Ayanna Black: A Poet’s Reflection

More from our ongoing digitization project.

Poetry Reading & Reflections by Ayanna Black, for International Women’s Day, March 8 2007

Ayanna Black shares her personal experience as a feminist poet, anthologist and one of the founding members of CANBAIA (Canadian Artists Network – Black Artists in Action). She reads from her books No Contingencies, Fiery Spirits & Voices, and excerpts from work-in-progress.

Ayanna Black was a pioneering black woman poet who was involved in the feminist movement for over 20 years. She was one of the founding members and editor of Tiger Lily journal, Canada’s first magazine by Women of Colour.

Ayanna passed away July 2009.

You can read about her here
and here.

Please note that around 45 minutes into the talk, the recording shuts off briefly, cutting off part of the poem D.O.A./Dead On Arrival. The final stanza of that poem is:

the police threw his body
like a side of bleeding beef
shoved it in a black maria
killin’ time
hasslin’ his friends
this man
father
lover
brother
son
friend

–Ayanna Black, No Contingencies, Williams-Wallace Publishers Inc. 1986, Toronto. Pgs 35-36.

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