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“What’s Up with Anuolu”

Reyna Biddy

By Anuoluwapo Bamiro, Columnist

Welcome back to “What’s Up with Anuolu.” Continuing with National Poetry Month, I chose to highlight Reyna Biddy. I discovered Reyna in 2016. She had written a poetry book called I love my love, and I instantly became a fan. The book was a collection of poems and, to me, short essays detailing her struggles and appreciation of love. She took us on a journey while discussing her struggles with self-love, parental love, love of a partner, and love of the people. Her raw honesty inspired the poetry book that I released in 2020 called Who Really F****** Knows.

Biddy is a 28-year-old Los Angeles native who solidified her position in the Poetry World with her first book in 2015. In 2018, she realized A Psalm for Us. She then followed that up with May God Help Us Find Our Way and her latest book We Find Our Way. I have read three out of the four books and, again, I am a forever fan and truly inspired by her work.

 Discovering her poetry sparked something in me that showed not only are black poets still here and dominating but she grew up in the same areas I did. In addition to that when I had the pleasure of meeting her not only was she very kind, but she gave me advice on writing my book and having no fear. I know everyone doesn’t get a chance to tell someone about the impact they’ve made on their journey, so I felt it was important to let her know and have that moment. 

Today, Biddy has her hands on a few things. In addition to her being a poet, she is featured on different artists’ albums, such as Rhapsody and Kehlani. She created a beautiful tarot deck and has continued to show just how important it is to be oneself and continue to be ourselves and showcase our talents. She is also a mom and fiancée and exemplifies the narrative that women can and will do it all. She has an interview with the “On My Mind” podcast and she dives into her history and what makes her who she is.

I appreciate Reyna Biddy; as a writer who prides herself on being open and raw with my work. She has inspired me to keep going, to use my writing as a healing tool, and to never care about who may or may not like what I have to say. When you live where you write and perform you do fear who is going to be upset. You also fear the day you discover your loved ones don’t like or support your work. Below is one of my favorite poems from Biddy. I think it’s important to show just how vulnerable she is in her writings and how she unapologetically loves love.

Dalliance

I love you in ways words could never explain.

It’s taken me time to accept that we don’t love the same.

You mean to me what tulips mean to May.

I’ve looked you in the eyes to see the promise of a new day.

We’re so fragile, yet so tamed,

Promise me you’ll never consider me a mistake.

If I could go back to the first date, I’d probably say..

I’m not ready for love and all of its ways.

Some nights I stay awake and I pray

for a better understanding on why you’ve given us up

when you promised you’d stay.

You told me you’d fight for me.

Why don’t you feel the same?

I lost myself trying to love you, what a shame.

To be in love with a man who leaves you astray.

And cares nothing about you or your day.

I’ve tried my best to stop crying and..

I promise I’m trying.

           I just want you so bad that it hurts.

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