Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s Groundbreaking Poetic Trilogy
Engaging with Black Feminist Scholars Continues in M Archive
by Zaina Alsous
Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs: An Inside Look
Where can we even begin?! Alexis lives, breathes and exudes love in all that she is and creates. She is an incandescent warrior of love. She reminds us of all the ways that LOVE is a VERB. She is truly a visionary …
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These Heroes Are Saving Black Feminist Classics
by Putting Them On Wheels
When Alexis Pauline Gumbs thought she’d lent all her copies of The Salt Eaters to friends, she called every bookstore in her area to find another copy. But none of them carried the book — Toni Cade Bambara's classic novel about black people searching for healing — and that didn’t sit right with Gumbs.
"We envision the bookmobile as a revolutionary vehicle that transforms space. The bookmobile itself and the book installations we create will have the capacity to transform any space into a reading room connected to generations of Black feminist brilliance," Gumbs told the INDY.
“Spill” Maps a Future In Which Black Women Inherit the Universe.
by Zaina Alsous
Review: M Archive
M Archive: After the End of the World synthesizes black feminist theory as creative urgency. In her opening note, Alexis Pauline Gumbs writes: “this speculative documentary work is written from and with the perspective of a researcher, a post-scientist sorting artifacts after the end of the world.” M Archive exposes how we destroyed ourselves, our earth, air, water, and sky...
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In Audre Lorde’s 1985 essay “Poetry Is Not a Luxury,” she expresses the urgency of poetry, especially for women of color, as a tool for liberation. This mandate is fully alive in Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s necessary and stunning debut poetry collection Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity, in which we follow Black women in modes of escape, rebellion, and redemption, traversing outside the confines of time and space.
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Interview with Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Issue 29.2 features poetry by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, who is a Black feminist love evangelist of Afro-Caribbean ascendance who lives in Durham, North Carolina. Alexis is the founder of the Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind. She is widely published in the fields of Black feminist literature, mothering and diaspora.
We Stay in Love with Our Freedom:
A Conversation with Alexis Pauline Gumbs
TO TURN THE PAGES of Spill is to watch the invisible become flesh from the language of humming, longing, living, and dying. Drawing from the deep aquifers of the work of Hortense Spillers, American literary critic and Black feminist scholar Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s poetry is an overflow and offering of Black voice. It is a voice mostly for Black women that illuminates a world critically and lovingly restored with dimension and structure by the work of Hortense Spillers.
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We Are Always Crossing:
Alexis Pauline Gumbs by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a writer who politicizes the archive—not the rarefied commodity within gated institutions, but the daily practice of documenting, inspiring, and engaging with Black feminist resistance. In M Archive (Duke University Press), the second book in an experimental triptych, Gumbs looks back on our current cataclysm from the perspective of a future world in ruin. In this “speculative documentary work,” Gumbs borrows from many disciplines in order to investigate, evoke, and maybe even provoke “the fall, the break, the breakdown, the break-up, the breakthrough.”
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Poet, Independent Scholar, and Activist
Gumbs grew up in “tokenizing spaces” where she found herself to be the only Black or queer person. As a result of her unique identity and peculiar set of oppressions compared to others, Gumbs has always been on edge, prepared to be “misunderstood” and “disrespected.” She expected people to “tolerate her at best” and “to have to fight for dignity that isn’t so freely granted to people of color and/or members of the LGBTQ community. However, Gumbs’ father always managed to channel his daughter’s expectations into “transformative love,”
The Cascadian Subduction Zone Journal Feature
Spill establishes itself as a meditation on escape, beginning with its cover. The art is provided by Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle and is part of the artist’s Tituba series. Entitled Now There Are Three Ways to Get This Done: Your Way, Their Way, or My Way, the painting features a triple-faced female figure, with one mouth screaming, one mouth whose breath gives shape to the third’s face, and one mouth wide open, vomiting forth a colonial map of the western coast of Africa.