I’m that artist who had some reservations when it came to collaboration. Why?  Sometimes it’s hard enough coming up with something decent on my own and I didn’t want people to see that painful process. I didn’t know how much time it would take or if we would gel across mediums or as fellow writers. Being in graduate school that’s changed thanks to people like Suya Nascimento and Rachel Holdt, who I’ve also had the pleasure of working with. When you start to co-create one thing that is inevitable is compromise. Is it better to just improvise on the spot or meet up regularly and nurture a shared vision? I’ve seen both go great and not so great.

You feel like you’ve arrived to some level of success when you’re awarded the opportunity to see your poetry performed by other people. It’s sort of weird and wonderful. But when I first saw people dancing to my poem “Was he black?”  The word that came to mind was  “epic”.  I got a little teary, especially given it was people of diverse racial backgrounds. That’s why I can not tell you how ecstatic I am to see this final production this month. It has been a pleasure working with choreographer Joslynn Mathis-Reed, she has been a sister and a fabulous friend to me. I love her energy and trust me, “ain’t no half stepping”, as they used to say. Ben Salomon, is also part of this professional dream team, as composer and improviser. He definitely put some love into the creation of the musical score and he plays in ensembles regularly, teaches guitar, drums and computer music.  

Below is an excerpt of the rehearsal of a 15 minute production produced by Joslynn Mathis-Reed for her graduate thesis. Initially she wanted to tribute Trayvon Martin, and all who came before and who may fall due to racism after. She called me and I said I have a piece you may be interested in. She loved it. She asked Ben Salomon to create a musical score. The rest is history.


If you live in the Bay area. You don’t want to miss schema(tic) on the 18th or 19th of April. You want to attend Program B.


Here’s an earlier performance with me and Rain from Rhythm Architects

If you’re also a champion for gender justice given you’ve grown tired of the rigid binary and it’s effects. Check out another interdisciplinary collaboration produced by the amazing Heather Stockton. She’s another artist to watch. This is the result of one of her project’s regarding contemporary issues from last semester: