Afternoon Craft Conversation with Arisa White

Date & Time:
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 2:30 p.m.
De La Salle Hall: Hagerty Lounge, 1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94575
View a map and get directions.

“Queer Imaginary: A Black Female Aesthetic”

This craft talk explores the personal and cultural inheritances that shape our imaginations and how that 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. 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.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and a faculty advisor in the low-residency BFA Creative Writing Program at Goddard College. Forthcoming is the full-length collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened.




Sara Mumolo x8556