Queer Imaginary: A Black Female Aesthetic

Saturday, April 22, 7:30pm
PEGASUS BOOKS DOWNTOWN

Arisa White Craft Talk:
Queer Imaginary: A Black Female Aesthetic


This craft talk explores the personal and cultural inheritances that shape our imaginations and how that then impacts our language and the building of a poem. In the introduction to The Racial Imaginary, editors Beth Loffreda and Claudia Rankine observe that “[O]ne source of creativity lies in the fact that each individual is essentially strange.” This essential strangeness is at the center of my aesthetic, and it took on a layered and expanded meaning when addressing queer desire and sexuality in my most recent poetry collection, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened. Having grown up with a lesbian aunt and her friends, I learned to read queerness on black female bodies. As their own narrative about blackness and gender, they brought us into the intersections of an emotionally intelligent place. They were a different syntactical arrangement that shifted subjectivity and their embodiment of space and time made for a more nuanced perception of the individual. This talk will unpack the queer imaginary that informs my work, examining the way my aunt and her friends languaged themselves in the world and how that became a model for how to create a poem.

Cave Canem fellow Arisa White received her MFA from UMass, Amherst, and is the author of Black Pearl, Post Pardon, Hurrah’s Nest, and A Penny Saved. She teaches in the low-residency BFA program at Goddard College and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University. Arisa is on the board of directors for Nomadic Press and is a distinguished visiting writer in residence at Saint Mary’s College of California for Spring 2017. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing that Happened is her newest collection from Augury Books. arisawhite.com

Event date: 
Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780988735576
Availability: Special Order
Published: Augury Books - October 21st, 2016

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