Writer. Educator. Theater/Performance Artist.
Urban Gardening Enthusiast.
DARING. COURAGE. CURIOSITY. ENGAGEMENT. INDEPENDENCE.
My search for creative independence calls to mind a meeting with the legendary opera vocalist, Jessye Norman, in my first job as a very young arts assistant at the Philadelphia Orchestra. This was also my first encounter with notions of the “terrifying sublime,” when, in that distilled backstage moment, Ms. Norman regaled, “What is it that you do here, young lady?” Then and now, her question sounds bigger than my reach. It has haunted me over the paces of my past, current, and ongoing years. Over time, her once fitful question has become a sacred chant, a spoken ritual; an enduring gift to explore, a challenge to remain curious and engaged with your practice, with life.
My writing draws from performance and literary elements that reflect social change, justice, popular culture, race, and identity. Recent enthusiasms are served-up as “savory conversations” on a range of urban green topics that inspire me at my blog, greens4squares.com. From time to time, I fantasize on what life could be like for Scandal’s Olivia Pope as a gardener in Vermont. You can follow me monthly with the arrival of the new moon.
In my past life as a drama queen, I worked with major arts organizations and artists from BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) to Broadway. Career highlights include the Next Wave Festival, 651 Arts and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, which showcased the fabulous talents of Viola Davis, among an award-winning cast.
This year anticipates the June release of Blacktino Queer Performance (Duke Univ. Press, 2016). The collection includes my text Seens From the Unexpectedness of Love, a performance-play with masks and mime, produced Off-Broadway in 2005 and directed by Anita Gonzalez. Expect to hear more about my forthcoming novel, Fierce! Remains, an excerpt of which appeared in the 2014 anthology-tribute to Joseph Beam. I’ve been a Writing Fellow at VCCA/Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and awarded workshop residences in Provincetown, MA, at the Fine Arts Work Center and the Norman Mailer Writers Colony.
Currently, I am Core Faculty in the Low Residency-Undergraduate Program at Goddard College, in Plainfield, VT. Focus areas with my independent-learner students are informed by performance, media, race, identity, and culture. More recent collaborations with B.A. in Sustainability faculty and students, consider how natural science, social justice and activism, help shape moral arguments about the environment, climate change and human sustainability. This past fall 2015, I was invited to be commencement speaker for a stellar class of students. Their excitement and gratitude, emboldened my every breath. Here’s a link to the audio and text for “Where’s Your Tree?”
As undergraduate Writing Faculty/Adjunct Asst. Professor, at New York University, my teaching focuses include creative, critical and research skills writing and literary topics.
My volunteer work as Community Board Member for the Open Meadows Foundation provides needed micro-funding for projects that support women and girls here in the states and globally.