I am going to see what Cave Canem is like tomorrow. It’s the first meeting of the poetry workshop. It starts at 6pm. I will be able to tell friends what Cave Canem is like. I know at Cave Canem I’ll hone my craft as an African American woman Poet!
I chose to go to AAMH partial care program 5 full days a week for a year and a half. I really came out of my cocoon there. I attended the program from May 2011 to late October 2012. I was client of the month in June 2011. I shared two of my original poems at the Client Awards ceremony in June 2012. I am going to group therapy right now. I went to individual therapy for over a year. Yesterday was my first group therapy session. The group is all women and I liked that. Our next session in September 30, 2015. I will stay in group therapy for as long as I can afford it.
I applied for a spot in a Cave Canem poetry workshop this Fall 2015 and I got it. I am an African American woman Poet! I am looking forward to the first meeting of the poetry workshop on Thursday September 17, 2015 at 6pm. The poetry workshop will meet every Thursday after that until our Final Reading on Thursday November 5, 2015. I’m so happy for myself! I started writing poems in the 4th grade.
I like myself
I accept myself (it’s good to be me)
I’m not worried if people don’t like me (I never had a lot of friends. The friends I have know I love them)
I can and I do like myself
I believe in my ability as a memoir writer and so does Dr. Edi Giunta.
No one can take my Identity or Sense of Self away from me
No one can take the BA degree in English I earned away from me
I am in an 100 word memoir group. I post my 100 word pieces on Thursdays. They have not been posting or emailing me or anyone else in our 100 word group for almost two weeks. I hope my 100 word memoir group will start back again very soon. I’m sure it will but I don’t know how soon or when…!
I remember in an interview I saw on Youtube U.S. Poet Laureate from 2012-2014 Natasha Trethewey said that when she would seek out education, maybe reading or knowledge that people would say to her that’s “your white side”. It made her mad because they were saying that was her knowledge seeking side her “white side”. This disturbed me but I understand that biracial people really go through these things even in 2015. I’m sure it is the same for biracial young people now because of racism and ethnocentricism. Old notions about racial difference for black people and even biracial people go back to Slavery times.
The first time I was at Memoirfest I was the only African American in the group photo taken last December 2014 after the party. I also remember this past May 2015 being the only African American at Memoirfest. I shared from my memoirs at both Memoirfests and received great response from my peers, Edi Giunta and Josh Fausty. I am one of four or five African Americans that are members of NAMI Mercer’s social group for adults, Just Friends. I am one of few African American NAMI Mercer volunteers. I volunteer with Just Kids, I’m a Sharing Hope presenter, I’m a Parents and Teachers as Allies presenter, I’m a part of the African American Outreach, I’m on the Just Friends Planning Committee, I’m a Phone Chain caller and once or twice a month I volunteer with the Office Team! I was one of the few African American students to major in English at New Jersey City University from 2007-2015. I was one of few African American students in my 200-level and 300-level English classes at NJCU. I graduated from NJCU in August 2015 with my BA in English and Creative Writing. I will be going to Memoirfest this December as an NJCU and memoir class alumna!
My memoir teacher said that my writing style was idiosyncratic! I loved that! She got me.
I use a Marble Composition notebook with 100 sheets and approximately 200 pages as my process journal for the memoir I want to write a book length draft of. My memoir is called Memories of Me. It opens with the early onset of my mental illness after I turned fourteen (gives background ages 12 and 13) and goes up until maybe my 34th or 35th birthday. I am writing it right now. I started writing my memoir in Edi Giunta’s Memoir workshop (Fall 2014) and in her Advanced Memoir workshop (Spring 2015). I am going to continue writing my memoir. I’ve filled up 2/3 of my process journal and I have a 3-subject notebook I plan to hand-write most of my memoir in. I’m really looking forward to Memoirfest in December!