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Something to Declare
Lauren K. Alleyne (SCHEV/James Madison University)
Lauren K. Alleyne lived the first part of her life in Trinidad and then moved to America at 18 and has been there since. Her poems explore what it’s like to have one foot in Trinidad and one in America. Home, she says, is her poetry.
Alexia Arthurs (George Mason University)
Alexia Arthurs award-winning short story collection is called How To Love A Jamaican. She says she wrote the collection while she was in the Midwest as a way to feel closer to her cultural home.
Across the Blue Ridge Mountains
Maggie Marangione (Blue Ridge Community College)
The themes of a coming-of-age story are universal: independence, disillusionment, purpose, power. But it’s the particulars, whether Dickens’ England or Baldwin’s Harlem that make a story stick with us. Maggie Marangione’s novel Across the Blue Ridge Mountains roots coming-of-age in the Appalachian communities of Shenandoah.
Painting the Self
Solomon Isekeije (Norfolk State University)
Solomon Isekeije says his art is all about mixing, just like his identity. He grew up in Lagos, Nigeria with a mix of languages and backgrounds all around him. Now Isekeiji makes art that grapples with the different parts of who he is.
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