Zadren Hill is a growing poet and activist in the urban area of Birmingham, Alabama. He lives to be a presence of peace and comfort to those in need by spreading the beauty of the fine arts. His writing mainly takes the form of free-verse poetry and focuses on his experiences as a queer black male in the United States. He enjoys allowing his words to come together spontaneously to convey the most raw authenticity, and invite his audience to relate to the subject matter.

Education inequality is one of the most angering issues for Hill. As a black male from a low-income family, Hill has experienced the entrenched obstructions of the American education system first-hand. One of the biggest things Hill has noticed is that he and the rest of the students are being deprived of CREATIVITY. Young black students are restricted to poor conditions and narrow curricula. He feels that in the one place that hope is supposed to flourish, it is killed.

Hill is the current host of a podcast collaboration with the Dessert Island Supply Co. and NPR's 90.3 WBHM station where he interviews students in the community about their writing and their authors of choice. He hopes for this project to grow over time and create a space where young people (hopefully more than just writers!) can safely express their individuality. Hill’s hope for the future is that we continue to grow from our mistakes and use our narratives to create harmony. He believes we can't face the unknown of our future unless we are willing to confront what we discover.

Hill hopes to pursue his BFA in Creative Writing at a notable liberal arts college after graduation.


You Gave Birth to a Poet and I’m Sorry for that

by Zadren Hill

I never meant to make you feel like

I don’t want you

Like you didn’t make me in love,

to be the oldest of your pride and joys.

It's a big responsibility, momma.

I’m always going on to others about

how much of a caretaker I am to your younger boys

and I believe I am, but I know I have a shitty way of showing it.

Momma, this poem is for you.

If there's one thing I give you,

Let it be my anger

Let it be my love

Let it be my sorrow

Let it be me

I’m pushing you away because I’m too afraid to

admit that you give a damn.

I’m too afraid to be honest with myself

because it's better to lie through the pain

when you know the truth will always hurt right?

Don’t say anything.

I know you know I know that's wrong.

Your pain never allows you to lie.

At least through your lips

It angers me to see your tears

because they look so similar to mine.

Oh yeah

I sometimes cry at night, momma,


With sharp intakes of breath

Eyes as red as the lines on my left shoulder

Sometimes my left leg…

Never the right side of my body

cause I know it ain’t right momma

but when I feel the pain I praise God

the thoughts left for a split second momma

I’m sorry momma

For forcing myself to be angry with you.

Sometimes you love me too hard, momma

Like that night you found out

and called me a faggot momma.

I still heard your love in that anger. I just denied it,

As crazy as that sounds.

I don’t say this to degrade you.

We were going through a tough time,


and at the same time

It took me a long time to forgive you,

but I called you a bitch, too,

Not to your face but neither slur was okay.

That goes to show that it’s hard for us, momma.

Hard for us to be so strong-willed

and resilient.

So here I am, momma.

The son you made to tell a story.

With a hardback cover and soft pages.

I love you

cause you gave birth to a poet

and neither of us should be sorry for that.