When I planned this post back when the acceptance letters first started rolling in, I had intended for this post to be exuberant – giddy, even. I had meant for this update to be silly and quirky and showing all the feels inside my writerly heart for the generous affirmation I’ve received from so many literary journals in such a short amount of time.
The Caribbean Writer. Poetry is Dead. Epiphany: A Literary Magazine. Three magazines all featuring my work in their latest issues, all published within a few weeks of one another. Within the field of writing/publishing, I have no reason to feel anything other than blessed.
But I can’t. I’ve started then restarted this post so many times under my original intention but I just can’t access that previous feeling of optimistic glee. Because Eric Garner. Because Mike Brown. Because Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Because I could keep listing names until I run out of characters and that still wouldn’t capture the depth of anger and loss caused by state-sanctioned violence against black peoples. It’s like living in a waking nightmare.
All the publication esteem in the world won’t change the fact that as a writer onto whom society’s racist standards categorizes as black, I am disposable – and so are others who look like me. I don’t want to know how many more hashtagged names it will take before things improve, before people who’ve been deemed black will have the luxury of feeling equal and safe.
The world sucks. I hate everything. But I still feel compelled to soldier on in the best way I know how. So check out the snapshots below of my recent publications. I’ll never stop writing about “black” and immigrant and Jamaican and queer and female narratives, because at least to me #BlackLivesMatter.
The Caribbean Writer, vol. 28: Time, Place, and Memory. Features my short story, “Swelling Shut,” from my collection. Published October 2014.
Poetry is Dead, vol. 10: Future. Featuring my poem “pardon the Interruption,” which uses a selection from bpNichol’s chapbook You Too, Nicky as its point of poetic departure. Published November 2014.
Ep;phany: A Literary Journal, Winter 2014 edition. Featuring my short story, “Down, Down” from my collection. Published November 2014.