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My first speculative story + interview!

A quick update this week to share a few pieces of good news: First, I'm happy to say that my short story “Fyrewall” will appear in the Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers anthology, edited by Sarena Ulibarri through World Weaver Press. Here’s more about the collection, which should come out sometime mid-summer. I'm especially excited, because this will be my first short story publication! "Fyrewall" is a utopian sketch of a future Los Angeles protected from wildfires and extreme heat ...

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Oppression and Freedom in ‘An Unkindness of Ghosts’

  The first few elements I was struck by in reading An Unkindness of Ghosts were the themes of systemic oppression and the resulting struggle for freedom in a people who have been dominated. The world of the novel takes place entirely on a spaceship, that is supposedly headed with the last of humanity to a new world, now that Earth has been destroyed. The ship is divided into the upper decks, where the wealthy, white, and privileged live, and the lower decks, inhabited by poor and ...

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The Strange Reality of a Burning State

  2017 was the year that climate change became real to me. I don’t mean that I didn’t believe in it before. I've worked on local climate change policies. I trust the science and the scientists who have been telling us that the earth is warming. I’ve read my Octavia Butler. And I've been exploring fiction of my own that examines what our future environment could look like. What changed recently was my intimacy with climate change. Last year was the first time I thought about it ...

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Here I am. Exhausted. Whole. Wary. Breathing in 2018. It's the time of year when I recenter and refocus on my intentions. It's a time of clarity, a brief oasis of quietude to reconnect with what I want. To write. To root deep within myself and my body. To build community with others. There are the small, concrete goals I set. I want to write at least eight minutes a day, everyday. I want to get on the mat once a day, even if only for child's pose. To meditate for at least five minut ...

Drapetomania

Q&A: ‘Drapetomania’ Explores Blackness and Social Justice through Poetry

who do we charge with arson? the one who cooks the crack or the one who smokes it? who do we blame for all of that blaze? -from "3rd degree black" in Drapetomania by Sami Arlenis-Frederick Black poetry is a rich field, with so many luminaries to light the way. Yet, often when I read black literature, I experience a feeling of trying to "catch up," to read everything that has come before me and understand all the ways that blackness has shaped and been shaped by this country. With newer ...