Buy an Autographed Copy of Powder Necklace

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pictures from Imagenation and Telem Center for the African Child Readings

Me, Imagenation founder Moikgantsi Kgama, & Ayesha Harruna Attah

Imagenation founder Moikgantsi Kgama, Ayesha Harruna Attah & me

Saturday April 6, 2013 marked the third anniversary of the release of Powder Necklace and I got to start the celebration a week early on Saturday March 30th in a joint discussion on African Writing with fellow author Ayesha Harruna Attah. Imagenation founder Moikgantsi Kgama moderated the conversation in her Rawspace Gallery with questions ranging from a tribute to China Achebe's work and impact, to how to define "African" writing with writers like me and Ayesha living and working in the Diaspora. Ayesha and I shared the mic at my first ever reading of my book and we have done several events together. I think we make a great team. 

Ayesha reading from her upcoming book

Ayesha reading from Harmattan Rain

The Imagenation event was a great gathering, made even more exciting because Pariah actress Adepero Oduye was in the house! (If you haven't seen the film, you should know that Oduye turned in an effortless performance that garnered the praise of none other than the grand thespian herself, Meryl Streep.) 
Reading at Telem's Fundraiser

Singer Azania, Telem board member Veralyn, me & Telem founder Diana
This past weekend, on the actual birthday of my book, I read at the Telem Center for the African Child's "Taste of Africa" fundraiser. It was an amazing event featuring Sierra Leonian, Ethiopian, Moroccan, and Haitian bites (among others!) as well as South African, Ethiopian, and Moroccan wines. Sierra Leonian soul singer Azania warmed the gathering with her live vocals. I left full of food and mirth.

The last three years have been an incredible journey. I look forward to many more years, and books under my belt.


Me, Diana & Telem board member Judy

You're Invited: Fiction Forum at the New School

Glen Finland
Deborah Henry
Join Glen Finland, Deborah Henry, and I in a Fiction Forum moderated by Jeffery Renard Allen:

TUESDAY APRIL 16, 2013 AT 6:30PM
$5 Admission (Free to New School students, faculty & alums)

Monday, April 1, 2013

In Celebration of National Poetry Month: An Ode to the Library

National Poetry Month - peoplewhowriteApril is National Poetry Month. Founded by the American Academy of Poets in 1996, the monthlong celebration presents multiple suggestions and opportunities for experiencing poetry including attending a reading, sharing your favorite poem on "Poem in Your Pocket" Day, and reading your own poetry at an open mic. In celebration, I've written a poem in honor of the library, one of my favorite places to write. Please share your favorite poems and poets in the comments section.

A Library is
By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

A library is
A choir
Of voices hallowed and profane
Whispering cheers and subversions
Preserving stories like griots
Like songs
Making sure you remember
So we never forget
Put your ear to the shelves
Not a spineless one

A library is
A federal reserve
Bullion bars of research and data
The keeper of theories proven and debunked
Hoarding relics and memories
Of the way we thought and think
The way we were
On rolling carts in musty stacks
On oak tag cards and rubber stamps
Broadband connections churning centuries of words and ideas

A library is
A shelter
The fallout from earnest and wicked shrugs about what to do with our homeless and mentally ill
See the line that stretches in the morning
Before the doors open
Men and women ragged from roaming the streets of their minds
Waiting for a warm, quiet place to be crazy
Where others go to be sane
From the craziness at home
And for the wi-fi

 A library is
A junction
Where race, class, and generations converge at the intersection of homework, research, and resume triage
A free after school program
A NICU for concepts and dreams that need more time to develop
A daycare for the over-qualified
A place to go and feel productive
While you wait for the call Because you will get the call

A library is
A luxury
Of a nation so rich
Not only the rich are entitled to a library
A necessity
Of a society committed to a future that builds on the wisdom of the past
A safe house for learning
A beacon
On a neighborhood block