Category: Annoucements

Love Is Still A First Work

Shakespeare may have said “Love is but a madness”, but I believe that love is powerful and takes many forms.

From the romantic, erotic, the nostalgic, whimsical, powerful, and hopeful–the poets contributing to February’s month long Spoken Word event ventures to remind you all that love is still shield, comfort, pleasure and power.

Thank you, Chanel.

Thank you, Tiffany.

Thank you, Mike.

Love is still a poet’s first work.

Follow The Writers’ Block Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Play, and Spotify.

-JBHarris

Life In Three Parts

I am tired of Kanye.

Donda’s son is working the REST of my nerves!

I didn’t want to write anything else about him. I planned on riding out this yearly YENAMI and go on about my business.

But the t-shirts. The tweets. Tucker Carlson. The school shooter comments…and the inevitable slide into anti-Semitism powered by anti-Blackness.

I couldn’t be quiet. And I got heated. Then…I started writing.

Kanye Omari West–who’s name means Only One–is gone. And we need to not wait for him to come him to come back.

Out of respect for the dead, we give a eulogy, right?

Right.

So, I Did A Thing…

I told myself I would start submitting more of work in other places. One of those opportunities was for an anthology for the St. Louis County Library!

I toyed with submitting something to this anthology all summer.

ALL. SUMMER.

Yet, in my hesitation, I remembered this:

Gaga is right.

So, I wrote.

The worst thing they could tell me is ‘No’ right?

After submitting my essay (my short story didn’t work like I wanted), I just waited.

I forgot about it! I didn’t think it would get picked. Then, I got this–

Whoa.

Me? In an anthology? ME?

I showed everyone this email stoked my work had been chosen.

Is there a discipline to passion? Oh, yes! And it is powered by tenacity.

My essay: READ. BLACK & WOMAN.

In The Catch Up…

Feeling like Ida B…

This summer has been an emotional rollercoaster!

I have gotten such highs, and lows, and nights where I cannot believe this is currently my own life! Over the next few days, I get to refocus, publish, post and bring you beloved people up to speed, as I regain strength, stamina, belief…and organization.

There are so many things happening and coming, dearest ones!

And I have missed you all so much!

Here is to the second (or third) round of catching up!

Love, J.

And It Starts…

Oh my!

Family, I must tell you that I know I have to catch things up. Bare with me while I do! There are pieces I scheduled and didn’t complete, poetry I have to post, and things I have to do for sanity and business sake.

The inundating of posted work and think pieces is coming.

Trust me…it’s coming.

Book Project: TRADITIONAL WOMEN

If you haven’t already, follow @whatjayesaid2.0 on TikTok.

Whew! This book here!

In the year that I have been on TikTok, I have been a part of this social justice, pro-Black, womanism, and anti-racism.

I love it here. Sometimes.

But, it was when I got embroiled in relationship/Pick Me TikTok? Oh, baby! The talk of how bad women are, how we (as women) don’t love men, and how we (as women) need to be more ‘traditional’.

Hmph. Then, I thought of what exactly is a traditional woman. Why? I didn’t know any! From that conversation, came stories like this:

Oh, this is a mild one! Trust!

WHOA!

If anything, stories like this remind me that (1) the idea of a traditional women is steeped in white supremacy and (2) women are completely incredible! There is nothing traditional about women.

From that, came the LOVE OR WAR series on my page. It is 130 stories…and growing! Stories from or about women from all walks of life—told by the children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren of those same women!

As of December 31, this book will be compiled into an ebook available on Kindle!

In doing this, I believe I am honoring their maternal ancestors. Besides, some of these stories are too good not to share.

Book Release: Next Lifetime Things (February 2022)

There is power in starting over! After the ending of my second marriage, I was in a space where my heart was broken, and I didn’t think I’d be a love poet any more.

But this collection of poetry? Totally on accident, really. This collection of poetry is about…starting over. Embracing the new, accepting what it is, and maybe…falling in love again.

Here is a sample. I call this RAINING ON A WEDDING DAY.

They say women like me don’t get married.

Too loud,

Too ambitious

Don’t know how

To just let life happen

To them.

Unworthy of love

Because love has run

From us—

Demanding we ruffle

Or struggle to be worthy

Of it.

Chasing the ring in wedding white

Without a grass stain

Cry stained mascara

And every hair in place.

Since love is perfect

You must be perfect for love.

Yet, the old women say

Rain on a wedding day

Is bad luck.

I don’t need luck, I need it to work.

I need love to be

There before it is

Witnessed by others

In hard pews or

Sweaty chairs.

I need love

Choose me,

Hold me close,

Reminding me that

I am the one to

Be sought after,

Prized and crowned

And belonging

To one that I cannot

Be without.

Sharing, beholden

Only to time.

I do not need luck,

I need my love

To be not be treated

As something casual

To be lost with dice—

Be guarded and kept

So neither the love

Nor the vessel

Are lost.

Publishing date: February 12, 2022.