m@ke my day!

@bout @lexis

This year Alexis is using her best developed and most cherished skill-the art of the life-changing workshop-to raise funds to support her decision to spend the next year doing the MobileHomeComing an immersive intergenerational community documentation and education project based on her lust for back queer community!  (It’s weird that somehow I have to be consistent with a choice to talk about myself in the third person here, but I want to interject in the first person to say that your support means everything to me and it is evidence of the fact that it is possible to be a community supported, community accountable scholar in the 21st Century. 🙂

Bring Alexis to your campus, community center,  to speak, or do a workshop that you will never forget!

at the Furious Flower Poetry Center!

at the Furious Flower Poetry Center!


Newly minted PhD, Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs is on the itinerant professor tip, reaching out to a wide range of teaching settings and operating from her beloved home base of Durham, North Carolina.   Dr. Lex could provide a great weekend training, week-long series, special mini-course for your students, members or city based on her 13 years of experience designing and facilitating community-based workshop, experience teaching in high-school and college classrooms, and intimate relationship with the literature and life-making of her fellow Black Feminists, Prison Abolitonists, Survivors of Gendered violence and warriors for Economic and Racial Justice and Queer Liberation!

If you have the blessing of being located within 2 hours of Durham, NC we can arrange a long-term affair.  For those further outside of the radius email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com to orchestrate a passionate and productive fling 🙂

specifically for women of color and genderqueer people of color:

Mother Ourselves Bootcamp designed for women and genderqueer people of color to learn how to motherourselves rigourously based on Audre Lorde’s definition of MotheringOurselves.   Complete with guided meditation, exploration stations, writing exercises and conversation about how to release harmful ideas of mothering within oppression and to activate empowering ideas of mothering for liberation.
(Friday evening, all day Saturday, Sunday morning)  here is some info from the pilot bootcamp here in Durham:  http://summerofourlorde.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/motherourselves-bootcamp-january-7-9-2011/

Rainbow Reclamations Redux Residency 3-4 days (based on the Rainbow Reclamations ritual series based on Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls)

By popular demand and with infinite love Alexis designed a seven month process called Rainbowed Reclamation, a colorful women and genderqueer people of color juicy poetry and food-filled space of sacred discussions that reclaim our bodies, collectivize our spiritual energy and the brilliant choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.  See an example here: https://brokenbeautiful.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/rainbow-reclamations-red-keep-your-sorrybreak-up-poetics/

for  families:

Thicker Than Whatever: Unstoppable Mother-Daughter Relationships (all day workshop for mothers and daughters that I co-facilitate with my mom, therapist and doula Pauline McKenzie Day!)  See more info on the inaugural workshop here: https://brokenbeautiful.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/thicker-than-whatever-unstoppable-motherdaughter-bonds/

and the outcomes here:


June Jordan Survival School: An interactive weekend for families based on the children’s books and essays of June Jordan.

Lucille Clifton ShapeShifter Survival School
:  a Friday night poetry intensive for parents and a weekend of family activities designed to end cycles of child sexual and physical abuse


Inclusive of all people of all genders and backgrounds:

Juneteenth Freedom Academy Residency (based on the work of June Jordan)
3-5 day versions of one of the Juneteenth units (love poems, palestine, anger, rituals for transformative presence for educators)

*find out more about the Juneteenth Freedom Academy here: http://blackfeministmind.wordpress.com/juneteenth-freedom-academy/
School of Our Lorde Residency (3-7 days)-based on the work of Audre Lorde
3-5 day versions of one of the School of Our Lorde Units (poetics, publishing, pedagogy or politics)
or a 7-10 day intensive with all 4 units included

find out more about the School of Our Lorde here: http://summerofourlorde.wordpress.com/


Alexis is available to speak on a variety of topics and has tons of experiences speaking to audiences at elementary schools, college campuses, community centers, rallies, conferences and workshops.  Click on the links for examples of public talks she has given in the past.  She might particularly be a great person to complement your community or campus programming during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Love Your Body Week, Celebration of Black Womanhood Week, Black Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, National Coming Out Day, Mother’s Day or throw tokenism to the wind and bring Alexis to speak and make any old day of the year a day filled with hope and magic!


email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com for Lex’s academic CV



(Most workshops are available either as a one time session, a day-long intensive or a series within the NC Triangle or Triad areas.  Get in touch about what works best for your community.  Below are workshops that I have facilitated many times before.  I can also design workshops specifically for your needs 🙂


Pressed for Knowledge: Alexis has facilitated this miraculous zine making workshop all over the United States in communities, on college campuses and at conferences.  In this workshop participants (whether they are part of an existing group or are meeting for the first time on the day of the workshop) use the resources of urgency, homegrown brilliance and whatever’s around to create their own publication in less than 2 hours.  Alexis leads participants in a process of choosing an audience, a theme that connects their passions and a work structure and a group evaluation process for their own urgent publication!  (NEW!!! Pressed for Knowledge is now available in a video version…where participants create and edit their own video in an amazingly short period of time!)

workin' on it!Grassroots Literary Production: Due to her experience leading the Pressed for Knowledge workshop and facilitating students at Duke University, UNC-Greensboro and the SpiritHouse Choosing Sides program in the creation of their own online and print collaborative publications, Alexis can train teachers, faculty and community cultural workers to make publication a part of their programming.

bhopal imageThe Activist Impulse: Similar to the Pressed for Knowledge Workshop, this workshops leads participants through a process of deciding on, designing and enacting and evaluating a site-specific direct action.  Alexis has led this workshop with a class of Duke University Students, at the Ethnic Studies and the Activist Impulse Symposium at Columbia University, the Beyond the Box Conference at Barnard College, the Anarchist People of Color SouthEast Regional Conference and more!


(These workshops are grounded in Alexis’s years of black feminist research and spiritual practice and are ideal for a community organization, school, department or group of people interested in how the theory, practice, poetry and lessons of black feminist practice apply to their present conditions)

audreLetters to Audre: developed in a special writing enrichment course that Alexis designed for Africana Women’s Studies majors at Bennett College for Women, this workshop or series of workshops introduces participants to key works by black feminist lesbian poet, scholar, activist Audre Lorde.  Participants create their own versions of/responses to poems and essays by Audre Lorde including Litany for Survival and The Uses of Anger.  Participatns also write their own poetic letters to this literary feminist ancestor.   See www.letterstoaudre.wordpress.com for examples.  Alexis is also available to lead seminars for faculty, teachers, and community educators on Teaching Audre Lorde.

June_JordanLetters to June: Along a similar model as the Letters to Audre Workshop, this curriculum was developed for a feminist theory course at UNC-Greensboro.   Participants will write their own “Poem About My Rights” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and also engage some of Jordan’s lesser known and unpublished pieces.  Alexis is also available to use her privileged access as the first researcher to view June Jordan’s archival papers to lead seminars on Teaching June Jordan.

lorde_oldLitany for Survival: The Poetics of Community Building This writing and movement workshop, designed in collaboration with Ebony Golden starts from the grounding point of Audre Lorde’s Litany for Survival and leads participants through a process of analyzing the poem for themselves, using theater of the oppressed methodologies to demonstrate what survival means for them and creating their own praise poems towards the survival of their own communities.  This workshop was debuted at the Brecht Forum in New York City with an amazing response.

45hamiltonIn Your Hands:  The Depth of Legacy: based on a spiritual experience that Alexis had of recieving and writing down letters from chosen, (and uninvited!) black feminist ancestors including Fannie Lou Hamer, Nayo Watkins, Toni Cade Bambara, Octavia Butler and her own grandmother (see the letters and the video documentation of the process here) this workshop is designed to facilitate participants in listening for and to the legacies of their own chosen traditions.  Alexis will facilitate a disucssion of some of the insights in the letters she recieved and each participant will leave with a plan and a way to make space for their own insights.


(these workshops are designed to keep community members, community organizers, students and teachers ALIVE AND WELL with full access to their love for themselves, each other and their inspired purpose!)

Photo 16Habit Forming Love: This workshop shares the gifts of a 21 day process in which Alexis sought to learn how to love herself, her partner and her community better and to train herself in online video production and distribution.  Available as a one time workshop or a skills building series, this workshop will allow participants to use new media technology to deepen and activate their love for themselves, their chosen family and their communities.  Browse Alexis’s video project here.

alexis is audre lorde againMother Ourselves: Created in collaboration with Zachari Curtis for the Gumbo Yaya Sister Circle, and inspired by Audre Lorde’s essay “Eye to Eye,” this workshop provides participants with a safe space to examine their thoughts about the meaning of “mothering,” and allows participants to explore what it might mean to nurture, teach and transform themselves.  In this workshop we work in partners, listen to our bodies, use mirrors and talk about the affirming and difficult process of reflections linked to our varied experiencs with mothering.

4864_92087517797_541817797_2162853_7570725_nSustainability for Organizers and Activists: The workshop, designed for (and with) the organizers and visionaries in Critical Resistance, is about ENDING ACTIVIST BURN OUT!!!!   Remembering that we, our bodies and our spirits are the most important resources for change, this workshop facilitates organizers in identifying the resources that keep them inspired and practices that can keep/get us well.   Every participant leaves with their own visible reminder of their own     wellness insights!


(These workshops are ideal for a community organization/project/coalition at a stage of inception or renewal.)

-2Dig: Grounding Community Transformation in Local Resources

Based on Alexis’s poem dig, this workshop is designed to get community members in touch with the secrets, issues, and resources in their own communities and to build a shared analysis of those resources as a guide for their community projects and alliances.   Each community will leave with at the very least, a group poem, new clarity about their resources and projects that connect and align their existing resources.  The “dig” exercise has been enacted in Greensboro, Miami, Asheville and Gainesville as part of the Grassroots Media Justice Tour.

wishful thinkingWishful Thinking: Vision and Actualization Based on Alexis’s poem in honor of black women and survivors of sexual violence in her community and recorded as a track on the SPEAK! CD this workshop leads participants through a meditation about their desires for their local communities and communities of affinity. Participants will leave with a community wishlist and individual affirmations.  To see some of the results of the version of Wishful Thinking facilitated with the Speak Media Collective at the Women and Action in the Media Conference see www.wakeupnew.blogspot.com.  

Support the Work:

(all proceeds go towards Alexis’s work on the mobilehomecoming project and the eternal summer of the black feminist mind and do not include travel and accomodation.  Priority will be given to institutions in Lex’s home region of the North Carolina Triangle and Triad areas.)

Lex and the MobileHomeComing Project are grateful for the support of Queers for Economic Justice, the Disabled Young People’s Collective, Public Allies of Cincinnati, the SpiritHouse Choosing Sides Program at New Horizons Academy of Excellence,  the American Studies Program at University of Texas-San Antonio,  the Women in Learning and Living Program at University of Richmond, the Sexual Assault Task Force at Reed College, the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, the Women’s Center and Multicultural Center at Duke University,  Holton Community Center for hosting Lex as a speaker/workshop leader and for donating honoraria to the MobileHomeComing Project.

Residencies: (priority given to institutions and organizations in the SouthEast)

Colleges and Universities: $4000 for a week of on-campus, community-co-sponsored events  or for a series of 5 inter-related events over the course of a semester.

Community Centers/Organizations: $1000 for an organizational retreat, $2000-3000 for a series of developmental workshops

Living Rooms/Guest Rooms etc:  travel/room and board and a learning exchange/barter plus passing the hat (get in touch and make an offer!)

To ask about longer term engagements outside of North Carolina email brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com


Colleges and University-$3000 for lecture or poetic performance   ($4000 for a lecture or poetic performance, Q&A and an additional classroom visit)

Conference Keynote: $1000-1500

Community Center/Non-profit- $500-700 for lecture  ($700-1000 for lecture and workshop)

Autonomous Community Spaces (independent bookstores, churches etc.)- $100-300 for lecture(with the possibility of just passing the hat if we can also have publications for sale)


( each workshop will result in a publication/poem/major accomplishment for participants to keep and for the sponsor to be proud of!):

Colleges and Universities- $1500-2500 ($4500 for a series)

Community Center/Non-profit- $500-700 (discounts for smaller or rural orgs, talk to me) ($850-1000 for a series)

Living Rooms/Kitchen Tables-  $100 or gather your people, pass the hat and have some yummy food on hand and I’m there!!! (maybe I was a travelling black feminist preacher in a past life…)

All suggested prices are really suggested.  Get in touch. (brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com)

We can work something out.


Alexis is…making love (or reading lists) all of the time. Let me know what you think!

Browse That Little Black Book: Alexis’s (Theoretically) Black Blogspace

Buy “Abolition Now: 10 Years of Organizing Against the Prison Industrial Complex” featuring Lex’s chapter “Freedom Seeds: Growing Abolition in Durham, North Carolina”

Buy SPEAK! a CD by radical womyn of color featuring two poems by Alexis and a free curriculum.

Read “We Can Learn to Mother Ourselves” by Alexis in the Black Women’s Writing Reconsidered issue of Gender Forum

Read:The Life of a Poem: Audre Lorde’s “A Litany for Survival” in Post-Lacrosse Durham in Reflections

Check out the current issue of Make/Shift Magazine, featuring a section called Letters to Black Feminist Ancestors”

check out “This Instant and This Triumph” American Book Review Volume 29 Issue 4 with a focus on Women of Color Publishing edited by Alexis!

Read Alexis’s essay “Buy One. Get One. Free.: A Pedagogy of Debt”, part of the Enough project.

Check out Alexis’s work in the latest issue of Left Turn

Read Alexis’s article “But Some of Us Are Brazen: Lust for a Black Queer Community” and her monthly column on black lesbians in publishing in Treazure Magazine

Read Alexis’s poem “Because” for the mothers of UBUNTU in the current issue of WombPoetry

Order the extremely limited edition Cleromancy poetry divination game hand-crafted for June Jordan and lovingly curated by your own Alexis!

Read The Coup Magazine: Black Women in the Diaspora Rising Up (especially Alexis’s article “Improvising Peace”)

Read “This is Love: Embracing Outerspace in a State of Emergency” (Political Musings on Me’shell Ndgecello’s “Comfort Woman”) in Brownstone Magazine

Read Alexis’s Biased Review of OutKast’s Idlewild Film

Check Out Alexis’s Poetry in Girlchild Press Bestseller:Growing Up Girl

Check Out Leaving Home Becoming Home (featuring Alice Walker, Asha Bandele, Jessica Care Moore, Shay Youngblood, Beatrice Sullivan, Elizabeth Anderson and…Alexis Pauline Gumbs!

to be a problem image

Audit Alexis’s Online College Course: To Be A Problem: The Figure of the OutKast in Black Literature at (or request to drop by the “in person version at Duke University if you’re in North Carolina)
AND spread the word with this To Be A Problem Flyer

Stalk Alexis on Myspace

Coming soon: Alexis’s prose-poem “Deagalear Magalama: A Blue Airmail Letter in Macomere and a review of Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your Mother: Journey Along the Transatlantic Slave Route in Obsidian: Black Literature in Review

15 responses

25 09 2007

Hello Alexis,

My name is Fallon and I’m organizing with other women of color around the the Dunbar Gang Rapes and West Virginia Torture/Rape case. Well, I was wondering if you have time to participate in a phone conference on Friday, September 28, 2007 at 9pm/central about organizing to end silences surrounding Megan Williams’ torture and rape in Logan and the gang rape of several Black women in West Palm Beach Florida.

Well, I’ve been circulating a 2 minute movie entitled, “How do you keep a Social Movement Alive.”

This movie documents the silence surrounding Megan Williams’ torture and rape in Logan and the gang rape of several Black women in West Palm Beach Florida. The purpose of this movie is to document the silences within our relationships, within our homes, within our families, within our communities, within our jobs, within our schools, within our churches, temples, and synagogues, within our governments, and within our world.

Also, I love the energy of your blog and was wondering if I could speak with you about tips on designing a blog that will be dedicated to documenting silences. But given the organizing we are trying to do, I need to reorganize the blog and use wordpress instead of blogger. This is the current blog,


I look forward to connecting with you,

PS I sent an email to brokenbeautifulpress@gmail.com with the agenda of the phone conference.

25 09 2007
25 09 2007

Hello Alexis,

Also, If you can’t do the phone conference would you be interested in being a part of the Women of Color Bloggers Breaking the Silences Contingency on the Web which would mean inundating the web with information about Wearing Red Campaign on the October 31, 2007 as well as circulating clips and other media trying to get stories of violence committed against women of color out on the web?

I look forward to connecting with you,

You can email me at beboldered@gmail.com.

5 01 2008

Dear Alexis,

Ha, just stumbled upon this site. Beautiful. I am going to send you a message cause I love this site! Fierce.. plus I’m tripping cause I know the aforementioned Fallon personally and it makes so much sense that she would’ve found this site.

Beautiful here!


8 04 2008


My sister, my Homie, my love – sending you soo much love, strength, and peace. Your website revolution is soo fierce!!! It is amazing!!!

Can’t wait to see you again . . . hope our paths cross again sometime very soon.
Peace and numerous blessings, Jalan

29 04 2008


We met at the (A)POC conference in Ashville a ways back, and then spoke briefly at the Sarah Lawrence conference recently. I gave you all the Assata cards from Ashanti, and then told you I’d like to put you all in touch with Mothsquad, a slightly defunct group in Richmond, VA that worked to amass resources for survivors and do other, related work. I worked with a couple of groups in Argentina around issues of sexual violence from April 2006-07, and recently finished a piece about that which I’d love to send your way. Also, if you know Sendolo, I think it’s going to be in the (maga-)zine that he’s doing together with a friend of his right now.

I’d like to talk to you about the work you’re doing, and also, I’d like to speak very specifically about SONG and Ubuntu in a different context. I’m working on a project with a couple friends right now, and we’re trying to finish up the list of groups that we’re trying to get money for. You can see the very rough version at 100forjustice.org, but basically I have a few questions as I try to sort out the interwoven orgs of Durham and the surrounding area. If you could get in touch with me, I’d really appreciate it. You can email me, and I’ll send you back my phone number.

Thanks so much, and hope you’re doing wonderfully well,
Gaurav Jashnani

13 08 2008

This site is inspiring. Thanks sistah

18 11 2008

I am so blessed that I get to cross paths with you every so often and in such beautiful spaces. Atl any time soon?

16 06 2009

I wanted to stop by and leave a thanks for your interest in our online book club.

To answer the questions in your comment. It’s going to be open forum so as many women as possible can participate. Just check back the first of each month for the book selection and reading schedule.

As far as promotion, it really has been just word of mouth and/or type. The initial blog entry should give the basics and if you have any questions or suggestions, just leave comments. This is my first stint at moderation so I’m just trying to make it good.

Thanks again for your interest and support. I’ve been looking through your blog and am already making notes of further reading.

16 07 2009
Rox Sirando

Hey. I met you at that silly college we did and you were very very nice. I googled esinam bediako out of the blue who i took some poetry workshops with hoping to find out she was a distinguished poet. I was quite fond of her. Anyway, I came across her manifesto at the barnard site and then read yours, and followed some of your links and realized we had sort of met outside of the library–you said you liked my shoes and i sort of ran away. You ma’am are really doing it out there. Im way impressed and look forward to the rest of your work.

Best best best

14 01 2010

Hello Alexis,

My name is Monika and I am thoroughly moved and impressed by your passion and life’s work. Perhaps you’d like to help me out with one of my passions.

I am currently developing a zine collaboration that will feature original written or drawn pieces exclusively by queer POC womyn identified individuals. I am currently interning with the Queer Zine Archive Project (www.qzap.org) and I hate seeing the lack of zines that are written by ‘family’. Though zine culture has always been a subculture of cisgendered, heterosexual white males in the punk scene, I persynally believe that the world of zine writing can create a niche for queer womyn of color who want to be heard.

Once I am finished with the zine, I will submit it to Queer Zine Archive Project and also distribute it around the Milwaukee/Chicago areas. Material provided is completely at your creative mercy. That’s the glorious idea of zines – the material is definitely what the persyn wants people to know. Lack of censorship and the power of the pen (or computer) can be quite revolutionary I think.

Let me know if you’re interested and keep up your awesome work.


-Monika ❤

31 03 2010
31 03 2010
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