In September my dear friend Valerie Boyd was inducted into the Georgia Writer’s Hall of Fame at the University of Georgia where she founded the Graduate Low Residency Program for Narrative Non-Fiction. I had the honor of moderating a panel that evening on Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a time of Pandemic, an anthology of essays and poems by 31 amazing writers. It was Val’s last project as editor.
Bigger Than Bravery and the beautiful Valerie Boyd
From the Bigger Than Bravery Book Description:
Born of a desire to bring together the voices of those most harshly affected by the intersecting pandemics of Covid-19 and systemic racism, Bigger Than Bravery explores comfort and compromise, challenge and resilience, throughout the Great Pause that became the Great Call.
With contributions by Pearl Cleage, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Tayari Jones, Kiese Laymon, Imani Perry, Deesha Philyaw, Khadijah Queen, Jason Reynolds, Alice Walker, and more.
“Eloquent and riveting, Boyd’s collection delivers not only, as she promises in her introduction, a long exhalation, a silent prayer, a solace, and a comfort but also, in the words of Imani Perry, a celebration of Blackness as ‘an immense and defiant joy.’ This one’s not to be missed.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review, Big Indie Books of Fall 2022
“A map of ancestral knowledge, revelatory insight, and feelings laid bare . . . These pages share poems of hope, narratives of loss, anger, fear, loneliness, togetherness, death, and most potently, life, to paint a portrait . . . resonant to all.”
—Library Journal, Editors’ Pick
“Valerie Boyd’s Bigger Than Bravery isn’t just an anthology; it is a survival guide.”
—Courtney B. Vance, Tony- and Emmy-winning actor
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My essay Feasting on Bread and Bones about my creative channeling in the kitchen and gentrification in my Atlanta neighborhood is included, requested, and shaped by Val’s editorial hand.
MAMA’S HOME LAUNCH ON CHARIS BOOKS
In case you missed this virtual launch event with Kelley Alexander and myself, enjoy this replay provided by Charis Books.
WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING, LISTENING TO, AND READING
- Watching: The New Wakanda film (soon), Sydney Poitier doc on Apple TV
- Listening to music: Beyonce, Bjork, Healing Music for Plants, Jon Batiste, Lizzo, and Kendrick Lamar
- Listening to books: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers (for the 2nd time), Under the Skin by Linda Villarosa, Nancy Drew Mysteries
- Reading: As Cooked on Tik Tok, Ossuaries by Dionne Brand, Travel and Food magazines, The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk