ALBANY POETRY EXAMINER
OAKLAND POET SHINES
Oedipus plucked out his eyes in order to relieve his agony. Arisa White opens her wide as she shares her emotional and physical agony with readers in her new narrative collection of free verse, HURRAH’S NEST, from Virtual Artists Collective. February, 2012. So begins my review of this book which appeared here in March 2012.
The book was first honored as the 2012 winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for poetic memoir. The announcement was followed by an awards ceremony at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday, May 19th. The Center for Transformative Change in Berkeley hosted a book party and signing from 4-7pm, with musical performance by Becca Richardson. Local San Franciscan poet and Guggenheim Fellow, Matthew Zaprider writes that Arisa White’s book “manages to be unflinchingly autobiographical and real, while also remaining fully and gorgeously poetic.” The San Francisco Book Festival is part of the JM Media Family of festivals and celebrates the best book of the spring. It attracts entries from around the world. Previous winners include the Bay Area poets, Rebecca Foust’s, “All That Gorgeous and Pitiless Song” and Cheryl Dumesnil’s “In Praise of Falling.”
To top all that off, HURRAH’S NEST was recently nominated for the 44th NAACP Image Awards for poetry. Her book is listed as a nominee in the “outstanding Literary Work – Poetry” category along with four others.
The “44TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS” NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
Two-Hour Special Airs Live Friday, February 1 on NBC
The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social
justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be announced during the two-hour star-studded event, which will air live on Friday, February 1 (8 ET live/PT tape-delayed) on NBC.
NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, states, “We are proud to celebrate the artists and activists who use their craft to share positive images of our culture. The artistic community is an important ally for social justice.”
Bio: ARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon. She was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, Arisa has also received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005, her poetry has been published widely and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. A blog editor for HER KIND, and the editorial assistant at Dance Studio Life magazine, Arisa is a native New Yorker, living in Oakland, CA, with her partner.
GOOD LUCK ARISA