“Wanna fly? Gotta give up what weighs you down.”

I’m quoting Toni Morrison’s Sula loosely in the title of this post. I didn’t know Ms. Morrison personally as many of my former professors and scholar-friends did, but her work has always seemed to know me. I miss her footsteps on this earth. I’ve been mourning. But I am also immensely grateful to know that Toni Morrison is now in the ancestral realm gifting young writers and scholars like myself with inspiration, love, and truth. I couldn’t ask for more.

I’ve been away from here, but I’ve been active in the world. I completed an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at the University of Kentucky in May of this year, and three weeks ago I began my Ph.D. in English at Rutgers University. I have taken a leap into my career, my scholarship, my writing, and my future. It feels amazing. I am constantly reading, writing, taking in films and visual art, and loving on the people in my life. So forgive me for not pausing to update this space as often as I should. But know that performing poetry and presenting research papers is always on my docket, and if you want to see me do either of those things, this is a great place to reach me.

I wrote a poem for Toni that I submitted for publication a few weeks ago. I don’t know where it will land so I can’t share it here just yet for copyright reasons, but I meditated and am still meditating on the word “fly” and how Toni emphasizes it. At the core of everything I am and all that I do–and I might say this is true for most of us–I’m just trying to fly.

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