the black mage poems:
As a girl blerd (black nerd) who loves science, sci-fi and fantasy, I like writing that draws from these interests, such as my first in this series: “Hazards of Being a Black Mage in the 23rd Century,” which examines the stereotypes and tropes that tend to define these subjects in art, academia and pop culture. These poems and those mentioned below are focal points in my first full-length book of poetry, which is currently nearing completion.
the ekphrastic series:
The first of this series: “In Madrid with Picasso’s Guernica,” I drafted in the winter of 2017 when I visited Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and saw Picasso’s Guernica. Wanting to capture the moment I saw the painting, I decided to jot down my thoughts since the museum does not allow photography. As I revisited the painting throughout the day, I realized I could utilize my notes to draft an ekphrastic poem. I did the same for the paintings that grasped my attention at the Kunsthalle in Hamburg and The Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection in Berlin which is how some of these others: “In Hamburg with The Negro Avenged,” “On Menzel’s Atelierwand,” and “Gaspard the nightwalker” came to be.
the beau présent series:
Based around my genealogy research, this project has grown from the lack of attentive records on the lives of people of color. I use the “beau présent,” a poetic form that grew out of the experimental poetics of the OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) writers of the 1960s, to invoke the names and memory of my ancestors, as this particular form requires every word in the poem to be derived from the letters of a person’s name, which serves as the poem’s title. Tapping into the power of names and naming in poems like: “Madame Marguerite Joséphine Jean-Louis Pierry (f.w.c.),” I take on my ancestors’ imagined voices and the psyche(s) of their communities as I attempt to conceive them into and as present. As Tom Dent states, “History is not in the library; history was, is, and will be our lives.”
the word bank poems:
Concerned with “the limits of words in the worlds that lie between us” as I once described the phenomena of language acquisition, speech and writing, all the poems in this series are taken from the words of a single prose poem of mine: “I HAVE ONE SMALL GLASS AND A LIMITED REGISTER.”