Hold On

A wonderful poem, “Hold On” by Parneshia Jones, was published on February 13 by the Academy of American Poetry via their Poem-A-Day project.

Parnisha Jones (from AAP)


Jones’ poem springs from an encounter she had with Gwendolyn Brooks. In her comments she explains how Brooks “anchored her” in her time of need as a poet, and why she’s written this poem now:

“I see a world moving into uncertainty and I think about Ms. Brooks, those two anchor words she gave me, and I continue to Hold On for dear life.”


Brooks “is one of the most highly regarded, highly influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century American poetry. She was a much-honored poet, even in her lifetime, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois.”(from Poetry Foundation)

The featured image in this post is also of Gwendolyn Brooks, from AAP.

  • Click here to listen to an audio recording of “Hold On”
  • Read more about Gwendolyn Brooks (1217-2000) here
  • Read and listen to more of Brooks’ poems here

You may already be familiar with “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks, a poem often taught in schools because of its apparent simplicity.



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