Kioni Marshall is a poet.
She’s been writing poems for more than half her life and has been performing in some of the most prestigious venues in New York for almost five years.
Her words are raw and refined and playful and edged and full of the kinds of feelings we don’t want to face and need to face and face every day of our lives.
She is talented, she is sharp, and she is far braver with her words than many of us will ever be.
Ms. Marshall is thirteen years old.
Lines from ‘Forgotten,” and from one or two of the other poems I’ve been able to find, have been echoing in my mind’s ear all week—these works have longevity beyond the novelty of their creator’s age.
Ms. Marshall was featured in a series about prodigies about a year ago, but as I watched her episode, I realized that I wasn’t watching a a short piece about a kid who likes writing poetry—I was being allowed to observe the processes of a fine poet in the early part of her writing life. Period.
Thank you, Ms. Marshall, for reminding us how it’s done.