Angela Jackson

Winner of the 2002 Shelley Memorial Award

From Art: African-American Woman Guild, or The Spider Explains Her Art to the Blind

I am the singer with no name
fine-tuning screams to grace that keens
criss-crossing in the sky.

I am the cradling star stripping devils before morning.

I am an angel on the head of a pin.
No one can count these steps.

I am spinning earth's axis.

I am lotus sitting in the lion's mouth.

I am breathing in a silver bell.

I am beaming in the doorway.
Either come inside or
Get out of my light.


From "Art: African-American Woman Guild, or The Spider Explains Her Art to the Blind" by Angela Jackson from Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of Spiders. Copyright 1983 by Angela Jackson. Reprinted with the permission of Northwestern University Press.



Ai on Angela Jackson

We are thrilled to honor Angela Jackson with a 2002 Shelley Memorial Award. She is a marvelous poet with a splendid ear and a poetic voice reminiscent of Maria Callas in its depth and passion. She is a formidable talent. While Jackson's work is informed by her racial identity, it is easily accessible to all. Her excellent poems are enriched by her racial identity, and she is able to convey that richness and beauty to others through her poems without making them feel outside it. We hope this award will encourage her to continue to grace us with her poetry.

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