Though the last few months have been tough personally, I kept plugging away – writing American griot poems, submitting to presses, hacking away at my manuscript, etc. So what do I have to show for it? This BlackGirlPoet season (a time designated as MLK day to the end of National Poetry Month) has gotten me two publications in anthologies: The first in ‘Black Lives Have Always Mattered‘ by 2Leaf Press and the other, ‘Writing in Dark Times’ by Kenson Press.
In addition, I was so impressed by my Knight Writers Creative Writing Club students who helped me share my American Griot Poems at Messiah College in February. Those ladies are incredible. Thank you Dani Peyton, Jaida May, and Katie Donley for your great work. So talented! I have also been honored to share those poems at The University of Tennesee in Knoxville for their Writers In the Library series. Sadly, Joy Harjo didn’t come see me, but maybe she was there in spirit! 🙂
Speaking of famous poets, I got to talk to many of them at AWP and learn from their readings, their books and their advice. Thank you Ross Gay, Patricia Smith, Marilyn Kallet, Terrance Hayes, Sonia Sanchez and other favorite living poets! Walter Mosley is a a great sport and a selfie king too. I was honored to meet that brother as well!
In April I served on a panel about creative writing pedagogy at LitLife 2017 at Rosemont College. I love the work they do at Rosemont. This is always a phenomenal conference!
I also was named Vice President of the board of The Triangle, which has developed a new website and has become a full fledged nonprofit literary organization in South Central PA. I’m so excited about this group of young creative go-getters. Together we will make a major impact on the arts in this area. Check us out here: https://www.thetrianglepa.org. As always, I am on the board of Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writer’s Wordshop in Harrisburg and we continue to meet Fridays for readings at the Midtown Scholar. My illness and single mom-hood have kept me out of readings for a while but now that hubby is back from Africa, I plan to get out to more. In fact, I featured for the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel on Thursday and was happy to read for a great group of young artists and amazing friends.
So what’s next? I keep messing with Mocha Musings – is it a chapbook or a full length book? Should I wait to do a full length book? A CD perhaps? Do CDs still exist? I also think about doing a Talking White audio book. Digi-poetics? Adult coloring? Poetry reading holograms? Flash mob robots dressed in words? (Let me know when you invent that. I wanna be down.)
What do you think family? What would you like to see next?