Updating the Prospectus

The Museum of the African Diaspora is an incredible and inspiring place to be and the galleries aren’t even open yet.  Every person I have met has this aura of light around them and such generosity of spirit.  There is an immediate intimacy and friendly welcome, something that I have one experienced here in the Bay rarely, and only in predominantly POC spaces as this is.  There is something about being seen as writer, as woman of African descent, as new mother, as complex human being that causes a seed of delight to grow within me.  
Today I was able to spend time with my partner for lunch, come to the museum, and we have plans to have an aperitivo before we go home on the train together to spend time.  In determining the timing for this residency, I thought of the boon that it would be in my relationship and in my growth as a mother.  Folks would say to me that I should just focus on baby while on leave, but I recognized even then that I need to maintain the important and fulfilling parts of my self journey.  While I have been taken out of the politics of my work in academia, I am still teaching, consulting, reading.  Yes, it is less than before my son entered this world; still, my essence is honored.  I need to do that to honor my growth as a mother.  I need to do that to show myself what I hope for him, that he, too, can live a multidimensional life, one in which many pathways and interests intersect.  He can seek wholeness and a community that provides space and nourishment for that wholeness.  I am finding that in this experience.  
Recently the prospectus from the MoAD has had to change.  They weren’t successful in receiving a grant, so some of the programs will have to be cut back, but it’s all the things that would have happened next semester.  I still have the joy of being in this space, creating in this space, educating youth and guiding them into creation in this space, and presenting to others what magic comes in this space.  I have the honor of working with Tongo to determine the process by which future applicants might find themselves here, creating and educating youth.  
So far, on my tasks I am doing really well:

  • I finished writing my workshop ideas for universities in Italy or any other university or venue.
  • I developed a pretty visually compelling press kit.
  • I did the reading for my first consult with an amazing phenomenal.  We have our Zoom session tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to that conversation. 
  • I’ve continued reading for my Intro to Personal Essay class and done some of the exercises.  I have some essays still to write.  
  • I signed up for a Digital Literacy Initiative at SMC to get more practice with technological tools, particularly in preparing to do more online teaching.  
  • I wrote a description for my upcoming workshop at Mills College on October 13 from 10-1pm.  Facebook link coming soon.  Description below.

Back to Elementary
The most incredibly brilliant divergent thinkers are not in boardrooms; they are in daycare, preschool, and lower elementary grades.  The rigors of schooling, researchers say, may free our minds in some ways while caging our imaginations.  It’s time to go back to your elementary freedom.  In this workshop, we rediscover the generative magic of play through card games and physical activities (that can be adapted for accessibility).  Together we summon the wonder and innocence of childhood in order to see ourselves and our world as new.  We push aside the apologies that barb themselves within our throats.  We boldly face our shadow creature fears and find an invincibility even in the darkest memory.  We will draw our imagined heroes and those we love.  We will study the work of writers of color and queer writers have the dexterity to step back through time to reshape the world.  Ultimately, we will all come away with the foundations for transformational work by going back to elementary.  

Tasks that I still want to take on
  • Apply for my pre-professor review at my university.   This is due to my readers by September 15 and we are supposed to give feedback by September 29.  
  • Apply for some online teaching positions.
  • Continue reading for my Intro to Personal Essay Class
  • Work on a new workshop on summoning joy and play to generate new work
  • Write new work for a new collection of poetry I want to submit to Salmon Poetry.  
  • Work on an essay project I want to submit to Nomadic Press.
  • Work on an anthology project I want to submit to Art Público Press and University of Arizona Press.  Let’s be ambitious!
  • Write an essay for VIDA on assigning value to my labor
  • Apply to more residencies and writing opportunities 

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