On the Business of Choosing Dears

It started when she claimed me as her Dear from among the entire first year class. I was excited. Her reputation preceded her. I knew who she was because all the lower formers had been talking about Sister Avery. She was tall, standing at 6’2” a head and half taller than most of her classmates, and weighed in…

Being A Writer with a Mental Illness

About a week ago I got a surprise email from Lisa asking me to participate in a blog meme. I love Lisa’s blog, and I love Lisa. We met in June 2010 at both our first VONAs, and have remained friends since. I love her art and her writing and her sewing and and. Lisa is talented in a…

Mother, You Forgot Something

(a lil somn’ somn’ I’m trying out) “You left something behind.” I managed to say. I didn’t know where I got the energy. “I’ll be back for you, sweetie. I promise.” She grabbed her make-up pouch from me. “That’s what Daddy said too.” “I know, but I am not your father.” She patted my head…

Hello, My Name is…

I sat with my friend Nana as we settled in for the four-hour journey putting our snacks and water bottles in the back pockets behind the seats.  We were fussing over who got the window seat. “Hey! Where are you ladies from? I heard an American accent,” he flashed a smile our way as Nana…

Amakka–Part III

Read Part I here Read Part II here Read Part III below: “Since the movie is not until 7pm, I propose we get dinner first, she suggested. “Sure, what would you like to eat?” After about fifteen minutes of roaming the main strip of shops and restaurants in the center of town, we settled on…

Ode to Audre

I found you while searching for books by other Black women, other immigrant women, other writing women, other queer women.  I didn’t know of you before then. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to know because I wasn’t ready. back then, I was scared of queerness, skittish about writing, deathly afraid of Blackness, ashamed of claiming my…

A Throwback to my first AWP

AWP: Writing and Remembering in Washington, D.C. By KUUKUA YOMEKPE, MFA student in the Writing and Consciousness MFA program This post was written as an assignment for Professor Cindy Shearer’s Aesthetics of Value course. In Aesthetics of Value, students explore their arts heritage and inquire into the values that guide their creative work. I didn’t expect the Association…