In May 2021, Black Femme Collective asked Black Queer Femmes for their reckless, unapologetic personal stories that focus on the sharp edges of the wild.
We wanted them to be as creative and as lucid with this theme as possible.
We wanted the stories they were afraid might be too much, too Black, or too queer.
We provided a few simple definitions:
1. (of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated.
2. (of a place or region) uninhabited, uncultivated, or inhospitable.
n. a natural state or uncultivated or uninhabited region.
v. to treat (a person or animal) harshly, so that they become untrusting or nervous.
We hoped that our prompts and definitions would provoke self-curiosity, -excavation, -celebration. This container reflects Black Queer Femmes’ authentic and lived experiences correlating to one or more of the prompts and definitions above. It centers our stories, our histories, our lives. Enjoy, WILD!
Faylita Hicks (she/they) is a writer and activist defying the boundaries of genre & medium, race & gender, policy & people through dynamic storytelling. They are the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, a 2021 Shearing Fellow with Black Mountain Inst., and the Poet-in-Residence with Civil Rights Corps. Their fellowships and residencies include Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Lambda Literary, Tin House, the Right of Return USA, and others. Their work is featured in American Poetry Review, Ecotone, Huffpost, Longreads, Poetry, Slate, Texas Observer, Yale Review, and others. #BadBxtchPoetry #CommunitiesNotCages #AbolitionNow
Casira is a Black feminist writer and traveler who tries to spend most of her free time in other countries. She writes primarily cultural essays and media reviews about a range of issues pertaining to race, feminism, LGBTQ+ experiences, and other relevant topics for outlets like ZORA, Sorella, and Black Girl Nerds. Her goal is to explore unique perspectives on relevant issues in an accessible way. In addition to writing, she became a trained facilitator in 2019 through the YWCA’s Racial & Social Justice program and has led discussion series on issues of racial justice and equity. She’s currently obtaining a Master’s degree in Social Justice and Community Action from the University of Edinburgh.
Sabrina Sarro (they/them/theirs) is a silly, colorful, human who loves to write about their Trans*ness, Queerness, and Blackness. They hold an LMSW from Columbia University and work as a healing worker in private practice. They are currently pursuing their MFA at CCNY, and are a Lighthouse Book Project fellow. They are an alumni of the following writing experiences: Bread Loaf, LAMDA, Martha’s Vineyard, Slice, Squaw Valley, and Yale. They can often be found wearing their polychromatic clogs while carrying a backpack full of too many books. Sabrina is working on their forthcoming memoir: If you steam one single organ, you can make the entire body a stew—which chronicles their experience as a food-rape survivor.
Danielle Monique (she/they) is a Black queer nonbinary woman originally from South Texas, now living in Minneapolis. In 2018, she graduated as a first-generation college student with a B.A. in English and Africana Studies from Mount Holyoke College. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Creative Writing Program (fiction) at the University of Minnesota. She has short stories in Joyland and Malarkey Books, a forthcoming creative nonfiction piece in Black Femme Collective, and a Pushcart-nominated prose poem in Doubleback Review. She is editor-in-chief of Stellium Literary Magazine, which centers Black queer creatives.
Chibuike Ogbonnaya recently completed a collection of thematically linked short stories featuring women, feminine gay men, transvestites, and gender queer. They obtained a combined honors in English and Literary Studies and History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Chibuike is an alumni of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop. Their work has appeared in or forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, Stellium, Akuko Magazine, and elsewhere. When they are not busy writing, they are doing drag shows on their WhatsApp status or publicly writing letters to their husband.
Nahshon Dion is a multi-talented writer and teaching artist from Altadena, California. Published in LGBTQ anthologies and journals, Nahshon speaks to discrimination and violence black and brown LGBTQ youth face. Nahshon has created a uniquely personal work turning her anguish into art that touches on mental health, gun violence, and state terrorism. She’s the recipient of dozens of grants, fellowships, artist residencies, honors, and awards totaling over $100,000 that provided ammunition and support towards developing and creating her gutwrenching forthcoming memoir “Shootin’ Range”. Nahshon’s literature shows how youth can reach their full potential and shine when their rainbow is blurred.
Sonja Killebrew (she/her) is a queer Black writer with an MFA in creative writing from City College of New York where she teaches writing as an adjunct assistant professor. She is also a teaching artist with Culture for One where she teaches creative writing to public school students and young people in foster care. Sonja’s play, The Brunch Club – A Dark Comedy, was produced online by Naked Angels Theater Company in 2021. Her creative nonfiction can be found in 433 Magazine, Pussy Magic Heals, and Medium. When not walking about New York City or dreaming about the return of hot yoga, Sonja can be found dancing to Beyonce videos in her Queens apartment.
Jessica Vance is a new adult and longtime writer. She was raised in south Texas by the gulf, but moved to the piney east for school where she furthered her active participation in the arts. She’s writing essays, screenplays, and poetry some of which you can read in Ashamed Magazine, Antifragile zine, and FilmDaze. Jessica utilizes writing as a method of building community and has enjoyed the opportunity to meet, work with, and interview many other writers and creatives who she believes are the futures of their respective industries. Her passion for community is one of the many things that inspires her work as well as her terminal internet addiction.
Briana Ladwig is a Black, queer, mama illustrator based in Lawrence, Kansas whose work centers around Black Liberation, decolonizing storytelling, generational healing, and afrofuturism. She grew up learning to draw on the floor of her dad’s art studio, receiving a natural education from closely watching his work as a master book illustrator. She now draws inspiration from the cycle-breaking work of her ancestors and Black speculative fiction, especially the works of Octavia Butler. Bri’s favorite medium is lush, textured watercolors under detailed pen lines. Bri is currently working on an illustration/design degree at the KU while doing freelance illustration work from home.
Jasmine Holmes, BFA, MFA, is an artist who creates drawings through a variety of media. With subtle line work and minimalistic approach to color theory, she creates work that invokes feelings of uneasiness within the viewer. These works are inspired by consumerist culture and its appetite for devouring the colored body. With an emphasis on the Black figure she draws from social constructs, such as race, class, and creed, in order to bring forth an image that both disturbs the viewer and procures contemplation. Her artworks are often about personal contact with Eurocentrism and its effects on the marginalized psyche. The human figure is the centerpiece, taking up space and showcasing a performance of multilayered hyper-visibility within spaces that often marginalize them.
jah watson (she/they) is a Black nonbinary femme native to Cleveland, OH. astrologer, spiritualist, + creative, their life is lived in the pursuit and production of peace. her favorite poem is “The Armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17). on great days, she is a Willow Tree seeding shade by the bayside. on her worst day, she is still Loved. presently, jah is–that’s it, simply is, and sometimes “is” alongside good community. she recently read with the Poetry Partnership of Pittsburgh. she’s always looking for writing fellowships + other Black weirdos who believe in the gospels of a soft heart. you can find her on twitter @astrojah and pretty soon on Patreon.