Proof of Existence: Poems

by Phyllis Becker

"In this fascinating memoir in verse, Phyllis Becker traces the history of her family, described in Around the World of Fitchburg as 'one of the most prominent Negro families in the late 1800s,' to the present. Her poems take us on an intriguing and informative journey, and despite the knowledge that 'with the luxury of time comes chipped edges,' they will inspire you to reexamine and embrace your own existence."
—Gloria Vando, Shadows & Supposes

"I felt a roller coaster of emotions reading Phyllis Becker's poems written with circuitous introspection and humor. Becker has a keen ability to surprise and engage readers through stories of her family dynamics while growing up Black in the Midwest. Her expressive writing takes the reader on a smooth but rhythmical and expansive journey of her family's diaspora. There is an energy and percussive beat to her poetry. Her poems are a reminder of the endurance of Black people linked together by the all too familiar inequities of the American experiment."
—Gena Bardwell, Touro University

photo by Colette Waters

Phyllis Becker coordinates the Riverfront Readings in Kansas City, Missouri, one of the longest-running literary reading series in Kansas City. She is also the author of How I Came to Love Jazz and Other Poems (Helicon Nine Editions) and the chapbook Walking Naked into Sunday (Wheel of Fire). Her poems have been published in numerous literary magazines, including New Letters, I-70 Review, and Worcester Review. Her poems have also been set to jazz on the compact disc Poetry of Love, produced by jazz vocalist Angela Hagenbach. Becker also consults with organizations and communities in juvenile justice reform, community engagement, and professional development. She and her husband, Mark, are jazz enthusiasts and amateur gardeners.

Trade paperback, 88 pp.
Published April 2024
ISBN-13: 978-0-9791291-7-9

Buy it here!