Members of the 6888th Central Directory Battalion (CDDB), the military’s only unit of black women to serve overseas, pass in review during a parade, Birmingham, England 1945, Gladys Thomas Anderson Collection, Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection.
I didn't think I was going to get this grant because there appeared to be a poet purist on the selection committee who didn't think a visual artist/poet/playwright/karate black belt/samba dancer/Berkeley MBA making a living in finance would ever pool it off – "not going to happen," she told her fellow judges/jurists. She used Paul Hoover's recommendation (editor of Postmodern American Poetry – A Norton Anthology, as well as several poetry books – most recently desolation: souvenir from Omnidawn) against me. Paul wrote in his letter that I was a poetry student and then switched to writing a play for my thesis. OOPS.
People hate the betwixed and between until they are dead and gone. I'm glad the poet/player hater was overturned. And here I am – 11 months in. I've used the grant money received by the San Francisco Arts Commission to travel to New York, DC/VA, and LA doing research. Wait – you whisper. I thought this was a poetry book? Well… it's betwixed and between (just like me.)
Right now my desk is filled with Harriet Tubman and images from several collections (Schomburg, Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, and the 20th Centurty Fox Research Library.) The words… still on Moses and reeling over historical facts like she knocked her own teeth out with her pistol to "kill" the pain. More to come as I get closer to the finish line.