Queens based poet, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, led a poetry workshop at the Jackson Heights branch of the Queens Library in April.
She is the author of Strut (Agape Editions), Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). She served as poetry editor of African Voices from 2013 to 2017. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies including North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, Mom Egg, The Golden Shovel (The University of Arkansas Press), The BreakBeat Poets (Haymarket Books), and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine).
The workshop concentrated on the use of the poet's senses as a stepping stone to go beyond the physical to the metaphysical. Poets were asked to describe an apple without using the words "apple," "fruit," or its color—to describe what the object evoked, rather than its obvious appearance. The experiment was repeated with objects such as photographs, candle scents, the sound of maracas, and the surface of an unknown spherical object.
As an artist interested in combining poetry with music and images, Ms. Tallie has codirected a number of cine poems and collaborated on a project called The Quiet Onez with Ahi Baraka. She has also worked with photographer Dominique Sindayiganza on a project called “Strut Too” that deals with the body and self-acceptance.
Visit her website at ekeretallie.com.