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Virginia State University, Virginia, United States
Dr. Latorial Faison is an American poet, author & educator born & raised in Courtland, VA. She’s authored & edited 15 books, including Mother to Son, Love Poems, 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History, Vols. 1-3 & The Missed Education of the Negro. Faison has degrees in English from UVA & VA TECH and a doctoral degree from VA State University. She's been published in Obsidian, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, Artemis Journal, Penumbra, West Trestle Review, RHINO, Typishly, Southern Poetry Anthology, About Place Journal, Southern Women's Review, Deep South Magazine, Chickenbones, Typehouse & elsewhere. A 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Center fellow, Dr. Latorial Faison is a recipient of the Tom Howard Poetry Prize, finalist & semi-finalist for the CAVE CANEM, HUDSON, Wheeler & Stevenson Poetry Prizes. She's been published alongside Iyanla Vanzant, Danny Glover & Dr. Cornel West in the NAACP Image Award-winning book Keeping the Faith. Dr. Faison teaches on the faculty at Virginia State University.

Monday, November 21, 2022

O Holy Star

O Holy Star

A Christmas Poem by Latorial Faison

O holy star ‘neath dark blue sky
Bright & shining—Christ child, come nigh.

A Virgin Mother’s sacred test,
A Savior’s birth & righteousness.

Behold the babe in high esteem,
Born to the world, sin to redeem.

This meek & mild—lil’ Jesus boy,
Abundant love, triumphant joy.

Let us adore God’s greatest gift.
With song & praise, our voices lift.

O celebrate, lift high the Lamb,
In all the Earth, the Great I Am.

This Christ, the Lord, born pure & true
For all mankind—gentile & Jew.

Hail royal gift, wise men & kings,
The Angel’s voice & golden wings.

‘Neath dark blue sky, the heavens know
A manger scene set all aglow.

O holy star, O guiding light.
O Christmas day of glory’s plight.

Copyrighted (c) November 20, 2022 Dr. Latorial Faison

Be Thankful

Be Thankful

A Poem of Thanksgiving by Latorial Faison

Every now & then when life will allow
Recall the years in silence from birth ‘til now.

The elders prepared a place & helped to pave our way.
Now with our hearts & hands, we curate & save the day.

The past is full of memories, fared well & not so well,
Yet be ever grateful that we’re alive just to tell,

Of all the wonder years, all the people, all the smiles,
Days filled with love & laughter even across the miles. 

For every little triumph, be glad you made it through,
The ins & outs, joys & pains, the good works in life to do.

Be thankful for it all, to have lived life honest & true,
To have given of yourself, every single arc & hue.

Every now & then, when this life allows,
Stand still & pay homage to the voices & the vows.

In your heart be ever mindful of this universal joy,
The light we shine, the love we give: the grace of God’s employ.

Copyrighted (c) October, 2022 Latorial Faison

Friday, April 22, 2016

For All Your Blues

-for Prince-

You have gone, vocally reached
Past it, songs of seduction

Yonder in the night. The light,
It has come & granted you

Royalty for all your blues.
Robed in rhythmical genius,

You gave new life & you breathed
New life. While we marvel at

The gift, there in the distance
You stand strikingly strumming,

Singing like angels, preaching
like Rock & Roll's Paul. We grieve

The day you flew away, a
Dove whistling battle cries.

Copyrighted April 22, 2016 by Latorial D. Faison

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dearly Beloved

Dearly Beloved

They have taken our lord.

We have lost our lady.

While more than men's dreams die,

Too many new coffins float

Through ancient river beds

Collecting broken vows

That be our salvation.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Unpacking It

by Latorial Faison

Moving in my forties
like having to extract
my own teeth with pliers

Look at all the boxes
staring up & down at
the me that used to be
young, strong, interested

How many states have I
loved & left wondering
what beautiful ugly
packing & dragging these
memories through thin air
those people I love/hate

No one to call on but
our last names & blood ties
& nineteen years that passed
without unpacking it
this box of wedding gifts

©  2014 Latorial D. W. Faison

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

History Woman

It was a dying womb
where you came from dreaming
of life in Norfolk & new shoes
a place to call your own, a clean room

Orphaned, you were grateful
for this little life of yours & mine
that God cared enough to make room
in a house without a welcome mat
where you were too black & too big
for the opportunities of white folks

But you could cook & clean em'
you could love a white child to death
nurse a malnourished black one to good health
with your poor, dark, giftedness

You knew it all 'bout tobacco leaves, "solja" beans,
cotton fields & seasonin' greens. 
when you fried your fish & baked
your famous cobbler dish, it was genius
how you always made sugar from shit.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Good Father is Never Dead

A good father is never dead,
gone with yesterday, forgotten,
erased from mind & memory.

He lives on. He lives long, present
& alive in words that survive,
wisdom that has made time stand still.

He reaches from glory with strong
hands lifting up toward sky through
whatever chaos comes bearing
witness, whatever confusion
compiled, whatever confessions
come to light each pathway gone dim.

Copyrighted June 14, 2014 Latorial D. W. Faison

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I'm Just Looking for a Good Poem

by Latorial Faison

I'm just looking for a good poem
something to get me through more than just the night
something to have, to hold, till death do us part

I'm looking for the right poem
a poem that works, gives more than it takes
a poem that cooks and cherishes the love it makes

I'm looking for a poem with good sense
a poem that looks good, feels good, is good to me, is good for me
a poem that's mine
a poem populating space with all the right words
a poem that speaks, makes powerful statements
one that stands up and stands out

I'm just looking for a good poem
a poem that makes minds read it and think
about poems that are not poems
about poems that long to be
words that do and don't come together
for the sanctity, for the ebb and flow
for a good poem, I'm just looking

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Daddy's English

A man of few words 
famous for calling women 
their husbands' names or nicknames 
Mrs. Cat or Mrs. Charlie

He'd call you cracker jack  
if you couldn’t be still
shot for trying to be somebody you were not
pistol if he thought you were mean as shit 

He might even call you TharlJespa, or Ettie
girl-child if you were a boy 
primping in a mirror too long

Copyrighted Feb. 2014 Latorial Faison

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Resurrection

An Easter Poem

Close your eyes, come go with me
To a remarkable place, Mount Calvary
Feel the hatred that was displayed
In a world that by His hand was made

Envision them mocking our Lord
As “King of the Jews” with a crown of thorns
The Son of God hanging way up high
On a rugged cross beneath the sky

See the blood come streaming down
Feel His pain, hear the sounds
The Christ’s last words upon the cross
They live forever to save the lost

Through the passion of that final hour
He took the blame that was really ours
Now stand we here, at the foot of the Cross
Where the Savior paid the absolute cost

Right then and there, our Lamb, the Christ
Was accepted by God as the ultimate sacrifice
The true Messiah who had walked this earth
He put on humanity through a Virgin birth

There on Calvary, the hour had come
He said “It is finished” so it was done
Redeeming us, He paid our debt
Now at the right hand of God our Redeemer sits

He rose three days later, to the surprise of man
Got up from the grave with all power in His hand
Power over Heaven, power over earth
That same power that ordained His birth.

It was there, at Calvary, where a Son was crucified
Who so loved the world that for it He died
In Him is life, the truth, and the way
Though He died, He lives this Resurrection Day

Copyrighted April 2006 Latorial D. Faison |

Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't Waste this Time

by Latorial Faison

Don’t waste this time
Making a New Year’s resolution
Or debating God’s creation
Versus Darwin’s evolution

Don’t waste this time
Observing thy neighbor
Or coveting blessings
And the fruits of their labor

Don’t waste this time
Concealing infamy or shame
Or fixating on circumstances
From whence you came

Don’t waste this time
Enabling negative seasons
Or giving permanence to gloom
In search of profound reasons

Don’t waste this time
Deferring dreams and goals
Or neglecting faith in promises
Of what the future holds

Don’t waste this time
Denying wisdom and truth
Or chasing all the joys
Accomplished during youth

Don’t waste this time
Resurrecting issues now dead
Or awaiting those words
Left unwritten and unsaid

Don’t waste this time
Contemplating love
Or debating revelations
And the hate thereof

Copyrighted © January 1, 2013 Latorial D. Faison