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Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Years: 2006, 2007


Sharon Dennis Wyeth is the author of over fifty books for children, including "Something Beautiful" a Parents' Best Book, and "Corey's Underground Railroad Diaries." Her work has been honored by The Children's Book Council, Reading Rainbow, LAMBDA, and the New York Public Library. She has visited hundreds of schools promoting literarcy and is a keynote speaker at conferences and universities. A native of Washington, D.C. and a graduate of Harvard University, she is visiting associate professor of creative writing in the graduate department of children's literature at Hollins University. She is also currently enrolled in the graduate school of creative writing in memoir at Hunter College. Ms. Wyeth has written for daytime and children's television and is a member of the Writers Guild of America. Her poetry has appeared in Drunken Boat, 10x10 and Cave Canem XI.


Black Magic

Dey dis girl what had the prettiest skin.

Say they took her out the oven ‘fore she ready.

Pale as a witch’s tit, some say she is a witch.

But her Daddy proud, show her off with a carnie.

Black Girl Gone White. Think she be smiling,

all that money. But she sit there with a frown

on her face. Say she want her skin back.

Say somebody stole it, some peddler man

give her daddy a golden ball spinning on a chain,

put round her neck. ‘Fore that, she black like the rest

her folks, so she claim. Sit there crying,

while the crowd pour in to see her.

Black Girl Gone White.

Then one day she met a fish, don’t know how

he got in there. Aint’ no water in the cage.

But she kiss his nasty lips and then she got her wish.

Overnight, the black start creeping back.

First, a splotch, then a leg, a scalp, her neck.

She throw that old golden ball right on off.

Sat there grinning, teeth black, even.