Emerging BIWOC Poet Spotlight
This monthly series features poems by women of color in the early stages of their careers. It is our intention to create more space at Perugia for the work of BIWOC, and we hope using our modest platform to celebrate this work will expand the readership of the poets we spotlight. This series aligns with Perugia’s mission to support and promote emerging women poets; all the featured poems will be from BIWOC poets with no more than one published full-length collection. We’d love to hear from readers with suggestions for poems & poets to feature.
July 2021 Poet: Shanta Lee Gander
In Fugue Woke States of In-Between
It was really an asylum They forced us to say what getting out means, well tell them, we gonna set boundaries. Anotha speak for protection circles, a kinda speak for we set boundaries to break others. In the shadow of the street lights that never go out— 280 Collins Street, in Mama’s lap, in wherever all things gone missing be— it wasn’t about any of these places, but how well you be walking backwards counting all the things between wake, fugue, and woke, how well you be multilingual in signs, fluent in breaking silences, gain mastery in transmutation, most important, can you be trickster incarnate? The mirror reflecting what the world thinks it sees?
Ghettoclaustrophobia: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, Diode Editions, 2021
Shanta Lee Gander has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an MBA from the University of Hartford, and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality from Trinity College. She currently gives lectures on the life of Lucy Terry Prince as a member of the Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. She is a recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service in the Arts. Ghettoclaustrophobia: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues (Diode Editions) is her first full-length book of poetry.