Nayyirah Waheed is an African-American poet who has published two books of incandescent poetry, entitled Salt and Nejma. She began writing at the age of eleven, after being given an assignment to write a poem for a community newspaper by her English teacher. Since then, she has touched many with her published work and also gained a loyal following on Instagram.
Poems come as they will. They come as they want, when I’m waking, eating, exercising, chatting with someone. Sometimes they come to me as a whole, sometimes a line. I think it’s one of the ways my soul communicates with me, I do my best to sit down and listen.
She breaks the rules of poetry, with her signature three line poems and creative use of full stops. Nayyirah Waheed’s minimalistic poetry covers topics such as love, identity, race, and feminism; and she burns through our ideas around these things with stark clarity.
Here are 11 of her captivating poems that touched us deeply: