And What Would You Say if You Could? is the debut collection of poems by Nashville Youth Poet Laureate Haviland N.G. Whiting.

Whiting in her book And What Would You Say if You Could? leads us on a journey of history, grief, beauty, and what it means to come of age as a Black woman in this country. “The world and its past and present happenings are not always things of beauty,” writes Whiting. “Racism. Sexism. Colorism. Slavery. Violence. Death. Yet, these often-unspeakable things are importantly spoken in the most beautiful but damning words.”

  • “There are no apologies here for the poet, Black woman she is becoming. Haviland Nona Gai Whiting’s poetry is cultural music and a refreshing lesson for all who will read and listen. — Haki Madhubti, founder of Third World Press/ Black Arts Poet/ author of Earthquakes and Sunrise Missions

  • “And What Would You Say if You Could? Is astonishing. Aware but unworried, besotted by the small beauties of life and large beauties of self, in a violent, ugly, ignorant, and weary world, defeated, for a page, for a moment, by Haviland Whiting’s (very young and true significant) voice.” — Alice Randall, author of The Wind Done Gone and Rebel Yell

  • “In a land spotted with obfuscators and hair splitters, we find ourselves in need of truth tellers and listeners. Bold and elegant in her craft, we can count on Whiting to deliver the message in a way that invites attention and acceptance.” — Benjamin Smith, Southern Word

About the Nashville Youth Poet Laureate Program: The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of the Office of the Mayor, Metro Arts: Nashville Office of Arts + Culture, Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Urban Word, and Southern Word The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, diversity and tolerance, and youth voice across Nashville.