I am looking for work by writer parents of black sons and daughters, addressing the notion of innocence. I want real and clear and intelligent and loving portraits of what we see every day, as parents and caregivers, as witnesses to these young humans becoming who they are in this time and place, centering on what we have observed as the truth about our children, their complexity and beauty and innocence. I want works that innovate and illuminate. It's not about asserting humanity in a reactionary way, necessarily, but presenting a wider spectrum of images than currently available, more accurate and personal and vibrant narratives (and non-narratives, however the creative impulse manifests), active definitions that refuse containment, or distillations that contain the essence of everything. If you feel comfortable, include a photo of your child or of yourself with your child.
Khadijah Queen is the author of Conduit (Black Goat/Akashic Books 2008), a Poets & Writers Magazine début poets selection, and Black Peculiar (Noemi Press 2011), which won the 2010 Noemi Book Award for poetry and was a finalist for the Gatewood Prize at Switchback Books. Her chapbooks are No Isla Encanta (dancing girl press 2007) and I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (Sibling Rivalry 2013). Individual poems and essays appear widely in journals and anthologies including jubilat, RHINO, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Aufgabe, Rattle, The Volta Book of Poets, Tupelo Quarterly, Random House's Everyman's Pocket Library of Villanelles and others. Her verse playNon-Sequitur won the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers, and a full production will be staged by The Relationship in 2015. A Cave Canem alum, she chairs the board of directors for the nonprofit feminist publisher Kore Press, works as an editor for a finance company, is raising a teenager, and curates the multi-genre annual reading series Courting Risk. Her third book, Fearful Beloved, will appear next fall from Argos Books.