Ama Codjoe

Ama Codjoe was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, with roots in Memphis and Accra. She has been awarded support from the Cave Canem, Saltonstall, Jerome, and Robert Rauschenberg foundations, and also from Crosstown Arts, Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Hedgebrook, and the MacDowell Colony. Codjoe’s recent poems have appeared in Gulf Coast Online, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Callaloo, and she is the recipient of a 2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award as well as GR’s 2018 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, judged by Natasha Trethewey.

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Etymology of a Mood

  Sometimes I feel like a goddess with many hands . . . except human. One hand is amber-gloved, dripping with honey, and two constantly shoo the flies. Two hands play “Miss Mary Mack” while two pairs clap to “Rockin’ Robin.” In my hand a dictionary, in my hand the ash of want, in my […]

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Lotioning My Mother’s Back

Because she lives alone and my hands reach where hers can’t, she asks of me this favor.   It is narrow and soft, my mother’s back. When I massage in small circles, my mother   circles her own mother, who is made of whatever makes a shadow thin   and ungraspable. She wants to touch […]

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Self-Portrait with Braid

  In the morning my eyes look thirsty like a willow leaning toward its reflection. My mother waits   inside the circles. One day I will remember her at her last age and see her peering from the windows   of my face. Motherless, without a second mirror, I will part the back of my […]

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