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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

The AfriGeneas© Poet

Sojourner Kincaid Rolle: The AfriGeneas Poet
Poet Sojourner Kincaid Rolle was born in Marion, NC, and has lived in Santa Barbara, CA, since 1978. Sojourner is a graduate of Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California, Berkeley. She has published several chapbooks, including Our Strength Will Grow and Between Us. The poem, The Artist Questions the Artist, was published in Let The Butterflies Continue (Zalman Press, 1992).

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.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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AfriGeneas ~ African Ancestored Genealogy