Book of the month
Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is an award-winning associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on racial literacy in teacher education, Black girl literacies, and Black and Latinx male high school students. A sought-after speaker on issues of race, culturally responsive pedagogy, and diversity, Sealey-Ruiz works with K-12 and higher education school communities to increase their racial literacy knowledge and move toward more equitable school experiences for their Black and Latinx students. Sealey-Ruiz appeared in Spike Lee’s “2 Fists Up: We Gon’ Be Alright”, a documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement and the campus protests at Mizzou. Yolanda is also the editor of three books on education, and numerous scholarly articles and essays.

Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.


Love from the Vortex & Other Poems (Kaleidoscope Vibrations, LLC), is poet and scholar-activist Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz’s first full-length collection. An archaeological exploration on love and intimacy, the book charts her journey of finding and losing love over the span of three decades with six different men who came into her life at various times, but also offers a universal take on what can happen when one seeks love and connection with others, and the lessons that follow when that connection and love is lost. Revealing moments of happiness, fantasy, frustration, and eventually dealing with the dissolution of relationships, the book moves beyond these anticipated stages to moments of grace and beauty that come with the discovery and practice of self love, and a more fuller understanding of what it means to truly love someone as you love yourself.


In your opinion, how can Black men show up for Black women better? How do we change the narrative of Black women to the most loved, protected and supported person in America?

How do we take what we learned on our journey of healing to engage in difficult conversations with our partners, family, friends, etc.? How do we create boundaries for ourselves?

Love from the Vortex & Other Poems

"Sealey-Ruiz opens a world to us in which we are reminded of the importance of speaking truthfully- with both love and rage-- about our past and the lovers and loved ones who bring us to the present-- and home" -- Jacqueline Woodson, Red at the Bone

"raised glass to the glorious risk-and-recovery of life" -- Adam Falkner, The Willies


Personal website:

Facebook page:

Instagram: @yolie_sealeyruiz

Twitter: @Ruizsealey



This recommended reading and discussion guide are shared in partnership with Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz.