2023 COURAGE to WRITE Writer of Note Awardee Feature of the Week:
Cocoa Michelle Williams, Syrup (Poetry), Marietta, GA
Syrup explores the myriad ways in which Black women have embraced radical self-definition in the face of the flatness of stereotype and dehumanizing consumption.
“‘Syrup’ contributes to the ongoing critical work of literary afterlives by relishing in the joy of self-definition and collective Black women’s memory of what has been both bitter and sweet about this life and the next.”
Cocoa’s poetry focuses broadly on this idea of consumption and black womanhood, and the connection between the naming of black children and racial consumption. The collection discusses these themes on both a personal and broader social level, as Cocoa explores the phenomenon of Aunt Jemima, reclaiming her as an other of herself in an effort to finally offer her a voice.