Tag Archives: ntozake shange

Art and Loving a Man

Their words inspire internationally. Boldly illustrate the colors of political change and voices options in curing our societal ills. Our fractured diction has been preserved through early works of Sonia Sanchez’s, “We a baddDDD People“. Maya Angelou spoke honestly for being sexually irresponsible as she grew to conquer her mystery as a woman in “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie“. And Ntozake Shange and June Jordan re-defined the writing style known as prose with lengthy poetic pieces. These two could quite easily and possibly be credited for the birth of “performance poetry.” I dare say we unanimously agree that these women join the ranks of men who taught us through their works the tools to envelop a devoted love for our community, children, and self love. Now, as I take on ownership of their continued path, I get lost for direction when it comes to being a selfless artist and balancing a successful relationship simultaneously. They didn’t write that down for me! Is it perhaps because they are all divorced and never remarried themselves? Do they know the answer? So… I wanna’ talk about it…

Why are all my sheroes single?

coupledivorcing

I have not found the poem or story that tells me how to be a vulnerable artist for a voice of people and then sincerely transform into his confidante and lover. The consistent downfall of my relationships are me not being afforded the space and freedom I need to be an artist. The process is very selfish and my partners understand that only 45% of the time. The other 55% is spent with their conscious or unconscious repeated attempts of trying to get to the root of my creative power. If I can’t practice my art with the space I need, I’m half a person. Which means he’ll only be getting half too, then we’re both unhappy and it ends.

Continue reading Art and Loving a Man

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My Promised Summer of Reading

I love to read. Period. I didn’t get to do a lot of that this past year. I was a rookie English Literature teacher, I was preparing graduate school packages and doing more drafts on my latest novel. This summer it was all about reading, drafting (writing) and getting out of the city (beaches).

My favorite 3 that I read this summer:
Alice Walker -Anyone who knows me knows that I love prose and I love folklore. The prose in this book is magical! I found her POV writing to be confusing at times but it served its purpose for the storytelling. But the prose writing made me fall back in LOVE (again) with the magic of words.

Jamaica Kincaid – I can always count on her to teach me more technique on first person fiction writing. She is a genius with sentence temperature! Your typical story has structure for plot movement. She can twist plot in every sentence to keep you hanging on! But the genius part is, she’s writing just as we think. Constant growth/contradiction. Magic of words!

Mary Monroe – This was my second Mary Monroe book that I’ve read. The first one I read years ago and I suppose with life piled on top I forgot about her. NO MORE! This was my favorite book of the summer! I haven’t fallen in love and cared about characters as much as I did in this book in a long time! Magic of words!

My mentor/guide advised that I “find” time to read more. (We’ll see, with my upcoming schedule of teaching and school.) I told her about the books I read and why I chose these three as my top. Her reply was something to the tune of, ‘Because those books asked you something of yourself. They found you. Just as your readers will find your books, so take your time with your writing.

**NOTE: These are not new releases. Alice and Jamaica are two of my favorites and Mary Monroe’s book was published in 1995 (I believe).  Other books I read this summer were:

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Liliane by Ntozake Shange

Diablerie by Walter Mosley

some days i feel like, ntozake shange

ntozakeshange

some days I feel like ntozake shange. in the most simple sense of what EVERY artists dreams… to have a timeless piece of art that can transcend across generations.

her award winning play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf was first produced off broadway in 1975. it moved to broadway and continued to win awards and marked her place in the literary world. some 35 years later, this same play was turned into a movie. timeless art… this play is rich with emotions and complexity. shange’s work is also where I learned the literary style of writing and performing prose. my all time favorite, ellington was not a street.

I always say, ‘I want my art to be able to live without me. To feed my children’s children.’ 39 years after it debuted in new york, her play, ‘for colored girls’ is currently being produced on two different stages in atlanta, ga. some days I feel like ntozake shange and just trust my heart through my pen. trust that this is the piece of art that will transcend time.