poems and prose became documents of her daily life

Poet Arisa White to give online talk: the seven-year writing journey to ‘Who’s Your Daddy’

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The Rockland Public Library presents Arisa White, Thursday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m., over Zoom. This event, sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council as part of their “World in Your Library” series, is free and open to all.

Learn about the seven-year writing journey that started during White’s “Jesus Year,” when her mother asked, “Do you want to write your father in Guyana?” Unsure what to say, White began penning epistolary poems addressed to her father. The poems and prose became documents of her daily life, citations from books, quotations from artists and cultural thinkers, song lyrics, and reflections on White’s spiritual condition. Feeling that this question of fatherhood wasn’t something she wanted to tackle alone, she hosted a call for submissions and community epistolary workshops for participants to write personal letters to distance, absent, or dead fathers, and patriarchal figures. The common themes of abandonment inspired White to write a poetic memoir that gives healing attention to the absences that shape our lives.

Arisa White is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Colby College and author of several poetry collections, which have been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, Lambda Literary Award, California Book Award, and Wheatley Book Award. She is the co-author of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, the second book in the Fighting for Justice Series, which won the Maine Literary Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal for Middle-Grade Nonfiction.

Published in March 2021, from Augury Books, her poetic memoir Who’s Your Daddy is a lyrical, genre-bending tale featuring a queer, Black, Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father.

For a link to the Zoom event, please email elewis@rocklandmaine.gov by 4 p.m. on May 20 and identify the event you are interested in attending in the subject line.


Event Date: 

Thu, 05/20/2021 - 6:30pm

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