Latest Posts


Heroes Who Are Actually Heroes – The People We Should Celebrate Today Instead Of Columbus

Ann Petry (born October 12, 1908) was an American novelist who became the first black woman writer with book sales topping a million copies for her novel The Street.

The Street is a by African-American writer Ann Petry that was published in 1946. Set in Harlem in the 1940s, it centers on the life of Lutie Johnson. Petry describes a world of trials and tribulations that came with being a single black mother living on 116th street in New York City. see books by/on Ann Petry

thAlice Childress (born October 12, 1916) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, but at the age of nine, after her parents separated, she moved to Harlem where she lived with her grandmother. In 1939, she studied Drama in the American Negro Theatre (ANT), and performed there for 11 years. She acted in Abram Hill and John Silvera’s On Strivers Row (1940), Theodore Brown’s Natural Man (1941), and Philip Yordan’s Anna Lucasta(1944). There she won acclaim as an actress in numerous other productions, and moved to Broadway with the transfer of ANT’s hit comedy Anna Lucasta, which became the longest-running all-black play in Broadway history. Alice also became involved in social causes. She formed an off-broadway union for actors. Her first play, Florence, was produced off-Broadway in 1950. see books by/on Alice Childress

Dick_Gregory_2015Richard ClaxtonDickGregory (born October 12, 1932) is an American civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, and comedian. Active in the Civil Rights Movement, on October 7, 1963, Gregory came to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day” (October 7, 1963). In 1964, Gregory became more involved in civil rights activities, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform, and anti-drug issues. As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes and campaigns in America and overseas. see books by/on Dick Grgory

Writer’s Thought of the Day :: Writing Your Own Story

Reblogged on

Source: Writing Your Own Story

via Memoir Notes


Memoir writing is a popular form of expression. Many of us experience at least one life changing moment in our lives and it’s natural to want to share our experiences. It’s in our human nature to want to help others who may be going through the same thing we did or to connect with people who have had similar experiences.

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My Poems Are Moving

Dear Pens Up Press Readers,

For those who have been reading my work on this blog, please note that I will be moving my poems and stories to a new blog on the website Kristin’s Poetry Corner. There may be a post here occasionally, but it will be far less frequent. Also, Uproar Poetry poems and events will be featured almost entirely in the Uproar Facebook group.

There are a few reasons for these changes…

  • First, as Pens Up Press grows, we want this blog and website to focus on serving current and aspiring authors and general Pens Up Press readers.
  • Second, I wanted to provide a space where friends, family, and the general public could read and follow my work on a regular basis without also having to read about the ins and outs of the publishing industry if that does not interest them
  • Third, separating my own work from the business will make it easier for people to find, read through, and understand this site.

Please continue following Pens Up Press (this blog) if you are an aspiring or current author, especially if you have interest in publishing and particularly if you are an activist or artist of color. Please also continue following this blog if you would like to hear about new releases or see free samples of work from Pens Up Press authors. You can choose whether to follow this or my personal blog or both.

If you are interested in learning more about me and following my poems, please join Kristin’s Corner…

Users-kristinrjordan-PortraitUrl_100Kristin’s Poetry Corner

  • Ugly” about a young girl and her mother interacting on the subway
  • Sandra” a poem written in tribute to Sandra Bland

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Getting Though The Nooks and Crannies Of Writer’s Block

Today I was conversing with a author who had writer’s block.

She felt overwhelmed and did not know what to write so I did some research and this is what I came up with (see the listening below). Ever had writer’s block? Why not give these a try!

What Causes Writer’s Block?

  1. Timing: you feel like its not a good time/you’re not in the mood.
  2. Fear: You maybe fighting with your own ideas and think they are not good enough.
  3. Perfectionism: you want everything to be perfect so you wait, but then of course you don’t write anything down.

Ways to Get Over Writer’s Block?

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Eliminate distractions
  3. Do something to get your blood flowing (some exercise)
  4. Change your environment
  5. Read a book
  6. Listen to music./Brew some coffee
  7. Call a friend/Spend time with someone you love
  8. Know that you will not get though it by feeling sorry for yourself
  9. Try not to waste so much time by putting off writing, don’t let it sit
  10. Do not wait for a light bulb (a bright idea), instead free write and see what comes to mind as you put your pen to paper.


Today riding the subway I saw a woman putting lotion on a little girl sitting next to her. The little girl looked like the woman so I assume they were mother and daughter. The girl was about 5, very petite, dark skinned, and waring a red and black dress. The mother looked about 35 and started off lotioning the little girls legs which dangled off the side of the subway seat (they did not reach the floor). The mother then did her daughters arms and lastly her face ending with a dab of lotion on the little girls lips. I might have thought the whole thing innocent enough, perhaps even sweet, if not for the forceful strokes with which this mother applied the lotion to her daughter. The way she muttered at a scar on the child’s knee. And…the fact that she called this beautiful little girl “ugly”. She ended by palming the little girls hair and mumbling something about it being “too nappy”. This poem is my response…


by Kristin Richardson Jordan

Ugly comes in bulk so all buyers beware
you can buy it on the corner
you can spray it in your hair
you can dress it up real fancy
but in the end it will be shit
for this “beauty” is real ugly
and for truth
we’ll have to flip it

For ugly is not your daughter’s lips
or “ashy” face
not nappy hairs, lived in skin and scrapes from play
ugly is everything from this society that has to be erased
ugly are these boxes and these hurtful things we say

Far from 5 year old black girls with slightly light knees
ugly is the epitome of beauty wrapped up in white supremacy’s needs
for ugly is that air brushed beauty queen
that flawless skin that hot comb
ugly is our comfort with simulated simularity
over letting difference roam
ugly is our love of certain looks
and our love of looks over care
and ugly is looking at your child
and seeing only ugliness there

(c) Kristin Richardson Jordan, june 12th 2015