Nate Marshall


Nate Marshall is an award-winning author, editor, poet, playwright, performer, educator, speaker, and rapper. His book, Wild Hundreds, was honored with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s award for Poetry Book of the Year and The Great Lakes College Association’s New Writer Award. He is also an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and he also co-curates The BreakBeat Poets series for Haymarket Books. Marshall co-wrote the play No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks with Eve Ewing, produced by Manual Cinema and commissioned by the Poetry Foundation. He also wrote the audio drama Bruh Rabbit & The Fantastic Telling of Remington Ellis, Esq., which was produced by Make-Believe Association. His last rap album, Grown came out in 2015 with his group Daily Lyrical Product. His next book, FINNA, is due out in 2020 from One World/Random House. Nate was born at Roseland Community Hospital and raised in the West Pullman neighborhood of Chicago. He is a proud Chicago Public Schools alumnus. Nate completed his MFA in Creative Writing at The University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers' Program. He holds a B.A. in English and African American Diaspora Studies from Vanderbilt University. Marshall has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Poetry Foundation, and The University of Michigan. Nate loves his family and friends, Black people, dope art, literature, history, arguing about top 5 lists, and beating you in spades. Source

praise song

praise the Hennessy, the brown

shine, the dull burn. praise

the dare, the take it, the no face

you’re supposed to make.

praise the house, its many rooms,

hardwood and butter leather couches;

its richness. praise the rich, their friendship.

praise the friends: the child of the well off,

the child of the well off, the child of  well,

the child of welfare, the child of welfare.

praise the diversity but praise the Hennessy,

and again,           and again.           praise

the new year upon us. praise my stumble,

the shaky eye, the fluid arm, but the steady

hand. praise my hand, the burning it has.

praise the dive into the gut of a friend; the dousing

of my hand in his ribs. praise the softness of skin,

the way it always gives.


praise the pulling, the calming down.


praise the fuck that, the jump back into all

five of my friends fist first. praise all

five of my friends pinning me into the thick

carpet, knees in my back. praise my back,

how it hurts and raises anyway, how it flips,

how it’s the best friend of my fists.

praise the swinging pool cue, how it whips

air like a disobedient child, praise the disobedient

and all the chilling           i won’t do.

praise the child smile on my face, the fun

plunging a knee into a cheek of my best friend.

praise his blood, the brightness of it, a sun i bask in.

praise my blood, the nose flowing wild with effort,

the mess and taste of it, praise the swallowing,

salt and its sweetness.


praise the morning, the impossible blue,

Midwestern  January above us. praise

the blues dulled in my denim by all

the brown. praise the brown shine, the dull



praise all six in my jeans, our salt

and life sitting dry on my thighs

mixing, refusing to wash away.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Joy & Praise

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


a break between words within a metrical foot


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter