“The Collard Poems”

Your mother may have told you to eat your greens, but I bet she never told you to rhyme them. In 1984 the Collard Festival in Ayden, North Carolina, published a book of odes to collards called Leaves of Greens: The Collard Poems. The taste, the color, the texture, and the lore of collards are celebrated in verse. There are poems about cooking collards, eating collards, planting collards, and missing collards. It is not all a love feast, however. One young poet wrote:

Collards is the worst stuff
I ever swallord!

7 thoughts on ““The Collard Poems””

  1. From the Laurinburg Exchange, 2008: “The mayor of Maxton was charged with simple assault following an altercation at the annual Collard Festival. Dressed as a collard herself, Gladys Dean was accused of grabbing and refusing to release Renee Ward, owner of the Step 2 It Dance Studio, whom she asked to cut short her performance.”
    Not exactly poetry, but what writer wouldn’t envy the opportunity to write the words “Dressed as a collard herself”?

  2. Oh, yes. That town would be Ayden. Home to the official collard green festival of the state of North Carolina.

  3. I wrote one of the poems for this contest and it was published in their book. I would love to get another copy of this publication if there are any still available.

  4. I wrote one of the poems published in this book. I lost my copy and would love to have another one. I am more than willing to pay for it. My poem called Collard Greens began:

    “The sound I always loved to hear was the shaking of the pot
    ’cause I knew Granny’s Collard Greens could really hit the spot…”

    Please, please get back with me on how I could obtain a copy.

  5. Hi Geraldine,
    The North Carolina Collection, which publishes this blog, holds two copies of Leaves of Greens: The Collard Poems. However we’re not the publishers. As you may know, the book was published by the Ayden Collard Festival in 1984. One of those who edited the book is Alex Albright. He’s affiliated with East Carolina University. You could email him at albrightd@ecu.edu. He’s probably your best source on whether copies are still available.

    Good luck.


  6. The book of collard green poems … there was one about a collared green cake Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the book of color green Pomes

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