Junauda Petrus, creative activist, writer, playwright, and multi-dimensional performance artist has written three visceral and exquisite poems for Nicollet Lanterns. Minneapolis-born, West-Indian descended, and African-sourced, she describes her work as centering around Black wildness, Afro-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, spectacle and shimmer.
Petrus has received a Givens Foundation fellowship, Jerome Travel and Study grant, Many Voices Mentorship with the Playwright’s Center, and Naked Stages Residency at the Pillsbury House. With filmmaker Mychal Fisher, she presently writes and directs an experimental and poetic web series funded by a 2016 Jerome Foundation Film grant about Black teens coming of age in Minneapolis. She is the co-founder with Erin Sharkey of Free Black Dirt, an experimental arts production company.
Read the interview with this multi-faceted artist here.
Sagirah Shahid reading at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.
Welcome to the second of four posts introducing the writers who’ve created poems for Nicollet Lanterns: Moheb Soliman, Sagirah Shahid, Junauda Petrus and R. Vincent Moniz, Jr. (Nu’Eta).
Sagirah Shahid is a writer, poet, and teacher. An African American Muslim Feminist, she uses spoken word and literary work to build community and to advocate for positive social change.
In her proposal to create poems for Nicollet Lanterns, Shahid wrote:
I often explore themes surrounding identity because it is my hope that in sharing the nuances of my own personal identity I can empower anyone else out there in the world who feels invisible or misrepresented to share their own stories. … my goal would be to create poems… that reflect upon Minneapolis’ diversity and that capture the essence of the invisible voices of Minneapolis.
Read about this emerging poet’s unique voice in excerpts from an engaging interview.