Me @ Studio Sidibe, The studio of renowned Malian photogrpaher, Malick Sidibe.

Me @ Studio Sidibe, The studio of renowned Malian photogrpaher, Malick Sidibe.

As usual, the end of the year puts me an introspective mood, which sends my mind all over the place. Very often I find myself thinking about the future, what the next move will be for me, my art and my family.  But quite often before I dive into the future, I find myself thinking about the year that has passed, what I have lost, gained, learned or even what I am going through at the present moment.

As those thoughts pass through my mind, I am in a mood of gratitude in general , but also because of some recent good news…

A few months ago, one of my poems was accepted by The Editors (Mahogany L. Browne and Amanda Johnston) for the #‎blackpoetsspeakout‬  issue of Pluck! Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture (click here & here for more info). Needless to say it is an honor to be a part of the sea of poetic voices speaking up for our people as we face the crisis of state sponsored and sanctioned violence, through police and law enforcement who are supposed to be serving and protecting. Because I am living abroad, it hard to watch and to hear about all the things going on and not to be present to be a part of protests or to help out in someway. But I also realize this is a global issue and that the work I am trying to do with empowering Malian (and other West African artists) is a part of that struggle too.

Because of the vision of the guest editors, that this issue of pluck! was intended to be used as “a personal amulet, a tool in the classroom and a hammer in the streets. Get it either way, but carry it forward.” Editor Amanda Johnston goes on to say “Because this work is for the people and these poems have work to do, pluck! issue 13 is now available for FREE online. Click here to read now.

Here is how you can get a print copy for you or your institution:

Pluck! $15/copy mail to:
pluck!, 1215 POT
University of KY
Lexington KY 40506

$30/subscription for individuals
$100/sub for institutions and organizations

Click Here for more info


Secondly, I am grateful that Sarah Browning accepted a few of my poems for a forthcoming issue of the Delaware Poetry Review that will be out Spring of 2016.


Last, but most definitely not least,  I just found out a few days a ago that a small dialogue that I recorded with Kwame Dawes ( find him here & here) will be included in the final cut of Furious Flower III. I cannot even explain the kind of honor this is, mostly because even though I have been to thelast two Furious Flower Conferences and other tributes and events in between, I still walk around kind of starstruck to be among some of my super accomplished peers and folks whose work has shaped and continues to help me shape, my own work. So to be in the video presentation really means a lot me.

I am beyond grateful, thank you to Dr. Joanne V. Gabbin, for grabbing me by the hand that day back in September “to go with her to talk to Kwame” and many thanks to Judith McCray, of Juneteenth Productions for crafting Kwame’s brilliance and my babbling into a really nice dialogue (I almost sound like I know a little something).

I also want to thank the few of you who take the time to read my random and often infrequent thoughts on this and my other web presences. Please know that it is EXTREMELY appreciated!

Onward & Upward…

***I am also super thankful for my parents, The Joiners of Bowie coming to visit The Joiner of Bamako for 5 weeks and for our upcoming trip home to the States for the holidays, this is the first time we will all be home together for the Holiday Season.

Joiners of Bowie & Joiners of Bamako

Joiners of Bowie & Joiners of Bamako


About Fred