On Saturday, I’m leaving on my long trip to the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. They were sweet enough to give me the Kay Evans Fellowship in Poetry, and I am so grateful, because I need to focus on my writing full-time, for at least a month; I’ll be there from the middle of July until the middle of August working on my poetry book-in-progress, The Age of Phillis.
I’m driving up the East Coast to get to New England, which takes longer, but frankly, it’s a strange drive up through Missouri and Indiana and East. I remember last year, I stopped off at the mall in Indiana and there was not one Black person to be seen. I’m used to being the only person of color in a room—most Black college professors are used to this feeling.
But when I noticed people gawking at me, I realized I must be in an all-White town. Which was pretty spooky, because some of those towns aren’t just coincidentally all-White. Some towns are all White because they forced all the Black folks out. I read about that in Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America.
So this time, I’m driving through Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and up, and I’ll not only see Black folks–cause you cannot suppress Negroes for too long in the South, ok?– but the drive will be prettier. And even though Vermont is nearly an all-White state—they claim to have a thousand Black people there, but I’m not sure I believe that—they are seriously friendly people, and they don’t stare at a sister. They have some home-training in New England, and I like that.
Well, home training unless you are, like, driving in Boston. You know what they call those Boston drivers? “Massholes.” I know that’s kinda mean, but as someone who has driven in Boston, that name is very, very accurate.
I plan on blogging regularly, like I’ve been doing, especially if anything sassy happens, but it’s a long drive up to Vermont, so I don’t know whether I can keep up with the blogging pace on a FOUR-DAY road trip.
So please stay patient with me for the next few days. I appreciate y’all, in advance.:-)
My birthday will take place while I’m there, so if anyone wants to send me a birthday card in the third week of July (hint, hint!), feel free to write me at
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
C/O Vermont Studio Center
Post Office Box 613
Johnson, Vermont 05656
I should say, feel free to write me as long as you are not a creepy, crazy person with creepy crazy sentiments OR a married Negro who is looking to cheat on his long-suffering wife.
I don’t know what it is about a single Black woman over thirty-five that just screams “I Am A Desperate Tramp With No Pride Who Is Happy To Be Any Jenky Negro’s Side Piece” but these married men have been off the chain lately, with their inappropriate behavior toward me. I am trying not to cuss nobody out for insulting my womanhood, but I have been staying in constant prayer to keep my cool.
Anyway, wish me Bon Voyage, y’all! And also, please keep me in strong prayer and/or mojo to keep me safe on my travels!