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“New year, new me, new number, who dis?” – Kid Fury
 
Hey team,

We made it to 2017!  My 2016 wrap up was c r a y. I managed to slip out of town and go to Guatemala, which was 🔥🔥. Every time I leave this country I come back feeling recalibrated. So blessed to have fam all over the globe

🙏🙏 I also got some cosmic guidance from my talented bruja team that has me feeling really clear about the months ahead. Chanelle and I spent December in retreat/planning mode, so the major arcs of my year are pretty much mapped out. (Spoiler: IT’S GOING TO BE LIT.) Now that it’s 2017 I can finally say Testify is coming out this year! 🙌🙌(Collateral is a slice of Testify. If Collateral was a mixtape, Testify would be the album.) Expect more pub news and show dates in the weeks to come. In the meantime, there’s so much scrapping to do. If you don’t see me socially for the next six weeks it’s because I’m in the cave, grinding.  Send prayers/snacks/inspirational hip-hop memes. I’m already feeling amped from seeing my team shine around me—homies moving overseas to live their yumes, receiving fellowships, getting write ups in Pitchfork, etc. And to think, we’re just getting started.

Scroll down for...
  • [Belated] #FBF Guate Recap with a few vacay pics
  • Peep this Poet ft. a poem by Lucille Clifton+ an interview I did for Gramma
  • Get Your Life: 4 Classic Bullish Articles to Level You Up This Year
  • Upcoming Events so you know where to find me this month


Peace,
S.

[Belated] #FBF: Guate Recap

L: woodland staircase at El Tular where my homie works; R: getting black bean soup at El Tenedor is at the top of my Guate to-do list every single time
L: tamarindo margaritas at Fridas w/ my bff;  R: pic of the view when we hiked Volcán de Pacaya
L: trampoline jumping action shot;  R: me about to fuck up some breakfast
L: dinner w/ the homie after his tattoo appt (hence the plastic wrapped arm);  R: volcano hike selfie!
volcano hike panorama

Peep This Poet


Lucille Clifton
 
i am running into a new year 
 
i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that I catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what I said to myself
about myself
when I was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even forty-six but
i am running into a new year
and I beg what I love and
i leave to forgive me

—Lucille Clifton
published in Good Woman: Poems and A Memoir 1969-1980
[c/o Well Read Black Girl]
 

Krysten Hill for Gramma
 
Last night I read at Krysten Hill’s release party for How Her Spirit Got Out. So dope to be able to celebrate the work she’s putting into the world. I interviewed her for Gramma to talk about her process and her writerly beginnings:

Krysten Hill’s chapbook HOW HER SPIRIT GOT OUT explores the labyrinthine landscape of family. Her poems are in conversation with her foremothers, both literary and literal—Audre Lorde and Zora Neale Hurston, aunties and grandmas. Hill summons their wisdom in service of her work. Her language is so rich it feels as though the reader is eavesdropping at someone’s family reunion. The people in her poems feel familiar; at times I thought the family was my own. Hill’s poems invite us to consider what it means to bear witness, to claim your selfhood and survival in a city that knows you’re/unarmed.

Simone John / Gramma : How did you find your way to poetry? Or, how did poetry find it’s way to you?

Krysten Hill : The women in my family are loud storytellers. When they get together in the kitchen truths get told, curses get made, and laughter heats the room. I think that’s why kitchens exist so much in my poetry because my imagination is always reconstructing a space where women were safe to tell the truth. One of my favorite places to be as a child was under the kitchen table. I was so quiet under there and could make myself really still while I was listening—I think they just forgot that I existed and said anything they wanted. Under the kitchen table, in the sea of black women’s knees, I heard the potential of what storytelling could do and how it gave them a place for healing and joy.

[full interview here]

Get Your Life: 4 Bullish Classics to Level You Up in 2017


Whole Soul Health homies might recognize Bullish from the recommended resources list we give out at workshops. I went through the Bullish article archive and pulled four fave Bullish classics to help jumpstart whatever you’re dreaming and scheming about for 2017: 
Runners Up:

Upcoming Events, Etc

 
POC Heal + Feel
[Tomorrow!] January 15, 6-9pm @ 3195 Washington St, Boston, MA 02130
 
How are you going to save your sanity this new year? Consider this in community at the second POC Heal+ Feel Event. This POC Heal + Feel Night will provide a safe space for people of color to make self-care a priority with yoga, massages, a mini-workshop, and just straight up chillin. This event is hosted by friend of WSH Lauren Miller. I'll be facilitating a mini-workshop on self-care strategies to help you protect your neck in 2017. If you've gone to Whole Soul Health events before, the workshop will be a Hive Hustle 101 refresher for you. (White allies are welcome in this space.) Head to the fb event here to get more info. 


POC Practice

Wednesday, January 18, 6:30pm-7:30pm @ 549 Columbus Ave 
 

Come through next Wednesday for POC practice! There will be an hour long vinyasa yoga class suitable for all levels, preceded by an intention setting ceremony and backed by a dope playlist. To those new to the practice, vinyasa flow yoga emphasizes linking breath with movement and deeply tuning in to our bodies. The facebook event is in the works, but mark your calendars in the meantime.

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Copyright © 2017 simone ivory john, All rights reserved.


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