June is Caribbean American Heritage Month! Every June since 2006, this month-long celebration promotes the rich cultural heritage of our Caribbean American citizens. Here are some well known Caribbean American authors to check out!

Elizabeth Acevedo

Acevedo was born and raised in Harlem. At first she told her parents that she wanted to become a rapper and later changed her mind and decided to be a poet. When she was at the Beacon school, her English teacher asked her to join the after school poetry club to help improve her work. She was 14 when she competed in a Poetry slam and soon began performing at open mic nights in New York city. In 2018, Acevedo published her first book, The Poet X. The book is written in verse and tells the coming of age story of 15 year old Xiomara. Her most recent book is Clap When You Land. This story revolves around two sisters who don’t know the other exists until their father dies in a plane crash.

Angie Cruz

Cruz was raised in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan and spent equal time with her family in the Dominican Republic. She went to LaGuardia High School for visual arts and continued to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 1993, she went back to school to pursue an English degree. Her most well known books are How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water and Dominica. The themes in her books focus on home and gender.

Safiya Sinclair

Born and raised in Jamaica, Sinclair moved to America in 2006 to study at Bennington College. Her first full length book, How to say Babylon is a memoir about her childhood in Jamaica and her father. She credits her mother for providing books to her and her siblings, especially poetry. Sinclair also has two published poetry collections, Catacombs (2011) and Cannibal (2016)

The Ragged and the Beautiful

Doubt is a storming bull, crashing through
the blue-wide windows of myself. Here in the heart
of my heart where it never stops raining,
I am an outsider looking in. But in the garden
of my good days, no body is wrong. Here every
flower grows ragged and sideways and always
beautiful. We bloom with the outcasts,
our soon-to-be sunlit, we dreamers. We are strange
and unbelonging. Yes. We are just enough
of ourselves to catch the wind in our feathers,
and fly so perfectly away.
This poem is from the Poetry Foundation’s website. Please click on the link to read more poems by Sinclair. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/155740/the-ragged-and-the-beautiful