I am a North Omaha-born writer and performer. In my work, I build a historical record through poems and essays that draw on all five physical senses to connect with readers and listeners. By sharing stories of people in my community, I create a relationship with my audience and guide them through the world as I see and experience it.
Raised in multi-generational homes by descendants of the Great Migration, I draw on issues of race, class, struggle, and joy to fuel my work. I want to preserve the stories of people moving through space and time and use them to build my daily practice. There is a beauty to what we carried and held on to over time. There are essential factors that caused my people to move on or settle in. The culture and sensibilities my family transported with them are reflected in my accent and dinner table. The foods, sensory experiences, prayers, and idioms are all languages I capture in my writing.
As a 2021 Union for Contemporary Art Fellow, I am finishing my most ambitious project to date. Sense of the Pandemic combines essays and poetry into a time capsule that catalogs a Black woman's life and growth and change with all that was 2020/21 as a backdrop. Each show segment focuses on a different physical sense to tell a piece of the larger story.
The goal is to package this series of palpable memories as a point of reference for myself and my child when she is old enough to hold and process the memories. To enhance the performance experience, show participants will receive specially curated sensory kits to be used during the virtually broadcast show.
On a community level, I have worked with the Nebraska Writers Collective for over ten years to provide writing and performance education in schools, community organizations, and correctional facilities. As Slam Master for the Omaha Poetry Slam, I guided local artists through generating new work, stage performances, and fundraising. This role included booking national talent at a monthly show hosted at Omaha’s Healing Arts Center. I recently was part of a community performance titled FoodJustUs: An intersection of food and art with Seitu Ken Jones, sponsored by the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.
For me creating is a constant practice of writing and performing. There's a lot of local events and venues that allow me that opportunity. If you're looking to catch me and/or my work live, check out the calendar link below.