runs The Other Black Girl Collective, an internationally touring Black Feminist poetry duo. Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems globally, she lives in Brooklyn with artist, writer, and musician Shira Erlichman. In 2016, Nafis was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Source

Ghazal for Becoming Your Own Country

After Rachel Eliza Griffiths’s “Self Stones Country” photographs


Know what the almost-gone dandelion knows. Piece by piece

The body prayers home. Its whole head a veil, a wind-blown bride.


When all the mothers gone, frame the portraits. Wood spoon over

Boiling pot, test the milk on your own wrist. You soil, sand, and mud grown bride.


If you miss your stop. Or lose love. If even the medicine hurts too.

Even when your side-eye, your face stank, still, your heart moans bride.


Fuck the fog back off the mirror. Trust the road in your name. Ride

Your moon hide through the pitch black. Gotsta be your own bride.


Burn the honey. Write the letters. What address could hold you?

Nectar arms, nectar hands. Old tire sound against the gravel. Baritone bride.


Goodest grief is an orchard you know. But you have not been killed

Once. Angel, put that on everything. Self. Country. Stone. Bride.





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Poetic Form

Strength & Resilience

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After Poems

A poem where the form, theme, subject, style, or line(s) is inspired by the work another poet.


a poem written about a piece of art that usually includes a description of the art and/or an imagined scene. Ekphrastic is Greek for “description.”


a short, lyrical poem that have five to 15 couplets, each one ending with the same word. Ghazals were originally used by Persian poets in Arabic verse.