Kweli Journal

Kweli Journal Kweli Journal, Truth from the Diaspora's Boldest Voices
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Nikky Finney : Love Child's Hotbed of Occasional Poetry | Tin House
06/05/2020
Nikky Finney : Love Child's Hotbed of Occasional Poetry | Tin House

Nikky Finney : Love Child's Hotbed of Occasional Poetry | Tin House

“Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry is a 21st-century paean to the sterling love songs humming throughout four hundred years of black American life.” —Lit Hub “Her poems elide the generational and the personal with ample music. They are, therefore, more than taut with vital details; ...

06/02/2020
"Just Us &..." Illustrator & Author Floyd Cooper

Just Us Interview Series featuring Floyd Cooper!

In the debut episode of “Just Us &,” hosts Wade and Cheryl Hudson, founders of Just Us Books, talk to award-winning children’s book illustrator and author Fl...

05/28/2020
GirlTrek: Healthy Black Women and Girls

GirlTrek: Healthy Black Women and Girls

“What are you without racism? Are you still strong?” Leave it to the legend Toni Morrison to capture the truth of the ugliness of racism and white supremacy. May we reflect on her words and share her sentiments widely as we navigate an America that devalues Black life. “If you can only be tall, because somebody else is on their knees, then you have serious problem — and my feeling is that white people have a serious problem.” A timely and timeless statement. Our prayers are with the families of #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery and so many other of our Black brothers and sisters whose lives we know have always mattered.

Sharing a little light. Kweli is happy to be named a 2020 Amazon Literary Partnership grant recipient! With this support...
05/27/2020

Sharing a little light. Kweli is happy to be named a 2020 Amazon Literary Partnership grant recipient! With this support from Amazon, we will be able to continue our work in our year-long fellowship program; our writing workshops with culminating readings; and our reading series showcasing Kweli authors. To learn more about the Amazon Literary Partnership program visit:
www.amazonliterarypartnership.com

Pictured: Audience during Kweli reading at McNally Jackson, 2019

Photo credit: Terrence Jennings

Kweli Art of the Short Story Workshop resumes tomorrow, ONLINE. Looking forward to our deep dives into Edwidge Danticat,...
05/22/2020

Kweli Art of the Short Story Workshop resumes tomorrow, ONLINE. Looking forward to our deep dives into Edwidge Danticat, Nikky Finney & other favorites.

http://www.kwelijournal.org/the-art-of-the-short-story-workshop-1

Photo credit: Terrence Jennings
Kweli Art of the Short Story Workshop, Poets House, July 2017

Jennifer N. Baker: "The documentary series was created by a team of Asian American filmmakers, including Academy Award-n...
05/10/2020
New PBS documentary casts Asian Americans as movers, shakers, influencers and leaders

Jennifer N. Baker: "The documentary series was created by a team of Asian American filmmakers, including Academy Award-nominated series producer Renee Tajima-Peña, who survey the breadth of the Asian American experience over the past 170 years.

And what a breadth it is. If you attended U.S. public schools, your social studies or American history textbooks might have included a sentence or two about the Chinese laborers who built the western section of the continental railroad. Your teachers might have led a discussion on the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II." #AAPIHM

"Asian Americans," a five-part series, premieres May 11 and 12.

Jennifer N. Baker: LOVE This advice from newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown in them."What I tell my studen...
05/09/2020
Poet Jericho Brown on His Life-Changing Pulitzer Prize Win

Jennifer N. Baker: LOVE This advice from newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown in them.

"What I tell my students is that you either need to write like you have already won every prize, or you need to write like you know for a fact you will never win any prize. Because the truth is no matter what, you still have to wake up the next morning and endure the tyranny of the blank page. No matter how many prizes I win, if I start writing horrendous poetry, people are going to be happy to let each other know 'oh he is writing horrendous poetry.' Now more than ever, it is important that I maintain my discipline and my craft as a poet."

“Now more than ever, it is important that I maintain my discipline and my craft as a poet.”

Angela Davis & Nikki Giovanni LIVE with GirlTrek!
05/08/2020
Angela Davis & Nikki Giovanni LIVE with GirlTrek!

Angela Davis & Nikki Giovanni LIVE with GirlTrek!

Legendary women, writers and visionaries Angela Davis and Nikki Giovanni will be joining GirlTrek’s FB LIVE for a FIRST-EVER JOINT discussion this Friday unpacking the trials of the Black women who came before us, honoring their triumphs and acknowledging the secret tools we must recall in pursuit...

Parneshia Jones: Had a cry face with this announcement! Ed Roberson is a specific truth in poetry and the art of the gen...
05/08/2020
ED ROBERSON WINS JACKSON POETRY PRIZE, $70,000 AWARD

Parneshia Jones: Had a cry face with this announcement! Ed Roberson is a specific truth in poetry and the art of the gentleman. I am over the moon about this! Congratulations, Ed! This means so much to so many of us! @NorthwesternUP @cavecanempoets @poetswritersinc @isaacnoah

Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully revi...

Pulitzer & praise song for Nikole Hannah-Jones! https://www.theroot.com/nikole-hannah-jones-creator-of-the-new-york-time...
05/05/2020
Nikole Hannah-Jones, Creator of the New York Times' 1619 Project, Awarded 2020 Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer & praise song for Nikole Hannah-Jones!

https://www.theroot.com/nikole-hannah-jones-creator-of-the-new-york-times-1619-1843248539?utm_campaign=The+Root&utm_content=1588634617&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0Y4WjN4NRbwDH7THHj3xLRXriYl-_9DVnsKNP04UixbsnJ--txMa98dNA

We called it: Nikole Hannah-Jones, the investigative journalist who was the brainchild of the groundbreaking 1619 project, is an embodiment of unity. Today, the Pulitzer Prize Board recognized it too by awarding Hannah-Jones the 2020 Pulitzer for Commentary.

Sharing new essay on VIDA by Kweli Contributing Editor, Jodi Savage!!!
05/05/2020
Jodi M. Savage – VIDA: Women in Literary Arts

Sharing new essay on VIDA by Kweli Contributing Editor, Jodi Savage!!!

How to Attend a Black FuneralJodi M. Savage 1. A Black funeral is not called a funeral. Rather, it is a homegoing or homegoing service. A homegoing is a celebration of a person’s life, a mourning for what has been lost, and a going away party all wrapped in one. At a homegoing, folks celebrate you...

DéLana R.A. Dameron is the author of two poetry collections, Weary Kingdom (2017) and How God Ends Us (2009). Her short ...
05/03/2020
Work by DéLana R.A. Dameron — KWELI / Truth From the Diaspora's Boldest Voices

DéLana R.A. Dameron is the author of two poetry collections, Weary Kingdom (2017) and How God Ends Us (2009). Her short story “WORK” is part of a larger project Redwood Court, exploring the suburban Black South at the intersection of the end of the 20th century, and the beginning of the 21st.

Read an EXCERPT from Work by DéLana Dameron below.

* * *

The first few days of your real work were real boring. There is no other way for you to describe it when Major asks how it went. By Wednesday, you begged Sasha to let you take her Discman so at least you could listen to music while your supervisor shrugged and pretended to drum up real work for you to do. You were stationed in the water control division where residents just outside of Columbia, SC who had well water sources had to bring in samples of water to make sure all of the allowable amounts of chemicals weren’t above the undrinkable amounts. You couldn’t imagine there were people who didn’t live with the same type of water you had, wasn’t it, what 1999 now?, but there still were, and a whole operation went along to make sure people’s water was safe to drink.

You had many hours of idle moments waiting for someone to come in with a mason jar or Sprite bottle of cloudy water. You were instructed to put on latex gloves to handle the sample—a new pair each time—so as not to jeopardize the integrity of the test.

You put whatever container they brought the sample in into a gallon-sized ziplock bag, and waited for them to fill out the required intake paperwork. Everyone in that department was white, and it amazed you how many folks who may or may not have had safe drinking water reminded you of your grandparents Weesie or Teeta or any number of their friends.

When the older black man who looked like he could have been Deacon Jackson’s father shuffled to your desk, you brought out your “Yes Sir’s” and “No Sir’s,” and even, when you saw him struggling to negotiate the small text on the page you first handed him a magnifying glass like what Teeta would have used for reading his Bible, but when the gentleman studied it and held it up to his face, close like a monocle, you shook your head, picked up the pen and asked his name, address, how long had he been living at the residence with a well, etc, until the paperwork was filled out. You asked him to sign and he simply marked an X, and despite protocol, you found an empty bottle to transfer his sample from the 409 cleaning solution bottle he brought it in into one that would be accepted for processing.

The gentleman kissed your gloved hand and held it a touch too long while he thanked you for your help. You had saved him from embarrassment, he said. You were much nicer than anyone in here had had ever been to him after all these years. He said it loud enough for your supervisor to look up. The man that looked like he could have been Teeta, if he had lived, smiled at you and tipped his hat on his way out.

READ MORE

Everyone in that department was white, and it amazed you how many folks who may or may not have had safe drinking water reminded you of your grandparents Weesie or Teeta or any number of their friends.

http://www.kwelijournal.org/fiction/2020/4/29/work-by-dlana-ra-dameron

Everyone in that department was white, and it amazed you how many folks who may or may not have had safe drinking water reminded you of your grandparents Weesie or Teeta or any number of their friends.

UofSC professor, poet Nikky Finney elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
05/01/2020
UofSC professor, poet Nikky Finney elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

UofSC professor, poet Nikky Finney elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The celebrated poet and University of South Carolina professor Nikky Finney was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious fellowship of artists, scholars and leaders who work together for the public good.

Celebrating Lisa Bryan Stringfellow this morning. Her debut middle grade novel, Dark Tide, has been acquired by Rosemary...
05/01/2020
Craft, Community and Love by Lisa Stringfellow — KWELI / Truth From the Diaspora's Boldest Voices

Celebrating Lisa Bryan Stringfellow this morning. Her debut middle grade novel, Dark Tide, has been acquired by Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins/Quill Tree, in a five-house auction!

* * *

Last night Lisa wrote: Thank you SO MUCH to Kweli Journal for many wonderful moments of friendship, learning, and support at the annual conferences, and the opportunity to network and grow through the partnership with Scbwi.

* * *

So very proud of you, Sis!! Our Kweli hearts are singing. Sending you big love and congratulatory hugs.

http://www.kwelijournal.org/blog/2019/5/2/craft-community-and-love-by-lisa-stringfellow

Kweli is like a family reunion, but the joy of the conference is the feeling we take with us back to our drafting tables, desks, libraries, and coffee shops. The community is what will sustain us as we go back to the trenches and resume our publishing journeys.

NICOLE DENNIS BENN: It has been an interesting time to be editing this issue of Kweli. Now, more than ever, reading has ...
05/01/2020

NICOLE DENNIS BENN: It has been an interesting time to be editing this issue of Kweli. Now, more than ever, reading has become my sanctuary in this harsh face of fear during the COVID pandemic. Some days when the prospects of this “new normal” seem grim, I would make my way to the window in my study with a cup of tea and some music to read stories that somehow reminded me of what it was like to open a book and see myself on the page for the very first time. Time passed backward, though in reality, it pushed me forward on a sea of purpose—forward into a realm where I was now able to curate stories by black women about black girlhood for a journal for writers of color. When I made the call for submission for stories about black girlhood, I did not expect the vast number of stories I’d receive. All the stories were competitive, but I could choose only six. I was particularly drawn to these pieces for several reasons. In these stories we see our vulnerabilities and complexities as black girls navigating a world that has already made up its mind about us. I looked for authentic, fresh voices that captured our hearts and souls and memories of a moment in time or of the coming of age process.

READ MORE

http://www.kwelijournal.org/black-girlhood-by-nicole-dennis-benn

“The End of Poetry”
05/01/2020
“The End of Poetry”

“The End of Poetry”

Poetry by Ada Limón: “Enough of osseous and chickadee and sunflower.”

The crap game / of black bones in repose.Rachel Eliza GriffithsThe 5th anniversary of THE EYES HAVE IT at Schomburg Cent...
04/21/2020

The crap game / of black bones in repose.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

The 5th anniversary of THE EYES HAVE IT at Schomburg Center with Nikky Finney, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Parneshia Jones & Saretta Morgan. April 23, 2015

Revisiting sister Rachel Eliza Griffiths' powerful images from 2015, listening to the brilliant words of our sister poets and thinking about all the bodies corona & this country have claimed.

https://vimeo.com/145695666

That way, way back when / and that not too long ago.Parneshia JonesThe 5th anniversary of THE EYES HAVE IT at Schomburg ...
04/20/2020

That way, way back when / and that not too long ago.

Parneshia Jones

The 5th anniversary of THE EYES HAVE IT at Schomburg Center with Nikky Finney, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Parneshia Jones & Saretta Morgan. April 23, 2015

Revisiting sister Rachel Eliza Griffiths' powerful images, listening to the brilliant words of our sister poets on vimeo & thinking about COVID19 quarantine.

https://vimeo.com/145695666

The 5th anniversary of THE EYES HAVE IT at the Schomburg Center with NIKKY FINNEY, RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS, PARNESHIA JON...
04/19/2020

The 5th anniversary of THE EYES HAVE IT at the Schomburg Center with NIKKY FINNEY, RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS, PARNESHIA JONES & SARETTA MORGAN is April 23rd. For the next five days, we will be revisiting Rachel's powerful images, reading the brilliant words of our sister poets & thinking about our current COVID-19 moment.

"America is essentially illiterate when it comes to black bodies."
Rachel Eliza Griffiths, author of SEEING THE BODY: POEMS & PHOTOGRAPHS, June 9, 2020

https://vimeo.com/145695666

Videos: Nikki's Jam
04/18/2020
Videos: Nikki's Jam

Videos: Nikki's Jam

Nikki Grimes, poet and award-winning author of more than 75 books for children and adults, has created a fun and useful site for teachers and readers of all ages.

Michelle Obama Announces Storytimes with PRH and PBS Kids
04/18/2020
Michelle Obama Announces Storytimes with PRH and PBS Kids

Michelle Obama Announces Storytimes with PRH and PBS Kids

In an effort to spread cheer and promote literacy among families that are sheltering in place during the pandemic, Michelle Obama is teaming up with Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, and PBS Kids to launch a weekly read-aloud series.

EDWIDGE DANTICAT & NIKKY FINNEYKWELI 2020 INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVALSAVE THE DATE: July 18, 2020Presented & hosted ...
04/17/2020

EDWIDGE DANTICAT & NIKKY FINNEY

KWELI 2020 INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL

SAVE THE DATE: July 18, 2020

Presented & hosted by Times Reads/The New York Times

More details soon!

Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich / Birchbark Books & Native Arts
04/08/2020
Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich / Birchbark Books & Native Arts

Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich / Birchbark Books & Native Arts

In a new collection that is "a force of nature" (Amy Gerstler), renowned poet Heid E. Erdrich applies her rich inventive voice and fierce Native wit to the deforming effects of harassment and oppression.

CBS46
03/29/2020
CBS46

CBS46

BREAKING: Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, the man known as the "Dean of the Civil Rights Movement," has passed away at his home at the age of 98. https://bit.ly/39mywfO

CBS46
03/29/2020
CBS46

CBS46

BREAKING: Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, the man known as the "Dean of the Civil Rights Movement," has passed away at his home at the age of 98. https://bit.ly/39mywfO

Sweetest congratulations to 2020 WHITING AWARD WINNER IN NONFICTION, JAQUIRA DIAZ, pictured here giving "The Personal is...
03/26/2020

Sweetest congratulations to 2020 WHITING AWARD WINNER IN NONFICTION, JAQUIRA DIAZ, pictured here giving "The Personal is Political" Craft Talk at Kweli International Literary Festival, July 19, 2019, at NYT Conference Center. Our hearts are singing!

"When I first started writing ORDINARY GIRLS, my mother was a ghost. She rarely showed up in its pages. I wrote around her avoiding the TRUTH. The TRUTH was painful. The TRUTH was that my mother broke me and she was the single most difficult subject to write about. So I wrote about other mothers. My abuela, a Puerto Rican Black woman who carried me my whole life, carries me still, who taught me to pray and cook and chain smoke. Taught me to keep house, taught me everything I know about forgiveness."

https://www.whiting.org/awards/winners/jaquira-d%C3%ADaz#/

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