Ad Spot

The creative, amazing poetry of Ceola James

I haven’t yet read this collection of poetry by Ceola James, but I’m very anxious to, and soon will. It affirms that the poet lives in the lawyer and judge and that numerous lives lurk in us all.  For it is a demonstrated polarity we seldom address, much less discover because callings become jobs far too often in life; a way to make a living, many would say. A way to make money, most of us think.

So it is edifying to remember that T.S. Eliot was a bank clerk when he wrote “The Waste Land,” and that it really doesn’t matter that no one reads him anymore. The truth is he changed our lives.

And for those who don’t know her, Ceola’s had many lives before this one, as a lawyer and a Mississippi appellate judge, as a speaker of flawless French, and now as an addition to the black women poets who’ve made an army of succession to Phillis Wheatley and Gwendolyn Brooks.

And she lives here in Vicksburg.

Most of us don’t know about her hidden life as a poet though most of us have heard of poets laureate and such. But most of us don’t know “poets in residence” as such. And we have one, on our streets and in our lives every day.

Her presence here is more wonderful still because she is the latest to a dizzying array of other women poets and a deepening sense of how much we need them. Black women poets like Pulitzer Prize winner, Tracy K. Smith, was Poet Laureate of the United States and Jamila Woods, raised in Chicago, who has written a truly unforgettable work called “Blk Girl Art.”

Eve L. Ewing, also from Chicago, is a sociologist at the University of Chicago, but whose poetry has been printed in Poetry, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation and The Atlantic magazines.

Then there is Morgan Parker who was the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and member of Cave Canem (meaning “Beware the Dog” that too few of us know or have even heard about).

All these, and more, are today’s black women poets. They are the outgrowth of a very deep desire, and proof of superior English. They are like a picture I discovered recently online of last year’s (2019) women graduates at West Point — a group of 32, the largest graduating class of black women in the history of West Point.

Who says we can’t do what?

And they can write poetry too.

One of them lives here in Vicksburg. And I know her well. Many of us do.

Fellow lovers of words written, Ceola James’ poetry, Nine Days of Moody Weather, is available everywhere, on Amazon, at Walmart, at Barnes & Noble, and on Google and eBay. Not to mention Kindle.

Join me. Go get it. Turn a page.

Say hello.

 

Yolande Robbins is a community columnist for The Vicksburg Post.

Crime

Grove Street shooting suspect appears in Vicksburg Municipal Court

Crime

Vicksburg woman accused of abusing infant

Crime

Vicksburg man charged with aggravated domestic violence

Crime

Warren County Grand Jury to hear cases of 2017 homicide suspects

Crime

Vicksburg man killed in one-vehicle wreck in Issaquena County

Local

Litter, illegal dumps causing problems for county officials

Local

Mask mandate lifted as Flaggs closes emergency order

Downtown Vicksburg

Making a difference: Organ trail bikes through Vicksburg

COVID-19

Catholic, Episcopal bishops relax COVID-19 restrictions

News

Boil Water Notice lifted for Culkin Water District

COVID-19

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Local

Engineers working on safety, stability of I-40 bridge

Crime

Crime: Officers respond to burglary, theft of vehicle

Local

Dredge Jadwin begins annual mission

Local

Local student Andi Brice earns Benchmark Community Bank scholarship

News

Local farmer directs America’s Farmers Grow Communities Donation to Paws Rescue

Business

Rural Health Care Clinic opens doors to serve Vicksburg

Downtown Vicksburg

Farmers’ Market set to kick off May 22 at Washington Street Park

Local

Southern Heritage Air Foundation honors special veteran

Local

City seeking help with storm debris

Local

Recycling company seeks to bring service to Vicksburg

Local

Wesson company apparent low bidder on waterline work

News

Boil Water Notice: Culkin Water District

Crime

Vicksburg woman charged with embezzlement and identity theft