Venus Sings by Reza Rites

Hair/photo dump. Don’t let the curls hit you on your way out.

#rezarites #ambitiousblackfeminist #vanity4themovement #joyisthemovement #curls #curlyhair #kinkyhair #kinkycurly #naturalhair #naturalhairstyles #selfcare #bantuknots #twiststyles #blackgirlmagic #carefreeblackgirl

#3amblackpoetry in July
Post 20: Titular Trepidation
Post 20, 2020: Jovial Juxtapositions

Many people have found themselves suffering under the weight of the pandemic. From the loss of life that continues to take a toll on communities across the world to the policies related to social isolation and limiting contact, many have experienced mental health crises and fever-pitch levels of cabin-fever. That said, it is also known that a small percentage of folks thrived in some way. Memes about introverts have made the digital rounds carrying data and images projecting lots of truth, but it was more than that. Artists, musicians, and curators have found creative ways to produce and share art and content (think Verzuz battles), while news that will fail to surprise everyone has emerged that many Black Americans are saying they would rather work from home or find alternative work strategies over rejoining teams and personnel groups in office settings. Do you know of any success stories as far as folks working or producing creative content from home?

Here in Providence, RI, the Trinity Repertory Company (@trinity_rep ) stepped up during this time of titular trepidation, to bring innovation in the form of a video series they co-produced with the Providence Public Library (@providencepubliclibrary ) called “America Too: Reckoning and Resilience.” In Episode 4, “It’s Our Health,” the hosts and guests focus on “mental health during the pandemic and the healing power of the arts in our communities” with examples and snapshots including digital art imagery and dance footage from 3 AM IS THE NEW BLACK Publisher/Editor Reza Rites. The link is below if you need some inspiration or affirmation. Happy #3amblackpoetry in July.



#3AmBlackPoetry #NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryInJuly #ChristmasInJuly #RezaRites #3AmBlack #Poetry #AmbitiousBlackFeminist #photography #DigitalArt #collage #CollageArt #CarefreeBlackGirl #BlackGirlMagic #BlackWriters #AfroFuturism #BlackWomenWriters #BlackWritersMatter #WomenWritersOfIG

Steadfast, Stirrings, Stealthy, Stipulations: #3amblackpoetry in July, Post 19

#3amblackpoetry in July

Post 19: Steadfast, Stirrings, Stealthy, Stipulations

Post 19, 2020: Purveyed Purviews

Keeping up with a daily writing challenge or activity is no easy feat. But I want to assure you there is no hyperbole when I say that I feel the benefits, again and again, everytime I follow through with such a ritual. Invitations to perform, commissioned and contracted work, new collections of work and new sets of eyes on that work: these are just some of the rewards I’ve reaped after daily writing during National Poetry Month, for example, and it’s one reason I was inspired to pilot #3amblackpoetry in July. Today’s prompt, “steadfast, stirrings, stealthy, and stipulations” collectively and individually reminds me of what it takes to maintain a daily – or almost daily – streak of writing:

Steadfast – It goes without saying, but I’ll say it: you have to be ready and committed to write. If it’s a challenge or something like National Poetry Month, you are writing, in part, because you’re making time to write when you usually don’t. So write.

Stirrings – There is no time for second-guessing ideas, emotions and inspirations. If looking at the grass beneath your feet stirs up a memory, then grass is the thing. Write about it, write about the memories, write about both, or write about neither, but let the grass, or whatever it is, be your torch in the darkness.

Stealthy – Sometimes we have to steal time. Sometimes we have to borrow a song lyric. Sometimes we have to write about the person we see every day, while they sit directly across from us or one room over. Yes, we are all raised to be honest and ethical, but sometimes completing a writing project or goal requires some hiding, some sneakiness, or a little bit of theft.

Stipulations – Maintaining and archiving work becomes a very important set of duties the more you write, while maintaining a certain number of calories everyday becomes a very important set of duties too. It is common to have to set stipulations for yourself, either at the beginning of a writing challenge or as you go along. Is it a certain number of words you must hit before bathing or hopping on social media? Is there a predetermined number of completed pieces that need to be edited, or a certain number of contests to apply to everyday? Set your stipulations. Then go.

The attached/accompanying video, “Reza Rites Performs for EduLeaders of Color RI / Breaking and Burning Perennial Erasure, Pt II” shows my steadfast dedication to not “acquiescing to my erasure,” my ability to translate what’s stirring inside of me into words and performance, the stealthy way I used words meant to advocate for myself in a moment as words that will live forever in my poetry, and stipulations I made with myself about what I will and will not present to an audience in order to stay standing after a performance like this.


Your turn. Happy #3amblackpoetry in July.

#3AmBlackPoetry #NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryInJuly #ChristmasInJuly #RezaRites #3AmBlack #Poetry #AmbitiousBlackFeminist #photography #DigitalArt #collage #CollageArt #CarefreeBlackGirl #BlackGirlMagic #BlackWriters #AfroFuturism #BlackWomenWriters #BlackWritersMatter #WomenWritersOfIG

#3amblackpoetry in July
Post 18: Repugnant, Repudiation, Reviling, Rapscallion
Post 18, 2020: Prickly Parameters

Repugnant. Repudiation. Reviling. Rapscallion. If you are in the midst of writing a story with a particularly noteworthy villain, these words might speak to you. I mean, imagine a sentence that sounds a little like this: “The police were never able to catch the criminals, but the vigilante spirit that lived inside of her meant the days were numbered for the band of repugnant and reviling rapscallions who had interrupted her daily rhythm of existence.” Damn; now I want to finish the story!

One way that I do finish stories in my head is by weaving them together as part of poetry sets I deliver live. “I Am Salt Water” and the story of Gaia Gallactica, for instance, is a tale I crafted, in part, to help connect a series of otherwise unconnected poems, and in part to cull and evoke deeper understandings out of each poem. I also used this technique during a live/Zoom poetry performance I gave on June 18, 2020 during the campaign kickoff event for Cynthia Mendes, who at the time was running for office in the 2020 elections for Senate District 18, East Providence, Riverside, and Pawtucket, RI (who subsequently won). I made mention of Mendes and my work on her campaign in yesterday’s #3amblackpoetry in July post, but it is worth mentioning here, again, for two reasons: 1) Because I have a second audio offering with poetry and storytelling I shared as part of the event; and 2) because both my performance and Mendes’ office-holding are about repudiating the type of old school politics that leaves the haves and have nots exactly where they are, and power in the hands of few. Who or what are you repudiating? Write about it. Happy #3amblackpoetry in July.

#3AmBlackPoetry #NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryInJuly #ChristmasInJuly #RezaRites #3AmBlack #Poetry #AmbitiousBlackFeminist #photography #DigitalArt #collage #CollageArt #CarefreeBlackGirl #BlackGirlMagic #BlackWriters #AfroFuturism #BlackWomenWriters #BlackWritersMatter #WomenWritersOfIG

It’s a beautiful day – and a good day to get a Lit Hub e-newsletter containing tips on “the craft of writing” and “reading while you write” from Zadie Smith. Hope your day feels lovely too!

#rezarites #ambitiousblackfeminist #carefreeblackgirl

#3amblackpoetry in July

Post 17: Quintessential, Quelling, Quotients

One of the quintessential quotients required when applying to writing contests is the ability to quell doubts and fears just long enough to hit submit – and I find this again and again, despite writing and podcast-related accolades, certification as an English teacher, and service as mentor to countless artists and writers over the years. On Sunday I applied to a contest, and though I hit submit, throughout the process I found myself, in more than one moment, arrested and ceased up with concern about three areas: 1) the length of my poems; 2) the length of my bio; and 3) the source’s interest in formatting and layout. Sooooooo…I submitted a bio that still looked longer than the sample, I tried some minor formatting adjustments, and I submitted pieces that I would classify as medium in length, lol.

Quelling doubts isn’t about feelings, it’s about getting to the other side of a mountain that you had to climb, whether you knew it or not. So yesterday I took the break and caught the rest I needed, and today, I’m back. What is your body saying to you? Listen to your body, but also feel free to experiment and fall…into a contest, into a nap, or into your next writing project, and forgive yourself if it isn’t perfect! Happy #3amblackpoetry in July.

P.S. This is the second time this month that challenges related to writing one’s bio has come up. One of my poems, in particular, serves as a mantra in moments like these: “Something about Erasure” which can be heard in the video linked below. I included the poem in a video I produced during the campaign activities of now-Senator @cynthiamendesri, who was quelling doubts and external naysayers to successfully run for office in RI’s last round of elections.


#3AmBlackPoetry #NationalPoetryMonth #PoetryInJuly #ChristmasInJuly #RezaRites #3AmBlack #Poetry #AmbitiousBlackFeminist #photography #DigitalArt #collage #CollageArt #CarefreeBlackGirl #BlackGirlMagic #BlackWriters #AfroFuturism #BlackWomenWriters #BlackWritersMatter #WomenWritersOfIG

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