About

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I have written since I was five years old. My books are: Narratives: poems in the tradition of black women (1982), Living As A Lesbian (1986), Humid Pitch (1989), Experimental Love (1993), the critical study, After Mecca: Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement (Rutgers Press, 2005), and The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry 1980-2005 (Carroll and Graf, 2006). I continue to write poetry and essays. My latest manuscript, By My Precise Haircut, was selected as one of two winners of the Hilary Tham Capital Competition, sponsored by The Word Works Press of Washington, D.C., and judged by noted poet, Kimiko Hahn. It is forthcoming in the spring of 2016.

Though I have written many essays over the years relevant to the black queer community, “Lesbianism: an act of resistance,” which first appeared in the iconic This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color (Anzaldua and Moraga, eds., 1982) and “The Failure to Transform: Homophobia in the Black Community,” which was published in the equally iconic Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (Smith, ed., 1984) continue to be favorites.

I consider myself a scholar of Audre Lorde and continue to write about the impact of Lorde’s work. I recently wrote an introduction to the lovely and voluminous G.R.I.T.S., An Anthology of Writing by Southern Black Lesbians (Williams, ed., Media Arts Project, 2013). My article, “By Its Absence: Literature and Social Justice Consciousness” appears in The Handbook of Social Justice (Reisch, ed., Routledge, 2014).Nov. 26-28, 2015.I participated with 40 other black feminists in the Feminists Artists, Activists, and Academics Unconference: Crossing Black Geographies, in Durban, South Africa, Nov. 26-28, 2015. By My Precise Haircut is available

I  retired from Rutgers University in July of 2013 after 41 years of administration and teaching in New Brunswick, N.J. With Barbara J. Balliet, my partner of 24 years, I am co-owner of Blenheim Hill Books in Hobart, N.Y., the Book Village of the Catskills. We have lived in Hobart since 2005. We are involved in the organization of the annual Book Village Festival of Women Writers in Hobart, N.Y. (Visit hobartfestivalofwomenwriters.com.)