CNM English program instructor Dr. Jessica Maggie Brophy knows that students deal with a lot of stress at the end of each term. That’s why Jessica worked with Wellness CNM to create a journaling workshop at the end of this month that will help students end the term in a focused and calm way. Read […]
Portfolio – 5 Columns
This article on Paulette Childress White (1948–) is published in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers (2007). White is an American poet from Michigan. She stated in Contemporary Authors Online 2002: “I write from a sense of irony, because I want to make sense of my experience of life. I am also a painter. I write and paint because I have a need to give substance to my ideas, feelings, and experiences, and because I believe it is good and important work.”
Lotus Press, a non-profit literary organization, still publishes both of White’s major works of poetry—Love Poem to a Black Junkie (1975) and The Watermelon Dress: Portrait of a Woman (1983). White’s short story, “Getting the Facts of Life” (1989) was anthologized in three different publications from 1991-1993.
This article, published in African American Culture: An Encyclopedia of People, Traditions, and Customs (2020), gives an overview of womanism as a social theory developed by African and African American women. The theory critiques all forms of oppression (racism, classism, and sexism). Becoming popular in the 1980s, womanism grew out of a dissatisfaction with the white feminist movement’s focus on Eurocentric ideals and strict gender-based oppression, and the exclusion of men.
This article, published in Contemporary Literary Criticism (2014), is a biographical overview of the contemporary American poet, Sharon Olds, as well as a thematic overview of her poetry collections. I am named as the Volume Advisor, and I wrote the overview.
As a whole, the interview (2018) gives readers an intimate look at the range of sublime experiences in Derricotte’s work and a historical recollection of other female poets who have shaped and supported her vision of poetry when she was still a young artist. Derricotte also discusses the current metaphor that is driving her new work and highlights how writers can find surrogate families among their readers when their biological families fail them.
Managing Editor, Aileen Keenan, of the African American Review, writes: “It’s really a brilliant interview, one of the best we’ve published. I think our readers will enjoy it quite a bit.”
Poet Toi Derricotte writes: “You did a wonderful job connecting important, important concepts. You helped me put connections in place between my work, my mind and heart, and my spirit. You’ve helped to fit me together. Thank you. So glad we worked together.”
I became a Certified Instructor of the Journal to the Self© workbook in spring 2022. The credential was awarded by the Therapeutic Writing Institute, the professional training division of the Center for Journal Therapy in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
The Paper Girl, my first poetry collection, features 25 poems, which were eventually narrowed down to eight for the exhibit, “Off the Sidewalk.” At Africa House, each poem was displayed on a panel alongside the painting it inspired.
The article by Casey Gillis writes:
While both brother and sister regularly reference their upbringing in their work, the Africa House collaboration was something new.
“It is different from the creative process that I’ve developed over time,” Daniel says.
“With this project, each artist is thinking of the other artist. … There [was] a merging, an adding and subtracting process. Often I asked myself, ‘How much do I want to tell here, or show here?’ Or I would think to myself, ‘The poems say it all; the paintings are ghosts, afterglows, somewhat contradictory to the poet’s account of the story.’ I shared many of the same experiences with my sister, but maybe remembered them a little differently, [or] maybe she felt or saw something I didn’t feel.”
For Jessica, the poems were already completed, so it became a matter of sharing the work with Daniel to get his perspective.
“It’s been so rewarding to see my poems come to life. I feel like he’s really capturing the emotional tone of the poems, the pain inside a child from indoctrination, the fear that they aren’t fitting [into] this very conventional institution. But he also just captures, I think, the hope that the child has, the beauty of her natural surroundings. And then, you know, there’s a lot of quirkiness in a large family, so I think he captures that humor.”
“We are so grateful that you contacted us, and we are also so glad that you were open to leading a program on your own at the Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection. We both agree that it was absolutely magical! It was a pleasure to watch you create a welcoming and mindful environment that brought forth so much creativity and reflection. We loved seeing how it activated our collection in a new and very exciting way. We both feel that you are a role model for us as educators and teachers.
We have projected so much welcoming energy to the universe to bring someone to carry on caring for the seed you have planted with this program. Whoever they are – they won’t fill your shoes! But we have a good idea of what is possible, thanks to you. We firmly accept you into our club of bad-ass goddess teaching women, and once you’re in, you’re in for life.
[W]hat your program showed us was how meaningful our space can be as a site for creative ideas to gather in general. So, thanks for showing us the way. Of course, we won’t have your lovely, thoughtful guidance that was so gently revealing, but we’ll have something else!”
~Fenella Belle, Museum Educator and Lauren Maupin, Manager of Education and Programs at Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum
I led 90 minute writing circles inspired by the artwork on display. Participants were asked: Do you want to write with others in an inspiring environment? Do you want to explore your personal story? Participants got to know one another with warm-ups, had time to write on their own, and ended by sharing their writing. This writing circle was for all levels. Circles took place during the spring of 2018 from 6:30pm – 8:00 pm.
Here is a review: Jessica Maggie Brophy’s The Paper Girl (2016), is hidden in plain sight. These poems about growing up are shy, yet direct; raucous, yet deceptive. In this provocative collection, Brophy examines delivery, fragility, the markings of gender, the origami of living, the longing for self-discovery—what it means to be a paper girl. This slender collection leaves us wanting more from the narrator who is both wise and lost like a heroine from a fairytale.
–Monifa Love Asante, author of poetry collections Dreaming Underground, Provisions, and Freedom in the Dismal, an award-winning novel.
These poems were published as part of the “Awakenings Project: Empowerment and Healing through Art” (2015):
“Lemon Meringue, the Color of Coveting,” and
It is a hot June morning.
Today I see our local man at the corner of Campbell and Carroll
ballet prancing adagio across the bridge
while balancing a water bottle on his head.
Other days, he plies with allegro speed,
an orange in his outstretched palm teetering.
He could be returning home from combat,
a man wearing cargo pants with huge pockets on each side,
his gear bag resting on the sidewalk.
He talks to himself, but I don’t know what he says.
Meeting him several times a day at a number of intersections across town,
he does not notice me, although I feel like he is part of my routine.
He is one man who meets me who meets you
at every intersection if we dare to take a moment