What is through the door?: Inspiration from the Sci Fi Storytelling workshop at YOI’s Freedom School in Raleigh

20 07 2015

10646939_984543608245257_1879098766665614261_nLast Thursday I had the JOY of facilitating a workshop on dreams and sci-fi storytelling with the brilliant participants in the Youth Organizing Institute’s Summer Freedom School in Raleigh.  We shared about people in our lives who have shifted our ideas of what is possible, we wrote poems based on each other’s dreams and we imagined sci-fi worlds with internal voids, external incubation, superheroes, supervillians and lots of love.

This is a sci-fi story poem inspired by Davante,  Juliet, Ife,  Babette, Evelyn, Hylan, Alicia, KK, Marki, Jalil, Nia, Carly and Alex

what is through the door?

everything was great

all peace, no problems, great, great

the world was great, great

she dreamt of dream catchers

hoping to find gold or candy

work up to nothing

she had a dream

about her mom

it filled her with joy

the second loan

it wouldn’t stop changin

she was dreamin’

then she had a dream

she got pregnant by her babe

she was very upset

please don’t cut my hair

my hair is beautiful

death is your reward

jumanji nightmares

with your royal parents there

shielding you from fears

fairly odd parents

earthquakes are worries you have

eight tornadoes tears

dinosaurs are here

dinosaurs crushed your things

dinosaurs are rude

sherlock holmes is rude

but you are strong and fight back

you are the hero

working with children

endless playtime and peeling

the six is shattered

getting sexy with the rock

in a shopping cart

is much harder than it looks

nothing but walking

then slowly opened a door

what is through the door?

Brilliance Remastered’s Maroon Studies Session 2 presents: Prepositions (On Our Relationships to/through/as Difference)

20 07 2015

pedagogies-picLast week Brilliance Remastered convened the second session of Maroon Studies.  This session called  “Necessary as Water” after Audre Lorde’s poem “On My Way Out I Passed Over You and the Verrazano Bridge,” explored our contemporary challenges with relating across difference informed by transnational feminist critiques of knowledge production and black geographical frames.   We engaged work by Audre Lorde, Jacqui Alexander, Chandra Mohanty, Katherine McKittrick and Michelle Wright and shared generously and bravely from our own experiences.

On of the poems we created together is called “Prepositions.”  We started by describing what we were relating “across” in our community accountable intellectual and activist work and then we started to imagine additional relationships through alternate prepositions.  We found that holding one preposition “across” was difficult.  It felt stiff in our bodies.  We noticed that different prepositions rang differently with different nouns.  We created space for more clarity and questions about the nuances of our politics in relation, of relation, as relation.  We ultimately created an archive that we hope you will participate in.  Check it out!

Prepositions  (On Our Relationships to Difference) by the participants in Maroon Studies Session #2:  Necessary as Water

1. across what?

across time zones

across the digisphere

across partitions

across galaxies

across borders

across harm

across generations

across dispensations

across sounds

across town

across trades and talents

across life and death

across nations

across experiences

across what’s been forgotten

across what can’t be separated

across salt

across species

across the table

across her face

across the way

across the lake

across our adornments

across our bodies

across home

across poems

across circles

across domesticity

across children’s bodies

across our ancestors

across spirit

across forgiveness

2. or…  (other prepositional possibilities)












inside of













3.  (relate)

this is your opportunity to use the archive above to make your own poems

how does it feel if you replace “across” in poem one with another preposition from poem two?  Everytime? One time?  What prepositions and nouns resonate with your experiences of working across/through difference?


through our ancestors

around our children

beside harm

of forgiveness…

Feel free to share your poems in the comment section!

Also if you would like to participate in the August Intensive of Maroon Studies you can sign up right here:

Intensive #3: Blood, Water and Land August 10-12, 2015 (12pm to 2pm Eastern)

This webinar is for ride or die radicals who live to love the people. Drawing on the legacy of Sisters in Support of Sisters in South Africa, the solidarity journalism of Alexis DeVeaux, the blood ecologies of Jewelle Gomez and Audre Lorde and the salience of spit, saltwater and sangre, we will explore connections, contradictions and discursive possibilities across imperial divisions towards tangible outcomes.

8 spots are available. $175-225 sliding scale (payment plans available).

You can reserve your spot by offering a $50 non-refundable deposit here (please include the name of the webinar in the notes):