Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku


With Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku, Fabu weaves a story of strength, growth, spirituality, and love in her depiction of one family’s journey from Africa, to the American South, to the cold reaches of Wisconsin: “Wrap faith around us / Button our culture tightly / Winter is white.” Fabu offers brief but intensely meaningful thoughts on history, culture, and family in this collection of poetry, based on haiku with syllable changes.

Fabu is the third Madison Poet Laureate and a graduate from the University of Memphis in Magazine Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in African Languages and Literature and Afro-American Studies. She serves the Madison community as a literary artist (poet and storyteller) and educator. As a literary artist, she creates and shares poetry reflecting her life spent in Memphis, Tennessee, Nairobi, Kenya and Madison, Wisconsin. Her poetry has appeared in Callaloo, PMS (Poems, Memoirs and Stories), Southern Women’s Review, Black Books Bulletin, The Wisconsin Academy Review, UMOJA magazineRosebud MagazineThe Madison Times, The Capital City Hues and Verse Wisconsin. She is also a monthly columnist for The Capital Times and The Capital City Hues newspapers. She has studied under Sonia Sanchez and Dana Levine.  Poems, Dreams and Roses, written for youth and young adults was published in December 2009. Her website is

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Intimate breaths
Under magnolia trees
Quicken the petals.

Jumping the marriage broom
Slave man joins with slave woman
As dust rises.

Waves lap hidden places
Flowing in Flowing out
Taunting into release.