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Black Mothering as Poetic Archive

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor and Alexis Pauline Gumbs in conversation about mothering, parenting, loss, and how Cheryl shared her personal-poetic archive to create Mama Phife Represents.



Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a poet and teaching artist. She earned an MFA from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine and an MSW from Fordham University. Her collections of poetry include Raw Air (2000), Night When Moon Follows (2000), Convincing the Body (2005), and Arrival (2017), which was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize.

The founder and curator of Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series, Boyce-Taylor is also a poetry judge for the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. She has led workshops for Cave Canem, Poets & Writers, and the Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center. Her poetry has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater and the National Endowment for the Arts for Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence, A Dance Company.

Boyce-Taylor is the recipient of the 2015 Barnes & Noble Writers For Writers Award and a VONA fellow. Her life papers and portfolio are stored at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Feminist Love Evangelist, a daughter-on-assignment and a cousin-in-the-making. She is the author of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals, Dub: Finding Ceremony, M Archive: After the End of the World and Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity. She is also co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering Love on the Front Lines and co-founder of Mobile Homecoming Trust. This year Alexis is a National Humanities Fellow writing a new biography called The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde: Biography as Ceremony.