Review: Mahogony: A Love Letter To Black


I’ve decided that I want to start writing reviews of local writers or books that I really enjoy. I’m going to kick off this series with the chapbook “Mahogany: A Love Letter To Black.” Written by Heather “Byrd” Roberts, a poet, performer, and teaching artist in Chicago, this chapbook tells a very deep, emotional story. It is a journey through her life, echoing both the tribulations and the joys she’s experienced.

Heather graduated from Cornell College and received a Bachelors in Special Studies in Performance Art. She also received a Masters in Organizational Leadership from St. Ambrose University and a Certificate in Spoken Word Pedagogy from Concordia University-Chicago. Currently, she is the Programs Associate at Young Chicago Authors (YCA). YCA is a literary non-profit in Chicago that focus on cultivating more than 10,000 young peoples’ voices through writing, publication, and performance education. She is also a member of the Poetic Forum Collective that has reoccurring shows at Stage 773 in Chicago.

I met Heather at Cornell College in Iowa, and I have always been impressed and amazed by her writing. After I helped found Wordsmiths, a creative writing group on campus, she founded Lyrically Inclined, a poetry/performance poetry group. She has carried on with her amazing talent to create “Mahogany: A Love Letter to Black.”

I absolutely adored this chapbook, and I had the honor and pleasure of being one of her editors. The poems are raw, honest, and powerful. I grew angry at the injustice that she described, and it made me understand more just what she has gone through over the course of her life. Her language is beautiful and tantalizing. It’s easy to hear the heartbeat in each line of poetry, her heart beating to the rhythm of her words.

I highly encourage you to pick up this amazing piece and check Heather “Byrd” out on her facebook page. You can also visit her website to learn more about her and her journey.

To purchase “Mahogany: A Love Letter To Black,” you can find it here on amazon.

Congratulations on your success, Heather “Byrd”!