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Ama Codjoe

Ama Codjoe is the author of Blood of the Air (Northwestern, 2020), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize, and the forthcoming Bluest Nude (Milkweed, 2022). Among other honors, Codjoe has received fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council/New York Foundation of the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. 



Summer 2021 | Poetry

after Romare Bearden’s Patchwork Quilt (1969)

My back is turned from him again, 
but this time I’m not hunched 
over the quilt—his rough thumbs 
gripping my waist—I’m standing 

Bathers with a Turtle

Summer 2021 | Poetry

Three nudes crudely drawn. One crouching, 

back turned, right hand feeding the turtle 

of the painting’s title; another sitting, as if in a chair,

head bowed, eyes downcast; and a central 

Heaven as Olympic Spa

Summer 2021 | Poetry

Koreatown, Los Angeles

Gwendolyn Brooks stood stark naked.
I stared into her bespectacled eyes.

Ms. Brooks showed me how 
to tend to myself by scrubbing dead skin

The Thoroughbred

Spring 2018 | Poetry

There is, in a nearby field, a retired show horse living out
whatever days it can win, a white horse speckled with brown
flecks. Its limp mane welcomes your hand. On its face,