Candace’s New Interview and Poems

Our very own Candace Wiley has new poems and an interview by Chaparral’s I.S. Jones! Check it out! http://www.chaparralpoetry.net/first-issue-2016/

Here’s an excerpt of an answer about her poetry:

“In general, Fantasy and Sci-Fi pretend that people of color and otherwise othered people don’t exist at all in an enchanted yesteryear or a scientific future or that they don’t exist with any significance (in numbers, purpose, presence, etc.).

Afrofuturism works to write people of color into these genres. My poetic work explores space, the deep sea, mythology, and speculative futures as part of the African diaspora. I try to address questions that I’ve had in ways that are reasonable within any of these alternate universes.

Q: Why haven’t we found bodies from the Middle Passage?
A: Because Africans who were tossed or jumped overboard during the Middle Passage were transformed by Yoruba deities into colorful undead merfolk.

Q: From where does the legend of the Flying African begin?
A: From a Klingon transporter on a Bird of Prey warship.

Q: Where do giants like Goliath come from?
A: Well, when a human and a Klingon really love each other,…

Q: Why do police shoot unarmed black people?
A: Because [some black people] are mutants who can shapeshift.

As it stands, the mainstream U.S. culture doesn’t see us in the past (Fantasy). They don’t see us in the future (Sci-Fi). How can I reasonably expect for them to see us in the present? If they don’t believe we exist as three-dimensional humans in the pasts or futures of the most imaginative genres we have, why would I believe they see us as three-dimensional humans in present reality? … It’s a seemingly strategic erasure when my image and the images of the people I love don’t exist anywhere except for this moment—-this moment in which I live and breathe. And this moment, too, is precarious. Just look at [fill in the blank] tragedy. By simply living in our differences, we can be erased by the fear of that very beauty.”

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