But I feel like remixing the first line from Hughe’s’ “Mother to Son”: “Well, y’all, I’ll tell you, life for me HAS been a crystal stair–it’s covered in ice and I slipped and fell down on it!”
I was all geared up to go to the AWP Conference, but then, we got a major snow storm on the prairie on Monday night. I was all ready to go, despite the weather. Yesterday, I spent an hour shoveling off my driveway, only to find out that the roads were declared officially hazardous by the state highway department. So, I had to cancel my plans and not go to AWP.
And I had to admit that although being a Radical Black Feminist is 90% fabulous, the other 10% sucks. So roughly 328 days a year are great. But 37 days a year aren’t– those are the days that I must perform manual labor that I would want a man to do. Only that man is snowed in as well–at his own house. Without me. In his own bed. Without me. You know where this is leading, so let me move on.
Y’all, I was so swole. First, I had all my cute outfits picked out, and I had lost five whole pounds. And I was going to blow dry my hair so everyone could see how long it had grown. I thought I was going to be able to showcase my Sassy Trifecta and “stunt” at AWP.
Alas, that was not to be the case.
I’ve toyed with the idea of dressing up in my AWP outfits and walking around my house, but I’m afraid that might lead me to some strange mental health places, so I’m just in sweatpants–but I am wearing full make-up as a compromise.
So anyway, here are some sassy links to help you–ok, ME–make it through being snowed in:
Nikky Finney’s new book of poetry Head Off And Split is coming out this week! If you don’t know about this wonderful Sister-poet, you should! Here is her website link so that you can find out about her and her essential work.
Sidebar: One of the reasons I’m so upset about not being at the AWP Conference is that I was supposed to see Miss Nikky read at an off-site reading at Howard University. As we speak, though, my Ace Boon Poet-Friend Tony Medina has called me on Skype on his laptop during Nikky’s reading, put it on full volume and I am listening to Miss Nikky RIGHT NOW!
My good friend Heidi Durrow’s first novel, The Girl Who Fell From The Sky has made The New York Times Bestseller’s List! I did Heidi’s first interview the month that her book came out, last year. Here’s the podcast of that interview. And here’s the original review of her book–mind you, this is a first book, so that’s an achievement in and of itself–in The New York Times Book Review.
I’ve done a Guest Edited Poetry Feature on ConnotationsPress.online! I know I shouldn’t blow my own horn– but Toot-Toot and Beep-Beep!:-) All the poets I’ve chosen are wonderful. Some of them you have heard me mention before on this blog, like Randall Horton and Remica L. Bingham, but others are brand new, like Ron Davis, the co-editor of Mythium.
You know that last fall, I set it off by talking about the issues with Black women in the Black poetry community. Well, the fabulous woman’s writers website Vidaweb.org has compiled the gendered numbers of writers published in the most well-known literary magazines in the country–and by “gendered,” I mean, how many women were published and how many men were published in those magazines.
Yes, it will blow your mind. But what will–or should–blow your mind as well is that they because they don’t split those numbers into racial categories, you know that most, if not not, of those women that are published in those magazines are White women. So not only are the numbers of “women” appalling, but the numbers of “women of color” are, well, abysmal.
And finally, Certified Dime Piece Desiree Rogers has taken over the position as CEO of Ebony and Jet Magazines. Y’all will remember that Desiree Rogers is the former Social Secretary of the Obama White House, and left under a sort of cloud. I still don’t understand why, because I just love Desiree. Maybe because she is just unabashed about being beautiful, brilliant, and always dressed in fabulous outfits. Maybe it’s that Desiree is over fifty years old and still looks thirty. She is reportedly a descendant of the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau of New Orleans, and I believe it y’all, because you gotta know roots to look as good as Desiree does at her age. I love Sisters Who Stunt And Don’t Give a What.
I’m hoping that Desiree can turn Ebony around, because what would Black America be without Ebony? For those of us of a certain age, Ebony, and its younger sibling, Jet were part of our childhood. But both could be tacky as you-know-what, and those of us who grew up with Ebony and Jet knew that as well.
The vintage, completely sexist “Are Black Women Stealing Black Men’s Jobs?” articles in Ebony. The typos and the cheesy layouts–we knew that, too. The pictures of dead people IN THEIR CASKETS in Jet— Lord Have Mercy.
But then there was Ebony Fashion Fair, the fashion show AND the make-up! (Fashion Fair was the first make-up I ever used. The foundation base in the pink compact would not come off all day, y’all.) And the list of Black folks on TV every week in Jet! And the fact that, every week, every one of us thirty million Black folks read the both of these magazines!
The poet Elizabeth Alexander has an essay about these two magazines in her book, The Black Interior. (You can order this book by clicking this link, and if you order it, you will not be sorry. Elizabeth is just as superlative as a prose writer as she is a poet.) In the essay, Elizabeth talks about how these magazines joined us Black folks as a community. It made it possible for us to walk into a room with a complete stranger, and if he or she was Black, we had at least one thing in common. So I surely hope that Desiree saves the Ebony and Jet day.
Ok, I’m off to drink my gazillionith cup of hot tea for the day! I’m pretending that it’s keeping me calm and centered.
Remember to keep the heat on, y’all.