Day Camp: The Right of Play

I have the most incredible childhood memories of summer in Memphis. My daddy, Sherman L. Jones, worked for the Memphis Park Commission, the parks and recreation arm of the city. He was a community center director and, with his colleagues, provided entertainment for all of Memphis. The Memphis Park Commission, now called Memphis Parks, is …

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Finding Home in Memphis

I live in Memphis. The responses these four words elicit are telling. “That’s where Elvis is from.” “I hear they have good barbeque.” Or even, “I watch The First 48!”[i] inevitably followed by two questions: “Is it really that bad there?” and “How do you live there?” Of course, what runs through my head is, …

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The following work was written on the traditional lands of the Dena’ina people. I live and write on the land of the Dena’ina. I recognize the continued impacts of colonization on Alaska’s Indigenous and Black communities. In solidarity, always. Home I. Mouths come loose, when their hands get in the kitchen. Over hair grease and …

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My Memphis, My Home

Before construction started in Tom Lee Park, I sometimes visited the park after a stressful day. I’d sit on a bench positioned on the green lawn overlooking the Mississippi River, close my eyes, and allow the sounds of the fast-moving currents to soothe my anxious thoughts and relax my tense muscles. As calming as the …

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Elevating Our Ancestors

Thoughts on the Connection between Youth, Crime, and Labels I once read a story about a group of young boys knocking on doors in search of work to do in the neighborhood. One lady opened her door and asked the boys why they needed the money. They wanted to buy ice cream from Dollar General, …

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Poems from the collection Eating Dignity

Tamal Communion So, they say: Para todos los males: tamales. For all sadness: tamales. Tata fed me with corn from the Gods that declined to die. Graniceros, callers of rain: we do not pray on our knees, we offer our sweat. Madre Tonantzin accept these tamales! They are the blood and the flesh, spices braided …

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Introduction to Wrangell Rainforest

The Tlingit have stewarded the land and ocean known as Tlingit Aaní, also called the Tongass National Rainforest, since time immemorial.

Spring Rainforest Postcard

Smoking Hooligan is a fishcamp tradition! Hooligan run in the Stikine River region around mid-April when the migratory birds arrive on the river flats.

Summer Rainforest Postcard

I was born in s’áxt’ harvesting season, but my story begins 10,000 years ago in the Southeast Alaskan landscape. Many people know me as the “Devil’s Club Lady.”