Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Launched on Nov. 17th 2013 on the 21st anniversary of Audre Lorde's transition from an embodied warrior healer to an ancestral force, this is a weekly series of videos documenting and sharing my process of clarifying survival through a re-immersion in the words of Audre Lorde. To see all the videos so far check out: http://summerofourlorde.wordpress.com/resurrection-sundays/
This week's poem is "The Brown Menace or Poem to the Survival of Roaches" from Lorde's 1974 collection New York Head Shop and Museum. Cherrie Moraga referenced this as one of her favorite poems by Audre Lorde at the Sister Comrade event in Oakland some years back and I see it as one of her most confrontational and brave poems ever! The assignment for this week (in addition to celebrating the survival of those of us who face extermination) is to think about a person who DISGUSTS you. It could be a person that you know in your community or it could be a political figure (mine was Clarence Thomas for a long time) and look for the lesson, "the indestructible part of yourself" that you see in that person or in your reaction to them.
How do we become as resilient as roaches? We evolve in the face of what we don't want to see about ourselves!
Every week as part of my practice of resurrecting Audre Lorde in my life and in our communities I will be making an alphabetical oracle from the weekly survival poem which will consist of up to 26 new poems based on the sacred source text. If you would like to receive a custom poem as a blessing for your journey you can with a donation of your choice to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind's School of Our Lorde!
(Just include the intention you want blessed and a letter of the alphabet so I can distill your poem!)
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Launched on Nov. 17th 2013 on the 21st anniversary of Audre Lorde's transition from an embodied warrior healer to an ancestral force, this is a weekly series of videos documenting and sharing my process of clarifying survival through a re-immersion in the words of Audre Lorde. To see the whole series so far check out this link: http://summerofourlorde.wordpress.com/resurrection-sundays/
This week's poem is Prologue, the last poem in Audre Lorde's 1973 collection From a Land Where Other People Live. I love the vampire imagery in this poem, and I see it as a poem that makes space for all of the amazing black feminist vampire fiction that comes after it. For example Jewelle Gomez found the epigraph for her classic vampire novel The Gilda Stories in this poem.
Our assignment this week is to speak the truth that we are afraid to speak in our chosen communities. Sometimes we feel that we would rather die than speak a difficult truth. Audre Lorde invokes the vampire undead to speak the truth she needs to speak about internalized racism in the Black Arts Movement, what creativity, what characters will we invent to speak the truth that our presence demands?
Every week as part of my practice of resurrecting Audre Lorde in my life and in our communities I will be making an alphabetical oracle from the weekly survival poem which will consist of up to 26 new poems based on the sacred source text. If you would like to receive a custom poem as a blessing for your journey you can with a donation of your choice to Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind’s School of Our Lorde!
A Black Feminist Oracle Poem (aka alphabetical found poem from within one of Audre Lorde’s poems about school/teaching) sent directly to your inbox!
(Just include the intention you want blessed and a letter of the alphabet so I can distill your poem!)
A 30-minute one on one Oracle Reading Session with an interpretation of your Black Feminist Oracle Poem.
$150-300 (or a monthly sustainer rate of $20-25):
An IN PERSON one on one Oracle Reading Session with an interpretation of your Black Feminist Oracle Poem when I am in your neck of the woods.
A customized Audre Lorde based workshop for you and your crew including an installation of a Black Feminist Oracle activity for all participants when I am in your neck of the woods.
Friday, November 01, 2013
Reminding All Souls: Sign up for the Guardian Dead Retreat: Ancestor Accountable Intellectual Practice (Durham, NC Dec 5-8)
"You, then, are charged by the possibility of your good health, by the broadness of your vision, to remember us."
"I write not only for my peers but for those who will come after me, to say I was there, I passed on, and you will pass on too. But you're here now so do it... My words will be there, something...to bounce off of, something to incite thought, activity."
-Audre Lorde "My Words Will Be There"
Join Brilliance Remastered in Durham, NC on Dec 5-8, 2013 for a 4-day gathering for community accountable intellectuals looking for ways to deepen the ancestral accountability and presence of their scholarly and community-based creative practices!
Co-facilitated by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Eric D. Pritchard, this once in a lifetime gathering will be filled with transformative conversation, poetic exercises and community building as we each take a journey to deepen and strengthen the connections between our intellectual and creative practices and the chosen and given ancestors that make us possible.
This gathering is open to everyone who identifies as an under-represented community accountable intellectual/scholar/thinker/artist and who is whole-heartedly affirming to Queer People of Color. The curriculum is black feminist and womanist centered and you should only be a part of this gathering if that fact makes your heart jump up and sing!
Check out the inspiring facilitator bios below to get more of a sense of who will be in the space!
We will be gathering from Thursday evening Dec 5th to Sunday morning Dec 8th, please do what you can do to be present for the entire gathering. Meals are included!
Smack-dab in the middle of Durham, NC the retreat will take place in a beautiful, art-filled community space that is wheel-chair accessible and convenient to all local public transportation. The gathering space is one block away from the downtown Durham Marriott. With advance notice we can coordinate room-sharing and/or home hosting for out of town attendees. Housing and transportation is not included in the cost of registration, but we can find low-cost to free housing for participants who register in advance.
Guardian Dead has space for 21 visionaries and the registration fee is sliding scale $200-400. Our request is that folks affiliated with academic institutions get their departments to fund or subsidize their participation and offer at the higher end of the scale. Please let us know if your department or organization would like to be listed as a co-sponsor or a scholarship provider because of your participation.
Please let us know your dreams, intentions and needs via this registration form:
(if for some reason the registration form doesn't show up there here is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-oKqZuC32d5C9KClB5fR25XlJZHfD487b6UgncADJZU/viewform
Reserve your spot by dedicating your presence to someone you cherish and your deposit of $75 here:
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black troublemaker, a black feminist love evangelist, a prayer poet priestess and has a PhD in English, African and African-American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies from Duke University. Alexis was the first scholar to research the Audre Lorde Papers at Spelman College, the June Jordan Papers at Harvard University, and the Lucille Clifton Papers at Emory University, and she is currently on tour with her interactive oracle project “The Lorde Concordance,” a series of ritual mobilizing the life and work of Audre Lorde as a dynamic sacred text. Alexis has also published widely on Caribbean Women’s Literature with a special interest in Dionne Brand. Her scholarly work is published in Obsidian, Symbiosis, Macomere, The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Literature, SIGNS, Feminist Collections, The Black Imagination, Mothering and Hip Hop Culture, The Business of Black Power and more. Alexis is the author of an acclaimed collection of poems 101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive and poetic work published in Kweli, Vinyl, Backbone, Everyday Genius, Turning Wheel, UNFold, Makeshift and more. She has several books in progress including a book of poems, Good Hair Gone Forever, a scholarly monograph on diaspora and the maternal, and an educational resource called the School of Our Lorde. She is also the co-editor of a forthcoming edited collection on legacies of radical mothering called This Bridge Called My Baby.
Alexis is the founder of Brilliance Remastered, a service to help visionary underrepresented graduate students stay connected to purpose, passion, and community, co-founder of the Mobile Homecoming Project, a national experiential archive amplifying generations of Black LGBTQ Brilliance, and the community school Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind. Alexis was named one of UTNE Reader’s 50 Visionaries Transforming the World in 2009, was awarded a Too Sexy for 501-C3 trophy in 2011, and is one of the Advocate’s top 40 under 40 features in 2012. Alexis is dedicating her participation in this retreat to her grandfather, Jeremiah Gumbs, spirit guide and memorizer of every poem he loved.
Eric Darnell Pritchard is an assistant professor of African and African Diaspora Studiesat The University of Texas at Austin. He earned his PhD in English and MA in Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is also a very proud alum of The Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s oldest historically Black college and university (HBCU), where he earned a B.A. in English-Liberal Arts. He is also a past NEH Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (2009/10), and Visiting Scholar at Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference (2012/13). Pritchard has created and facilitated several community based-writing projects including Sankofa: Hip Hop Gender and Youth Empowerment Project at the Lussier Teen Center’s Girl Neighborhood Power Program in Madison, WI, and co-facilitated workshops on “Hip Hop Theater and Rap Lyricism” with the Cypha Youth Program in Austin, Texas. His most recent publications include “For Colored Kids Who Committed Suicide, Our Outrage Isn’t Enough: Queer Youth of Color, Bullying, and the Discursive Limits of Identity and Safety” in Harvard Educational Review and “Yearning to Be What We Might Have Been: Queer Black Male Feminism” in Palimpsest: A Journal of Women, Gender, and the Black International. He has also published numerous articles in newspapers, magazines, and digital venues including The New York Amsterdam News, Savoy Magazine, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. He has completed a book-length manuscript titled Fashioning Lives: Black Queers and the Politics of Literacy, and is now at work on a new research that explores the role of literacy and public address in Black queer activist organizations and collectives between 1974-1990. With his presence at “Guardian Dead” he will honor his mother Anntrette “Kitty” Pritchard.
For more info email us at email@example.com
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Happy Halloween! What is scarier than the freedom of black hair growing out of bright black brains? Muwhahaha. My Halloween gift to all of you is the kindle/tablet/online version of my chapbook GOOD HAIR GONE FOREVER dedicated to a young trickster ancestor whose spirit is with me especially on Halloween: Jurina Vincent-Lee.
My shero namesake Alexis De Veaux took time out to write these words about the collection:
"The poems of GOOD HAIR GONE FOREVER wreak with the sensate badass-ness of a sure nuff trouble maker, a twenty-first century afroheaded trickster black woman who spits nappyness and breathes mirrors. Read the signs: this is a dangerous free. No hemming and hawing allowed." -Alexis De Veaux, Author of Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde and An Enchanted Hair Tale
Download it here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/180497577/Good-Hair-Gone-Forever-by-Alexis-Pauline-Gumbs-pdf
You can see a video of the poem BEWARE here:
School's In (Beware) from Alexis Pauline Gumbs on Vimeo.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
On Our Way: People of Color Building Community Across Panic
History is not kind to us
we restitch it with living
past memory forward
into the panic articulation
of want without having
or even the promise of getting.
And I dream of our coming together
not only by love
but by lust for a working tomorrow
the flights of this journey
“On My Way Out I Passed Over You and the Verrazano Bridge”
This People of Color Caucus Session of SEWSA is devoted to mobilizing our research to arrive at strategies for building community for feminist scholars of color across the situations of tokenism, differential privilege and different oppressions and institutional isolation. This panel discussion is an opportunity to present a part of what you have discovered in your academic inquiry in the service of a targeted conversation about tangible strategies for scholars of color engaged in feminist research and teaching. Three or four scholars will ground our facilitated discussion with brief presentations on a topic of their research relevant to the task of effective community building among feminist scholars of color. Each presentation should speak explicitly to how the research can enable community building in praxis. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:
· Community building models/lessons/problems from contemporary or historical feminist organizations and or people of color organizations
· Rigorous analyses of texts/films/media by or about feminists of color
· Qualitative or quantitative studies that include feminist scholars of color as respondents
· Community building models/lessons/problems from historical feminist figures, women or queer people of color or allies
· Comparative studies of community building in social movements and or academic spaces
· Institutional critique or analyses of women’s studies, ethnic studies and/or service learning
· Educational studies of popular education or community based research models
· Activities or case studies from contemporary community building projects
· Best practices from existing projects that support or build community among feminist scholars of color
· Autoethnographic or personal narratives that can inform intersectional community building
Abstracts should not exceed 300 words and be submitted, along with a 100-word bio, complete with author’s name and institutional affiliation, by October 25, 2013 to: the POC Caucus Chair, Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “SEWSA POC 2014.” SEWSA 2014 will take place at UNC Wilmington March 27-29th, 2014.
What does a black feminist who spends her time lifting up the legacies of obscure black feminist geniuses do about her complicated feelings about hypervisible famous black women like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey?
"Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s book of list poems, One Hundred and One Things That Are Not True About The Most Famous Black Women Alive, then, is an intervention into black women’s relationships with the list form, with truth-telling, with public personages, and with each other." Sarah Mantilla Griffin (See full review here)
One Hundred and One Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive by Alexis Pauline Gumbs"The theme of flight is an important one for Gumbs and places her work in conversation with writers, including Toni Morrison, who have explored the trope of the flying African. As they provide spaces for flights of the mind, for escape, for rising above, or simply for elevating and expanding our perceptions of whom these women could be, the poems enliven what were essentially static public figures." Sarah Mantilla Griffin (See full review here)
101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive from Alexis Pauline Gumbs on Vimeo.
"These powerful poems punctuate the necessity and significance of the interior lives of famous black women, reminding us that like us (everyday folk) they have feelings, families, concerns, and emotional requirements. In what can be described as love poems, 101 Things captures the humanity and versatility of lives the media sells us as one-dimensional. Dr. Gumbs’ poems allow us to imagine, ever so briefly, what it might be like to be a black woman whose strongblackwoman mantle is put on display for the world to see, interrogate, and try to define. She offers our larger-than-life women back to us as a reflection of ourselves: vulnerable, regular, and seeking/needing/deserving sister love and protection." Crunk Feminist Collective's Robin Boylorn
Here is a conversation about the meditation of LOVE that is this book with Crunk Feminist Collectives R. Boylorn.
And here is a fun video I made with excerpts of the poems this morning.
101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive Excerpts from Alexis Pauline Gumbs on Vimeo.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Hey y'all! In honor of the way I met my sister comrade Maia Williams (it's her birthday!!!!) and the transformative discussion at last month's Emergency Theologies Parable Potluck
I am REPUBLISHING a digital version of a 47 page youth activism workbook zine that I published when I had one day of liberated access to a copy machine in my early 20s.
Enjoy! All proceeds go towards curriculum building for Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind programming in Durham!
Friday, October 11, 2013
Durham, NC (registered participants will get the location info!)
Many people do not know that the great poet Lucille Clifton was also in communication with other worlds. In her archived papers there are several proposed manuscripts of books that talk about her communication with the dead. Based on Lucille Clifton’s dream poems and past life poems this retreat is about looking for the poems in our own dreams, memories and inklings and maybe even our conversations with folks who are no longer on this plane.
Sign up here:
Offer your retreat fee here at a rate you can afford. (Keep in mind comparable one day retreats cost about $155.00)
Glad to be in community with you in this lifetime!