Terpischore’s Atrium with Kalisha Buckhanon

I am happy and blessed to share my interview with Shinjini Bhattacharjee, Editor-in-Chief of the fine new literary journal Hermeneutic Chaos, which published a portion of my new novel with much encouragement and interest. My interview appears in the journal’s companion blog Morphemic Morphology. I hope our words inspire you. Blessings, Kalisha

Morphemic Morphology

Welcome to Terspischore’s Atrium, where the Hermeneutic Chaos editors find delight in the elfin task of  confronting their contributing authors with some really tough questions.

Today, our Editor-in-Chief Shinjini Bhattacharjee interviews Kalisha Buckhanon, who is undoubtedly one of the most talented writers in the contemporary literary milieu. Her debut venture, Upstate, was published in 2006 to massive critical acclaim, and won an American Library Association ALEX Award and an Audie Award in Literary Fiction for its audiobook, besides being a Hurston-Wright Foundation Debut Fiction finalist. Her sophomore novel, Conception, was greeted with much greater enthusiasm, and won a Friends of American Writers Adult Literature Award. Kalisha has been awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose; a Zora Neale Hurston/Bessie Head Fiction Award at the Gwendolyn Brooks Black Literature and Writing Conference, for her short story “Card Parties” ; the Terry McMillan Young Author Award at the National Book Club Conference; an Honorable Mention in…

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Behind A Bitter Pill… Q & A with author Tiffany Gholar

Tiffany Gholar

One book with four different covers is just one aspect of the special story and brilliance behind ‘A Bitter Pill to Swallow’, just released from Blurb Books as the debut novel from writer and visual artist Tiffany Gholar. ‘A Bitter Pill to Swallow’ is a literal and figurative testimony of perseverance, triumph and concern for humanity in a novel debut more than twenty years in the making. Continue reading

2015 will be hard to top but let’s try…

Happy New Year

I could not have asked for a better 2015…In ways I could have never planned or imagined, nearly every part of my life as a constant and lifelong writer flourished in its own organic way: fiction, non-fiction, stories, novels, theater, entertaining, reading, teaching and activism. I was just totally blessed. Continue reading

Girlhood

Girlhood movie poster

In “Girlhood,” these girls’ fantasy selves exist and steadily transform to jettison them closer and closer to their real selves in a subtle, tender verisimilitude I have not seen black girls get to have onscreen since Leslie Harris’s 1992 Independent Spirit Award-winning film “Just Another Girl on the IRT.” It is the most honest, determined cinematic viewpoint on black youth since 1994’s “Hoop Dreams.” “Girlhood” is stunning. Continue reading

Many Blessings…

Solemn

It often seems to be feast or famine, but both do multiply themselves if you let them. I made a decision sometime ago to let the feast multiply of anything was to. I thank God for many blessings to share. Continue reading

eta Creative Arts Foundation’s “Sins of the Father”…a modern masterpiece of American family.

Wilson

“Sins of the Father,” written by Synthia Williams and directed by Sonia L. Surrat, runs at eta Creative Arts Foundation until Sunday, October 25th. Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. Continue reading

I analyze the losses of three young people on TV One Channel tonight.

Cover

I am one of few writers who wrote at length about perpetrator Vanessa Coleman’s tragic turn. The world lost two victims’ lives here on Earth, however whatever better life Ms. Coleman would have given the world died, too. Continue reading

Doing Toni Proud… Four Black Women Authors Speak

Authors

Toni Morrison can be proud of other Black American women authors’ unabashed portrayals of Black American people as honorable but flawed, saintly but imperfect, and whole but struggling in ways both certainly and only gently connected to racism. Continue reading

Read excerpt of my next novel SPEAKING OF SUMMER in Intellectual Refuge Literary Journal…

Speaking of Summer

In “Speaking of Summer,” the Black women appear to have it all: great homes, men, careers, girlfriends, beauty. But there is a cost to keeping the realities of how they feel about their treatment in the world such a closed secret… I thank editor Christopher Schnieders for publishing this small piece of it and I look forward to finishing it, to share more to come! Continue reading

“Liberty City” extended until July 19 at #etaCreativeArts in Chicago.

Actress Anna Dauzvardis as 'April' in "Liberty City"

The intimacy and trust between audience and actor for this performance can hardly be reviewed or criticized and must just be experienced… Jeff- recommended “Liberty City” is LIVE this weekend and extended until July 19: this Friday, Jul 10 (8pm), Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, Jul 12 (3pm). ALL SEATS – $20. To get your tickets call 773 752-3955 or go online http://www.etacreativearts.org/ Continue reading

Little Rock Nine, Four Little Girls, and One Confederate Flag: A Retrospective

The Charleston Nine

One way to move this tragedy and the deceased in it past public ephemera and into history is to forever connect the loss of their lives to a national symbolic act against domestic terrorism: the legally-mandated abolition of our Confederate flag, and civil prosecution of anyone who waves it. Continue reading

“We have to give our black girls “the Talk”- and it’s not about sex…”…my essay on the horrifying McKinney, Texas, injustice, on SheKnows.com…

Racial Profiling and Black Girls

Racial profiling does not discriminate by gender…it’s time to tell our black girls the police may not be working for them. Continue reading

“Spirit of Writing” is now a class at The Eckleburg Workshops…hope to work with you!

Spirit of Writing

I am so happy I found an opportunity through The Eckleburg Workshops to teach online starting July 5, 2015, in a combination writing/life skills course called “The Spirit of Writing.” I posted the mini-class weekly here on Negression last Fall. The course is meant to draw people like I used to be, a buried creator and bustled imaginer the world was worse off without. For more info or to join, visit: http://eckleburgworkshops.com/courses-2/spirit-of-writing/spirit-of-writing-july-2015-kalisha-v-buckhanon/. Continue reading

My story “There Were Six” appears in Per Contra: An International Journal of The Arts, Literature, and Ideas

Per Contra 36

The number of black women and girls who go missing without a manhunt or trace continues. I am grateful to share my fictionalization of the predicament of deprioritized black women and girls as the story “There Were Six” in Per Contra: An International Journal of The Arts, Literature and Ideas. I don’t presume to do justice to the realistic situation in a story, but please find some helpful links and resources included in this post. Continue reading

Birthing a Slave: Reproduction and Inhumanity during America’s Slavery Era

To understand how the joyous occasion of motherhood was a form of suffering for black female slave, please read this excellent post on “the book Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South, by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. The book tells the history of a somewhat esoteric subject: the need of slaveholders, and the doctors they hired, to control and manage the bodies and reproductive lives of slave women.” We can have more admiration for black mothers and families today if we understand just how much our ancestral histories included so many challenges meant to destroy them.

Jubilo! The Emancipation Century

Most people know of slavery, but we don’t know about slavery. Specifically, we don’t know how dehumanizing it was to be a slave.

We might understand what it’s like to be denied freedom or dignity at an intellectual level. But for many of us, we don’t have a grasp on how horrible the institution was, in the day to day life of an enslaved person. Most of us don’t “get” what it was about inhuman bondage that made it so inhuman.

For example: what was it like to be slave mother?

Some insights on this are given in the book Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South, by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. The book tells the history of a somewhat esoteric subject: the need of slaveholders, and the doctors they hired, to control and manage the bodies and reproductive lives of slave women.

But while the subject is…

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Read a chapter from my upcoming novel SOLEMN in Deep South Magazine…

Deeo South

I owe deep thanks to Deep South Magazine’s editor Erin Bass for taking on an entire chapter of my new novel SOLEMN to publish in her Southern Voice section. Continue reading