“I really believe that applying poetry, or language in general, to trauma is the ultimate act of reclaiming. Naming something gives you a sort of ownership over it (hey, colonialism did it all the time, haha), so choosing words that identify your experience makes it less of this looming unknown that has you at its mercy. It makes everything less ‘something that happened to me’ and more ‘experience/story that belongs to me,’ you know?”

— Safia Elhillo, interviewed for The Body Narratives (via bostonpoetryslam)

Here’s the Interview which has some videos of Safia Elhillo too. There’s a question about how Elhillo uses alter egos which was really interesting to me especially recalling Esperanza Spalding referring to a phrase she got from Wayne Shorter: “a flashlight into the future.” I feel adrift and these artists are giving useful tools to keep my head above water.

The Life and Times of Susie Knuckles

May 25, 2018