Friday, November 28, 2008

TBLWTB Reading @ Rutgers University

A reading in honor of World AIDS Day.

December 2, 2008, 7-9pm
Rutgers University
Center for Latino Culture and Arts near Au Bon Pan
122 College Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey

Join "To Be Left With The Body" contributors Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Pamela Sneed and Terence Taylor, and co-editors Cheryl Clarke and Steven G. Fullwood, for a special reading and open mike presentation.

TBLWTB is the third in a series of publications created by and for black gay and bisexual men to explore the impact of HIV/AIDS on their lives. Published by AIDS Project Los Angeles, the collection features contributions from 16 writers and poets, and a series of photographs by New York artist Artis Q.

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is the author of three books of poetry, including her latest, "Convincing the Body." Advanced copies of "KONG & Other Works," by Pamela Sneed, will be available in December 2008. Terence Taylor's first novel, "Bite Marks," will be published by St. Martin's Press in the Fall 2009.

Clarke is the author of four books including "The Days of Good Looks." Fullwood is the founder and publisher of Vintage Entity Press.

Books are free. A book signing will follow the reading and open mike presentation. Light refreshments will be served.

Friday, November 14, 2008

a few moments with “Shug” avery r. young

Steven: first q: your poetry is reminiscent of ntozake shange's chorepoem style, but has its own flavor and texture. why do you write like this? what the pulse behind your modus operandi as a wordsmith and spoken word artist?

Avery: wow ... them smart questions yo. lol

Steven: silly boy

Avery: i struggled a long time to like what i saw from me on page .... for me it was my words but they just wasnt doin anything i felt was interestin .... readin mama sonia (sanchez) n sis. shange's work i was like .. ok thats how i want language to move n then readin patricia smith's work i was like that's how that joint should feel. so i guess the answer to your question would be i write the way i write to keep a language or a "tongue" n/or aesthetic bouncin on page .... as a performer & author i look at the page as a stage & therefore the language has to challenge & excite .. so i clip some g(s) .. lower case the join & italicized a quotes to move n groove it yo

Avery: as fara as my mode of operatin .... i do what moves me ... i perform & right the way in which i respond ... i like sweat n hawk heavy preachin; sis. maywaeather buckin when the tony start that holyghost music on the organ; all that cussin millie jackson, lawanda page n rudy mae moore do to punctuate shit; james brown splittin; nna simone see-line woman blastin 3:38am; tay-tay actin a fool at the blk family reunion; all these things make me laugh or clap pr cry or boogie or turn to my neighbor n say "ooooo weeeeeee! they showin out" ...n thats all i'm doin .. showin out .... thats the method the process or art or craft comes in its all from a real place so what i do is more ritual than "shuckin"

Steven: very nice. what are you working on now?

Avery: what i aint workin on yo ahhhh .. lets see i'm workin on curriculum now .. i'm writing a prose-etic hip hop theatrics curriculum

Steven: for what school? independently?

Avery: & then i'm workin on some music with my boy dj itch 13. both bofe them joints just on some workin stuff. the curriculum is for the Chicago Public Schools board

Steven: what grade?

Avery: grades 6th - 9th

Steven: dope.

Avery: thank you.

and now, a poem from TBLWTB by avery...

mandingo gun
or notes on the sexploitation of coco-dorms

avery r. young

massa coppin mansions off dem liquor store niggaz
fuckin raw-thug-dizzle on cue spittin black holes ready
dem niggaz nigga each other mo dan de ku klux or dis poem
ever will & dey keep cummin dem niggaz
keep cummin thugroomin bluntbrunchin ploppin
dey brown faces drippy with dana samples
& dey keep cummin ouchin creamin soulin sheets
(you’d think niggaz had cycles some of dem
even utter get me pregnant nigga) all while massa countin
washingtons lincolns franklins countin uncle sam countin
(one lil / two lil / three lil nigga-rins) massa countin
dey swollen dicks openin dey swollen man-ginas
turnin ery brown red (yo chekkit) cant no closet/ship fit
all dem niggaz & dey keep cummin & white boys black
boys hot rican boys download upload all side neck-n-backload
spill babies all over our nasty azz selves cause dese niggaz red
boned-ed packin big bangee bananas & dey keep cummin
so much its like dats all god made em to do dey never run outta dick
or hammers to knock each other out with & dey keep cummin
pied piper L7’s to gyms so dey too can achieve a fresh outta county
look & dey keep cummin bare chest two pairs of boxers
(cause shirts causes niggaz to itch & niggaz refuse to pull dey pants
up) & dey keep cummin & will fuck a sista so granny wont
speculate 52 minutes of junebugs azz on sale fo 59.95
& dey keep cummin peddlin AIDS & all her opportunist kin
keep holy rollers screamin i told yall & dey keep cummin
cause niggaz gotta eat (& how else niggaz gonna eat
unless we show our azzes) & dey keep cummin wont stop cummin
cause we niggaz aint right by each other but love entertainment
we niggaz wont stop playin games to seal relationships
& open communication with one another niggaz wont chill
with de gettin off & get on some lets live fo real & make life
be ery flavaful fantasy we beat to niggaz/nigg-ahs/nig-gods
are we stevie fukkin wonderin how many mo millions massa
gon keep reepin from him poster freaks befo we bust
ourselves endangered (right now on line) you can pay-per-view
some hungry nigga cummin inside another hungry nigga fo roof weed
& all de free wet azz him eyes can gander him aint gonna kiss
dude & him aint gotta commit dude name to memory
all him gotta do is be mandigo gun & shoot (bless him wretched soul)
him make enough change to cop timbs & fendi shades
but dis nigga cant shit piss shower belch unless massa can see it
& dis nigga still fool enough to believe him cum out on top
cause him aint de one gettin juiced in de booty


now, back to the interview...


Steven: what do you do as clark kent?: meaning 9-5er.

Avery: yeah i'm tryin to upgrade to $50 drawz & not be worried bout gettin dookie stains in them. lmao. did it say that out loud?!!! that is what i do ... keep my drawz clean

naw .. for real ... 9-5 i am a teachin artist / teachin creative writing & performance

Steven: art @ CPS or somewhere else, or independently

Avery: through Project A.I.M. inside CCAP @ Columbia College - Chicago & through Young Chicago Authors

Steven: Very nice. I ask this next question frequently because I think it matters. Why do you write and what do you hope to achieve by writing and sharing your work?

Avery: YCA is the organization that does GIrlSpeak & the swaggerzine joint i was workin on all summer ....

why do i write?

i write because i've always done it. its like laughing to me. i can't remember when i didnt laugh

i cant remember when i didn't write

i've become such a better human or have had such a better human experience because i write

i've been outside this country ... i've met & shared many special moments with folk because i write

its easy to do

Steven: nice. nice.

Avery: its the only thing to do outside of breathin n bein b.l.a.c.k. ... lol

what do i hope to achieve by writing .... more good times with good people ... some books ... n a body of work that speak fo me long after i aint here to do shit my damn self ....i mean do it myself. my bad. that damn millie jackson!

who do i hope to achieve from sharin my work ... paid .. lmao

Steven: last q. tell me what you think of To Be Left with the Body

Avery: well yes .. paid. but more importantly a story is told the way i told it & it was communicated with a person that said .. that fool know he know what he know ...

what doi i think about To Be Left With The Body ...

i think that book is like bad azz cimena saturday ...leem tell it

n i mean it in the good way.

its like watchin ... sweetback's baaad assssss song, the watermelon man & space is the place all in none sittin

i mean one sittin

its this very frank . honest / aberant / yet prgressive collection of language

nothin bout the book is dead

the voices all tangible / textured

grits & cheese

neck bones & collard greens

Steven: we talk about death and life but everything is alive

Avery: but all on a blue rectangle plate with parsley .. lmao. right!

erything in the book is alive n should be

Steven: i agree

Avery: cause we talkin bout an issue that doesnt see the 6 ft of dirt

Steven: cha

Avery: aint gonna see 6 ft of dirt anytime soon

Steven: the magic is here, it's just waiting to be acknowledged.

Avery: its some thick shit yo. 7 the book T

Steven: wait till you see the new stuff.

Avery: or To Be Left With The Body is soe real life / eryday i'm livin with this language / with this cirmcumstance / with this dick in hand / with this hole in my heart / with this missin my mamma

my big mama

the book is powerful yo

i know when i write about the subject i try to not to speak of the death of it

i try to speak to the livin of it

the "now what" the "and" of it

Steven: uhmm hmmm

Avery: n i believe the work Pamela . you & the other folk in this joint recognises that

she donty look like she no more

come on dude

i be ready to room around the room sometimes when i read the book ...


dude! fire

Steven: lol

Avery: you know i like To Be Left With the Body like i like mama sonia's Wounded in the House of a Friend

and for the same reasons

Steven: elaborate. tell me why you like TBLWTB and Wounded.

Avery: they raw as my students will say ....
tblwtb .... pushin language & syntax ... its the new speak of an epidemic ... the work is alive ... you hear them accents / the pauses / the sneezes / the pot liquor Wounded i feel myself descending into the pages of this book 7 i am left with an urgency to activate the advocacy ....

like mama sonia folk up in that book are really doin some work

Steven: Pamela and I are working on her next collection KONG. go here:

Avery: that looks sick as hell yo

Steven: wait till you read it

Avery: i mean thats what i'm talkin bout

i'm so happy we write yo

as in we i mean black folk

gay folk

straight / white / crooked polka dot folk

i'm so happy folk write

Steven: me too

Avery: cause even when i dig it or not. its documentation that somebody is present

Steven: true

Avery: i mean at the end of the day sharin yo writin is a way to let folk outside lil mama'em know you been here

you was here

you gon be here

you feel me

boy i'm bout to run up in this joint

but thats what i feel yo

Steven: lol

Avery: i love staceyann chin writes

Steven: yeah, she's scary.

Avery: i love jb (baldwin & brown) wrote. you feel me?

o, cc carter told me to tell you you cant have me

Steven: tell i already got you and that i am coming for her. in fact give her my email, if you don't mind.

Avery: i will she the new executive director at YCA. she started last week

Steven: nice. love it.

Avery: i was like i know who can knock this joint outta the water

n although she was makin moves at Center on Halsted .. she can make real moves here

Steven: nice. lovely.

Avery: i'm actually thinkin bout incorporating To Be Left With The Body in my spring semester master class @ YCA. it spose to be a lyric class inspired by the book of stevie wonder innervisions

Steven: cool.