Brooklyn has a new poet laureate… and so does Brokelyn!

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Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang...

Last night at his swearing-in ceremony, Marty Markowitz introduced the talented Tina Chang, who was just named Brooklyn’s poet laureate. Chang, a Park Sloper who teaches at both Hunter College and Sarah Lawrence, is the author of Half Lit Houses and the author of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond. She has also co-founded an annual reading series bringing together writers of Asian and African descent, and sees herself as “an ambassador and activist on behalf of poetry.” You can read some of Tina’s poetry on her web site.

Congrats, Tina! It just so happens that we too have an announcement:

After nearly a day of careful consideration, it gives us great pride to announce Brokelyn’s new poet laureate: Leah Faye Cooper, a prolific Evite writer and the author of such Brokelyn classics as “The craziest things you can do with peanut butter.” Here’s her winning entry.

leah headshot
... and Brokelyn Poet Laureate Leah Faye Cooper!

Broken Word

I once was a working girl
My paychecks were dope!
But my magazine folded
And now I’m broke

Bye bye taxi cabs
Farewell restaurant dining
I’m mooching all the rides and food
My rich friends are supplyin’

I search for jobs
Like they’re hidden treasures
Daytime TV
Is my new guilty pleasure

Unemployment is legit
It relieves tons of stress
I can stock-up the fridge
Or better yet, buy a dress!

I can find one on sale
I’ve learned some thrifty ways
The clearance rack at Marshall’s
Is where I’m shopping these days

Free wi-fi at the coffee shop
Makes my heart sing
But the baristas all hate me
‘Cause I don’t buy a thing

I bring my own snacks
I have no shame
$4 for a pastry
Is Starbucks insane?

Now don’t get me wrong
Being broke can be fun
I know all of the happy hours
And sleep ‘til 1

I can clip coupons with Willy
Paint my nails with Faye,
Do lunch with Jonathan,
And couch surf all day.

Yes it would be fun
To dwell in brokester frills
But who am I kidding
A girl’s got bills

I can live without cable,
But not crash in a tent
So I’ll work three jobs
If that makes the rent

I’ll skip trips to the city
Spend all day in my hood
I may not make money
But I make broke look real good!

— Leah Faye Cooper, Feb. 4, 2010


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