AfriGeneas Writers Forum
The AfriGeneas© Poet
Sojourner Kincaid Rolle: The AfriGeneas Poet
Sojourner Kincaid Rolle describes her career thus:
"The first poem I ever published was in Wo'se's newspaper, "Zamani!", which means living history. The poem was 'Fromaghetto'. Most of my early works are race-conscious or involve my attempts to work through my pain and angst. Many of them are printed in the chapbook, Our Strength Will Grow. I started my public poetry life in a Black History context.
"Over the twenty-some-odd years that I have been calling myself a poet, I have waded into high grasses of the natural world as well as walked into the forest of history. Most I was learning to speak. And still I learn.
"In poetry, I am trying to reach for the 'sound of things,' including that of all my relations. I am compelled to embrace my inclination to Black Poetry. In that eclectic endeavor, everything is associated. I am out to discover the conversation that has been going on continiously in the arch of Black Poetry. I am particularly drawn to the work of Dunbar, Hughes, Brooks, Giovanni, Hayden, McKay, Clifton, the two Walkers and everything that flows from every one of them and more - here I hope to understand my own response, call, response.
"I travel around doing poetry, leading creative writing workshops, and presenting my rendition of Sojourner Truth wherever a library, school, church or community group will have me. In 1997, my stops included Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR. While in Seattle at the invitation of the Seattle Public Library, I was interviewed about Sojourner Truth by Evergreen Public Radio and by Kidstuff, a national radio network for the young set.
"In Santa Barbara, I have the good fortune to be working with young people as artist-in-residence at the junior high school as well as with a teen theatre group called City@Peace. I recently coordinated a journal writing project as part of the Anne Frank in The World exhibition in our town. Eighteen Santa Barbarians agreed to keep journals for a month and some of those journals were on display as part of the Anne Frank exhibition.
"I'm really bad about getting any of my work out. I have managed to produce several chapbooks, but most of my publishing has been commentaries on the arts, mostly film and to a lesser degree, visual and performing arts which occasionally appear in local newspapers. I am perpetually organizing and re-organizing. Writing rough drafts and revising. Every now and then one of them escapes to a publisher's hand.
"This will be my third on-line endeavor. In 1995, I co-contributed, with my husband, photographer Rod Rolle, a column entitled "Ser.en.dip.ity" under the masthead of ArtDirect," a national art magazine produced by Alison Johns and Jim Macray of Santa Barbara. In 1997, I hosted an on-line poet's night and contributed to a website called "Poetsnet" at the RAIN Network."
In a fax to AfriGeneas Co-Founder, Valencia King Nelson, Sojourner further says of this collection of African-American materials:
"I am honored to be invited to participate in this historical endeavor......"
We, too, are honored by her participation.
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