Teaching Black: Creating Community
Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature (published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in their Composition, Literacy, and Culture series) presents the experiences and voices of Black creative writers who are also teachers. The authors in this collection engage poetry, fiction, experimental literature, playwriting, and literary criticism. They provide historical and theoretical interventions and practical advice for teachers and students of literature and craft. Contributors work in high schools, colleges, and community settings and draw from these rich contexts in their essays. Teaching Black is for any and all who are interested in incorporating Black literature and conversations on Black literary craft into their own work.
In Teaching Black: Creating Community, co-editors Ana-Maurine Lara and drea brown will lead a reading and discussion of the essay collection. Teaching Black contributors Anastacia-Renee, Sharon Bridgforth, and Omi Osun Joni L. Jones will join the editors and read from their work.
Ana-Maurine Lara (PhD) is a scholar and a national award-winning novelist and poet. She is the author of: Erzulie’s Skirt (RedBone Press, 2006), When the Sun Once Again Sang to the People (KRK Ediciones, 2011), Watermarks and Tree Rings (Tanama Press, 2011), Kohnjehr Woman (RedBone Press, 2017), Cantos (letterpress, limited edition 2015), and Sum of Parts (Tanama Press, 2019). Her academic books include: Queer Freedom: Black Sovereignty (SUNY Press, 2020) and Streetwalking: LGBTQ Lives and Protest in the Dominican Republic (Rutgers University Press, 2020). Lara’s work focuses on questions of Black and Indigenous people and freedom. She has been published in literary journals (Sable LitMag, Transitions Literary Journal), scholarly journals (Small Axe, Bilingual Revue, Sargasso, Feminist Review) and numerous anthologies, as a scholar and as a creative writer. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Oregon, in the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
drea brown is a poet-scholar and assistant professor in the English Department at Texas State University. They are the author of dear girl: a reckoning (Gold Line Press 2015) and co-editor of Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature (University of Pittsburgh Press 2021). A recipient of fellowships from VONA, Cave Canem, and Hedgebrook, their writing has been featured in anthologies as well as various creative, academic, and public journals such as Smithsonian Magazine, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Southern Indiana Review, About Place Journal and Zócalo Public Square.
Sharon Bridgforth is a writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre. A 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, Sharon has received support from the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Creative Capital, MAP Fund and the National Performance Network.
Omi Osun Joni Jones
Omi Osun Joni L. Jones is an artist/scholar/facilitator who employs Black Feminist aesthetics and theatrical jazz principles in her work. Her original performances include sista docta, a critique of academic life, and Searching for Ọ̀ṣun, an ethnographic performance installation around the Divinity of the River. Her most recent book is Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power of the Present Moment, a collaborative ethnography focusing on three theatrical jazz practitioners. Omi has been shaped by Robbie McCauley’s activist art, Laurie Carlos’s insistence on being present, and Barbara Ann Teer’s overt union of Art and Spirit. She is Professor Emerita from the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin, a mother, a Queer wife, and a curious sojourner.
Anastacia-Renee (She/They) is a queer writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, speaker and podcaster. She is the author of (v.) (Black Ocean) and Forget It (Black Radish) and, Here in the (Middle) of Nowhere and Sidenotes from the Archivist forthcoming from Amistad (an imprint of HarperCollins). They were selected by NBC News as part of the list of “Queer Artist of Color Dominate 2021’s Must See LGBTQ Art Shows.” Anastacia-Renee was former Seattle Civic Poet (2017-2019), Hugo House Poet-in-Residence (2015-2017), Arc Artist Fellow (2020) and Jack Straw Curator (2020). Her work has been anthologized in: Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature, Home is Where You Queer Your Heart, Furious Flower Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, Afrofuturism, Black Comics, And Superhero Poetry, Joy Has a Sound, Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota’s Garden, and Seismic: Seattle City of Literature. Her work has appeared in, Hobart, Foglifter, Auburn Avenue, Catapult, Alta, Torch, Poetry Northwest, A-Line, Cascadia Magazine, Hennepin Review, Ms. Magazine and others. Renee has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Ragdale, Mineral School, and The New Orleans Writers Residency.