burn us shadow home, a new linocut poem for assata

I penned this poem and carved this two-tone linocut print after the FBI announced it put Assata Shakur on its “Most Wanted Terrorists List." Hands off Assata!
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Vanessa Huang
Art
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
6 Team Members

"The places of possibility within ourselves are dark because they are ancient and hidden; they have survived and grown strong through that darkness. Within these deep places, each one of us holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling." -Audre Lorde, "Poetry is not a Luxury"

 

forego the vanities
               for Assata

 

first

witch

ancient

hidden

your magic hands

burn us shadow home

 

-Vanessa Huang, May 18, 2013

 

About this Poem-Print Intervention

On May 2, The FBI announced it was adding Assata Shakur to its "Most Wanted Terrorists" list, adding another $1 million reward to the $1 million bounty already offered by New Jersey.

In response, I penned this poem for Assata, in call and response with her poem, "I believe in living," and with Audre Lorde's poem "For Assata" (from which my poem's title is borrowed), Lorde's always homing essay, "Poetry is not a Luxury," Cheryl Clarke's poem "wearing my cap backwards" (in which she writes, "poets are among the first witches"), and Morgan Bassichis' play "The Witch House".

Inspired by a tree I happened upon over a rainy, thunderous Atlanta weekend, carried by the words and spirit of Assata, Audre, Cheryl, and Morgan, I visioned a two-tone relief print integrating image and text. I carved two linoloeum blocks, tested colors, and made artist proofs for the print I'd love to share with you and yours as we amplify our liberation love frequency in the midst of the state's witch hunt and ever growing climate of terror -- I heard that there are Assata wanted signs all along the New Jersey Turnpike now.

How to Harvest?

To print this poem-print intervention so we can share in our homes and community centers, I need your support and partnership:

  • $8* covers the cost of packaging, shipping, and distribution for each print;
  • $20* covers an hour of access to printmaking studio, tools, materials, and guidance, as well as gas money to get there (to carve two print blocks, test colors, and make artist proofs);
  • $120* honors my love and labor to channel the poem and vision for the print, or to test colors and make the artist proofs;
  • $190* covers the cost to print an edition of 25 prints (with interest and support, we can print a larger edition -- see below);
  • $220* honors my love and labor to carve and refine one of the two linoleum blocks;
  • $295* covers the cost to print an edition of 50 prints (with interest and support, we can print a larger edition -- see below);
  • $555* covers the cost to print an edition of 100 prints.

At minimum, this goal of $500 would cover the cost of distribution, studio access and materials to carve and proof the blocks, and the printing of a 25-print edition. If we raise more, it will honor my own time (see above), as well as cover the cost to print a larger edition (see above).

*Cost includes estimated Indiegogo and third party fees.

Added Perks

In addition to amplifying our liberation love frequency, you can opt in to receiving these perks:

Registration in "Our Poembody Selves"

The course is a journey through the “5 A’s” (appreciation, allowing, affection, attention, acceptance) of loving and living the creative being you are:

  • Befriend the core integrity of your creative aliveness
  • Feed your courage heart to create to the edges of what you’re here to create
  • Celebrate influence and lineage with your council of elders
  • Map your ecology of accountability and support
  • Cultivate a dedicated practice, and honor performance as part of your practice

The series will close with an informal “poemsong swap” and potluck gathering, where you can invite your friends and family to experience a call and response taste of your journey in class. Join us!

Dori Midnight's new elixir for deep healing and radiant protection

For edge walkers, shape shifters, magicians, priestesses, change makers, those who dwell between worlds and genders, and lovers of the great mother. Made with all green and black plants and stones, such as Ladies' Mantle, Ladies' Thumb, Mugwort, Emerald, Green and Black Tourmaline, and more, this powerful elixir can help transform ancient wounds and grief from centuries of oppression, release patterns of shame and self hatred for being different, and create a profound sense of safety so that you can walk the magnificent path you are here to walk.

New chapbook of poems written in Georgia

Poetic Wisdom Reading

One of my letterpress poetry greeting cards

Occupy Capitalism letterpress broadside

About my Practice

POET, ARTIST, AND CULTURAL ORGANIZER Vanessa Huang weaves poemsongs with moments of creative aliveness and transformative encounter, color, and texture in call and response with kindred spirits who dream and make worlds where each and all of us are free. A finalist for Poets & Writers’ 2010 California Writers Exchange Award, Vanessa’s poetry and practice inherit teachings from the prison abolition, migrant justice, gender liberation, transformative justice, disability justice, and reproductive justice movements.

Vanessa’s work and writings have conversed through performance and ritual, moving pictures and digital media, letterwriting, handcrafted letterpress prints, and a range of activist media and national print and online publications, including Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011), Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011), and Feminist Studies. Vanessa’s poetry and cultural organizing have stood-sat with courage hearts including California’s prison hunger strikers, Miss Major, Marilyn Buck, Melissa Roxas, Troy Davis, Cece McDonald, and a range of life-affirming collaborations including the Free Shifa campaign in Atlanta, organizing against transphobic violence and discrimination in NYC, Oakland’s first general strike since 1946, and campaigns in Providence to restore food stamps and voting rights for loved ones returning home from prison.

Additional Ways to Amplify our Liberation Love Frequency

  • Share this poem (or your own!) and information about what's happening with a neighbor or friend, and host a potluck or event about Assata on your porch or with your membership! (For instance, if you're in Atlanta, RBG is hosting a June 2 day for Assata, teach-in, bike ride, and all!)
  • If you haven't already, sign and share this petition on change.org, and check out and follow Alixa Garcia's amazing Arise for Assata Project!
  • Join this team, and share the love with your constellation that loves and believes in the safety and wellbeing of Assata and all poets, witches, freedom dreamers, and liberaton workers in this moment! Message me.
  • Join us for monthly Poetry is not a Luxury Dharmacasts, first Wednesdays of the month! Let's continue growing our courage hearts.
Find This Campaign On
$530USD
raised by 18 people in 1 month
106% funded
0 time left
$500 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 30, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Liberation Love

    The gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency, and public acknowledgment!

    0 claimed

  • $16USD
    Georgia Love

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency and public acknowledgment, you will receive a copy of my new chapbook, "free kudzu rhizome roam," which chronicles new poems from fall 2012 to spring 2013 since landing in Georgia! Hand-tied with one-of-a-kind vintage silk remnants.

    4 out of 30 claimed

  • $20USD
    Poemsong Love

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency and public acknowledgment, you will receive one of my letterpress poetry greeting cards with envelope to write a loved one! (Limited inventory remaining!)

    3 out of 25 claimed

  • $30USD
    Assata Love

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency and public acknowledgment, you will receive a signed and editioned print of this new poem for Assata!

    2 claimed

  • SOLD OUT

    $60USD
    Honor the Process

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency and public acknowledgment, you will receive both a signed and editioned print of this new poem for Assata, and one of a few artist proofs I made while carving and refining the linoleum blocks!

    4 out of 4 claimed

  • $80USD
    Witchy Love

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency, public acknowledgment, and a signed and editioned print of this new poem for Assata, you will receive "Witches, Bitches, and Hos," Dori Midnight's new elixir for deep healing and radiant protection for edge walkers, shape shifters, magicians, priestesses, change makers, those who dwell between worlds and genders, and lovers of the great mother.

    0 out of 3 claimed

  • $120USD
    Anti-Capitalist Love

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency, public acknowledgment, and a signed and editioned print of this new poem for Assata, you will receive a limited edition print of my poem "#OCCUPY CAPITALISM," printed on three 8x13" panels of 100% recycled chipboard.

    0 out of 25 claimed

  • $160USD
    Poetic Wisdom

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency, public acknowledgment, and a signed and editioned print of this new poem for Assata, you will receive a poetic wisdom reading.

    0 claimed

  • $360USD
    Everyday Liberation

    In addition to the gift of amplifying our liberation love frequency, public acknowledgment, and a signed and editioned print of this new poem for Assata, you will receive registration in my upcoming 6-week Atlanta workshop, "Our Poembody Selves" or a tailored individual coaching series which includes intake and 3 sessions.

    0 out of 6 claimed

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