Spinster And Sculptor

So HERE'S THE QUESTION FOR YOU... if Edmonia gets to spell out her own description in her own biography, she selects "Spinster and Sculptor" as the words that 1) She chooses to identify with at the end of her life or 2) She wanted to be permanently attached to the world's perception of her into infinity and beyond. (I think these things can go both ways, either how we see ourself OR how we want the world to see us - which are two very different things). What two words would you choose? Let's try to stick to nouns. Click respond and let me know, or add your comments to the blog post here.

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Have It

 
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Sometime the weight of a week. A week full of no-one-thing-inparticular, it adds up. Maybe it's not the one week, but some invisible weight of unnoticed things piling up. Something stuck. Collecting tiny bits until they fill and clog. Adding up. 

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Remember how I had all the excitement yesterday about the energy of the young poets who performed before Nikki Giovanni last night? I can't find poems or video from last night, but I can share a snippet from each of these artists. Savor. (These students, they have it. Whatever it is that allows the real feeling and writing to connect and make magic. I am building walls around myself, and they are knocking their own down to write amazing poems.)

Hiwot Adilow: To Mamush
Ricardo Cortez De La Cruz II: Ode to the "Young, Gifted and Black"
Ajanae Dawkins: When Viola Davis Won (Yes, this is what she performed last night!)
Miona Short: Guide to the New (Yea, she's a double major in Astrophysics and Spanish and she's a poet.) 

 

Fear

 
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Nikki Giovanni on campus tonight. Whoa. I don't even know where to start. Except the start. The event was keynote for the Black History Month Event/Speaker series on campus. Tonight's event was titled “Black Joy: Getting Black to Happy, A Celebration of Resilience & Resistance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”  And I believe it was organized entirely by students. And it was an event, not just a talk with the poet. I saw this because the night opened with the winners of a campus wide poetry contest reciting/performing their poems on stage AND HOLY SHIT THIS WAS SERIOUSLY AMAZING POETRY. I give Ms. Giovanni her dues, but these four students wowed me, awed me, blew me away. With words and meaning and presence. Poetry has a future. The world has a future. I will try to find these poems and share them. We pretty much looked at each other after these four student poets read on the stage and said Well, that could be the night and we'd be okay with it

Full note HERE.

Small Silences

 
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"What are the words you do not have yet? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? Perhaps for some of you here today, I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am a woman, because I am black, because I am myself, a black woman warrior poet doing my work, come to ask you, are you doing yours?" -Audre Lorde

Full note HERE, with citations and more readings.

Just Beautiful

 
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*The waving. As I cut through and dragged branches late this afternoon, I did my best duty to wave at all the cars passing through. This is what you do when you live in the country. Life is both private (there are not very many people around me, at all) and public (the expectation is you wave and smile and greet everyone. And in my case the farm is exposed by roads on three sides, which means I am visible - all the time). But that's beside the point. I suddenly felt (oddly) old. It may not be so much that I felt old, as in I felt separated from this place. I didn't recognize all the cars. Or the faces in the cars. Maybe it's that I feel the time, the time spent not being at the farm each day. Not participating. Not woven into the fabric of the country block, the neighborhood. I also, for some reason, realized that I must look older than I did to passers by. Older than I did in 2013, when someone would have first rounded the country corner to see me awkwardly wrangling goats or dragging the chicken house. Maybe I just feel like (gasp) an adult? I am not sure what it is, but the feeling of it caught me deep.