Books and Publishing
In a starred review of her most recent book, Publisher’s Weekly calls Alexis’s writing “groundbreaking.” Bitch Magazine calls her “a literary treasure” and luminaries from the North Carolina State Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green to Alice Walker have praised the bravery and incisiveness of her work. What her communities know is that Alexis’s work functions as oracle, balm and sacred space for those who are traditionally excluded from narrative and institutions of knowledge. With Alexis’s writing books function as portals for expansive practices. Her texts on Black Feminism, mothering, futurism and imagination are currently in use in Black feminist classrooms, environmental strategy sessions, Afro-futurist afterschool programs, contemporary art museums, community healing spaces and more. Alexis's work is the inspiration for operas, contemporary dance works, gallery installations, and performances across the world. Learn more about Alexis’s books below.
“Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a literary treasure.”
— BITCH MAGAZINE
The second book in an experimental triptych, M Archive is a series of poetic artifacts that speculatively documents the persistence of Black life following the worldwide cataclysm we are living through now. Engaging with the work of the foundational Black feminist theorist M. Jacqui Alexander, and following the trajectory of Gumbs's acclaimed visionary fiction short story "Evidence," M Archive is told from the perspective of a future researcher who uncovers evidence of the conditions of late capitalism, antiblackness, and environmental crisis while examining possibilities of being that exceed the human. By exploring how Black feminist theory is already after the end of the world, Gumbs reinscribes the possibilities and potentials of scholarship while demonstrating the impossibility of demarcating the lines between art, science, spirit, scholarship, and politics.
Video: Recap of M Archive performance created by Artists in Twin Cities, MN
“Like Audre Lorde, Gumbs writes for the complexity of her vision.”
—JAKI SHELTON GREEN
NC State Poet Laureate
Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity is a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. In this poetic work inspired by Hortense Spillers, Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers. Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily, and otherworldly experience of Black women but also allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory.
Video: Alexis and Dr. Spillers have a conversation with a live audience.
“Revolutionary Mothering is juicy, gutsy, vulnerable, and very brave.”
— ALICE WALKER
Pulitzer Prize winning Author
Inspired by the legacy of radical and queer black feminists of the 1970s and ’80s, Revolutionary Mothering places marginalized mothers of color at the center of a world of necessary transformation. The challenges we face as movements working for racial, economic, reproductive, gender, and food justice, as well as anti-violence, anti-imperialist, and queer liberation are the same challenges that many mothers face every day. Oppressed mothers create a generous space for life in the face of life-threatening limits, activate a powerful vision of the future while navigating tangible concerns in the present, move beyond individual narratives of choice toward collective solutions, live for more than ourselves, and remain accountable to a future that we cannot always see. Revolutionary Mothering is a movement-shifting anthology committed to birthing new worlds, full of faith and hope for what we can raise up together.
Video: An episode of the Laura Flanders Show with Revolutionary Mothering editors & contributors
The following are a sampling of books, journals, magazines, newspapers and other media that have contributions by Alexis Pauline Gumbs.
Alexis’s contribution to Octavia’s Brood is titled “Evidence”. The story looks back from a future eutopia to the past seen as dystopia in a period called “Before Silence Broke,” with the period “Breaking the Silence” seen as the beginning of the changes that brought about the eutopia. The eutopia is an open society where everyone is encouraged to develop in their own unique way.
in Octavia’s Brood
edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha
“Evidence" is a moving experiment in form, hopeful and a little heartbreaking. It contains too many beautiful lines to quote...”
“Sweetness of Salt:
Toni Cade Bambara and the Practice of Pleasure (in Five Tributes)”
Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good includes a contribution from Alexis titled “The Sweetness of Salt: Toni Cade Bambara and the Practice of Pleasure (in Five Tributes)” which is an “offering and gratitude of Toni Cade Bambara, not through her texts but through my personal witness of the impact her self-identified students, loved ones, mentees, and collaborators.” The tributes include Cheryll Greene, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Cara Page, Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Kai Barrow.
in Pleasure Activism
written and gathered by Adrienne Maree Brown