My Life As China By Evie Shockley Summary

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This year Writers Forum featured Evie Shockley, an author of black literature. After being introduced on stage, Shockley began the night with her poem My Life as China. This poem set the tone for the rest of the night as the poem uses china as a symbol for a black person’s life during a time of discrimination. The next poem she read was a poem called Celestial. Shockley told an interesting story about how Marilyn Monroe helped Ella Fitzgerald get booked for shows. This story was the inspiration for her poem as she is a huge fan of both women, and Monroe herself was a fan of Fitzgerald. She used her fame to open the doors for Fitzgerald who was denied shows because of her race. Her Tin Skin was another beautiful poem that represented Shockley’s inner vulnerability and insecurities. Never After was a poem she loves to read for colleges and it is one of my favorites from her book of poems titled The New Black. She also read a poem called Post White which was set after Obama’s inauguration and the whole last section of her book titled The Farewell Letters. After reading from her book, she began to dive into her new works. She read a poem titled Improper(ty) Behavior which is actually in her book, The New Black, but…show more content…
I was surprised to see that many of Shockley’s poem are in free verse form. The only poem that isn’t is Celestial, which follows Gigan, a poetic form invented by Ruth Ellen Kocher. Almost all of Shockley’s poem are protest poems. A lot of poems in her book that wasn’t discussed at the Writers Forum had plenty of literary techniques in them. Shockley is a very artistic poet. Many of her poems take the shape of art. Others are about certain pieces of art like Her Tin Skin. The New Black has examples of altar and concrete poems in it. The New Black is also centered on black history, so allusions to key historical figures and events are present in the majority of her

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