__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 8

Getting Personal and Political with Rachel Eliza Griffiths By Sarah Katz

Rachel Eliza Griffiths returns to her birthplace, Washington, D.C., to give a reading at The Writer’s Center on Oct 30. hat they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else.”1 Lucille Clifton’s words are a mantra of sorts for Rachel Eliza Griffiths in her efforts—through making art and writing poetry—to shatter ideology that diminishes the bodies of people of color.

Griffiths seeks to place herself and her peers in a space that is not reactive to the gaze of a predominantly white and heteronormative culture. As a queer poet of color, she considers this to be a political act. “I don’t think I could walk around in the world and say my work is not political. The things I write about matter to me. They reflect this time we are living in and reflect times older than me, and are part of a future of mine,” she says.

In a 2012 interview with Roxane Gay for The Rumpus, Rachel Eliza Griffiths cited this quote by Lucille Clifton to describe her slant as a poet and artist.

Griffiths uses self-portrait in both her poems and photography, which Walter Mosley, a visual artist and author of more

W

1

8

than 40 books, says goes beyond simple presentation. “Rachel is like an embodiment of gravity when the universe was young and not everything fit in a place that was steady,” he says. “Her poems, photographs, videos, and paintings struggle through a primordial sludge toward each other.” Her self-portraits portray Griffiths’s “physical body,” he says, “as a sacrifice reaching out with all four limbs (and at least that many art forms), trying to pull together the unruly experiences of race and gender, eroticism and history, you and me, and finally how this jazz chorus

View online at www.writer.org/guide

Profile for The Writer's Center

The Writer's Guide Fall 2016  

With a new title, new cover design, and beefed-up editorial content, our publication is offering writers more information and inspiration th...

The Writer's Guide Fall 2016  

With a new title, new cover design, and beefed-up editorial content, our publication is offering writers more information and inspiration th...

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded