Happy birthday to Ntozake Shange (pictured at right). She is hands-down my favorite writer. When I wrote my senior work, a lot of people told me I reminded them of her work. It took me a while to accept and appreciate that her influence shows itself clearly in my writing, because, you know, I was trying to be me and all. I've made her my mentor, though she has no idea, and I hope she eventually publishes that lovely piece she shared at Bowery Poetry Club a couple years ago.