And now...the world begins to have its say....

Publisher's Weekly, February 20, 2017

"In her third collection, Bashir (Gospel) displays an intriguingly multivalent approach to the objectivities and subjectivities of black experience reflected in her multimedia collaborations. A series of recurring “coronagraphs” become a tunnel through which the figures of John Henry and his wife Polly Ann speak, forming a sonnet crown that brings new life to an American myth. They are interspersed with four sections structured on the laws of thermodynamics and bearing voices of denizens trapped in a capitalist matrix, “An anthropocene/ of wannabe hepcats” who “pay// defense department rates/ for a sandwich; unremember// memorable jingles.” Bashir’s experimental visual gestures, such as a bullet-hole riddled prose poem on the law of probability, resonate as bluesy meditations on cosmic entropy’s presence in the irreversible occurrences of American lives. While fans of Kevin Young will appreciate the pop of unexpected end rhymes and a present-tense narrative impulse, those of the more associative Ashberian school will enjoy such playful titles as “Universe as an infant: fatter than expected and kind of lumpy,” which features a private visit with Groucho Marx. Whether depicting the faces of marginalized citizens at late-night truck stops or cross-sectioning “bloodstreaks through musculoskeletal structure,” Bashir positions the slings and arrows of black American life as both empirically observable and available for radical, and movingly layered, interpretations. (Mar.)"


A li'l gallery from #AWP17

I'm grateful for the beautiful response to the unofficial" launch of FIELD THEORIES at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Washington D.C. Both of the panels on which I spoke, "Beyond Spoken Word: Black Women Poets In and Through Performance," and "House of Redbone: 20th Anniversary of Redbone Press" were full of engaged and excited people. Thank you for your attention. Thank you for your presence. Thank you for your performance participation! (Special hat tip to my "cinematographer"!)

Below is a small gallery of images I collected, a few of mine (I was too busy running my mouth likely and didn't take too many) and others folks have sent or posted, including ones in which I probably should have combed my hair post-performance. ;-)

200+ Poets "Renga for Obama"

Follow the full project here!

Day 28 #RengaforObama feat. Samiya Bashir & Jen Bervin, ed. by Major Jackson for The Harvard Review

🙌🏾 🙌🏾 🙌🏾

Always happy to pair up with Jen Bervin for ll of the things, the music of her haiku met my mind (interestingly, we both wrote these 30,000 feet in the air) to waki this, which has whispered through my mind ever since, as a command:

"we make the stars ours again
one by one by one by ten"

🙌🏾 🙌🏾 🙌🏾

Samiya Bashir + Jen Bervin pair up to poem

beach marriage queer grace
cancer free o-surgery
dear life! we praise you

we make the stars ours again
one by     one by    one by    ten

"Renga for Obama" is modeled on a traditional Japanese poetic form. Poets, working in pairs, will compose a tan-renga (short renga) of two stanzas: first, a traditional haiku of three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, followed by a couplet, called a waki, of two lines of seven syllables each (7-7), which is intended as a response to the haiku. A new tan-renga (or pair of stanzas) will be added every day for the first 100 days—or maybe more!—each pair of poets adding to the renga chain. While President Barack Obama occasions our meditation, we hope that the renga will range freely over any number of topics. We only want to emphasize that this poem is intended in a spirit of celebration.
"Renga for Obama" is a collaborative work curated and edited by Major Jackson and published by Harvard Review.

"I like a straightforward course, and am always reluctant to resort to subterfuges. So far as my ways have been crooked, I charge them all upon slavery."

-Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

"Thing is / we're still here."

Here, touched by the love of 20 years of friendship and 1 night of new love, is FIELD THEORIES - five -. Thank you for holding it close for me. For us. With love. 

Please share it widely, from our hearts to the worlds. <3

|| movement by keyon gaskin + filmed with Roland Dahwen Wu & Patua Films || 

"Thing is / we're still here."

I can't thank everyone who came out on a cold, rainy, San Francisco night for the debut of FIELD THEORIES - five - I can't imagine a better way to have spent the eve of .... today ... but kicking up so much love. 

Listen up...


Listen up! This is a great day to revisit #WritersResist. If you weren't able to make it, listen to me and Cheryl StrayedSteve AlmondWendy Chin-TannerZahir JanmohamedRene DenfeldCari LunaCooper Lee Bombardier, and Sam Roxas-Chua in Part One of Two here and now on the Dear Sugar Radio Podcast. Stay tuned for Part Two next week featuring Lidia YuknavitchColin Meloy, and Wonderly. It was an honor to witness and express resistance at a crucial moment in our country's history.

history is a hole -- video installation on view now through the end of the month!

Video Installation by Samiya Bashir

January 18th - January 31st

hq Objective's Fortune Gallery

located at 2235 W Burnside St.

Both exhibit and hard copies of readings can be accessed outside the gallery at all hours.
Gallery hours Saturday and Sunday 12-6pm or by appointment.his

feat. contributions from Kalimah Abioto, Samiya Bashir, Roland Dahwen Wu, keyon gaskin, Allie Hankins, Maggie Heath, sidony o'neal, Sharita Towne, Stacey Tran, Takahiro Yamamoto, Lu Yim

Both exhibit and hard copies of readings can be accessed outside the gallery at all hours.
Gallery hours Saturday and Sunday 12-6pm or by appointment.

Commissioned by Physical Education for hqFORTUNE.


FIELD THEORIES - five - debuts at the crossroads

:: Tonight :: San Francisco :: 

If we find ourselves at the crossroads to a changing landscape, then let us create the change of it together. 

FIELD THEORIES - five - debuts in conversation and call up and ritual with poets and artists, change agents and lovers and mothers and dreamers and makers and people and love. Are you here? Wanna be down? Reach out for the 411.

Can't be there in person but want to put some love on the magic pile? Keep watch on this space to see film 5 of 6 after its debut.

We near an end. We close one door. We walk out into a new light. We walk. We make and recognize and honor and are the light.

Don't play yourself. Or, whatever, do.

I've met John Lewis a few times, including when he and Coretta Scott King were some of the few big civil rights figures comfortable going public with their support of various fights against homophobic legislation and cultural poison. I never took a pic with him because that's not my way, but every encounter is burned in my memory (also, lol, not my way). I was so proud to meet him. So proud that he received me in his office on Capitol Hill time and again with such absolute warmth and grace. So proud that his kind and generous staffers kept in touch for years and were always on top of everything -- no question, no drama. So proud to be able to contribute to the work and legacy of this dude who helped make my loud-mouthed life more possible in many ways. So proud and grateful for the eagerness with which he contributed to whatever torch I was trying to carry forward.

He always treated me with warmth, with unquestionable solidarity, and like family from moment one. I'm not here to defend him -- he needs no defense. I'm not here to assure anyone I stand with him because if that's not clear you really don't know me. I'm just here as a reminder that we are human. These people, heroes or villains all, are human beings who make choices about who they're gonna be every single day. I'm just here to say that I've seen this man -- not a myth, but a black man like my father and my grandfather who just would NOT take no shorts for no damned good reason, would not and will by stand by for anyone's riotous dehumanization, for anyone's boundless assault whether rhetorical or physical.

Human. And when you hurt one of us who has stood up time and again and again for all of us, well... you think you've hurt all of us, and you have. A little. But mostly, once again, you've played yourself. Yup. You'll see.

"We are everybody we love. We are / inside them."


|| filmed with Roland Dahwen Wu & Patua Films ||

Together we have reached the close of a long, often beautiful, often difficult year. Somehow Field Theories, Patua Films, and I have also crossed the halfway point with our films with this week's New Orleans debut of FIELD THEORIES #4 of 6. On Thursday night, December 29th, we lit up the Bywater with sound, with light, with the faces of love from the field.

The season continues. My collaborator, Roland, and I chose this month to tune in to love, to community, to support, to connection. To a reminder that, despite all we may fear, we are in these fields together.

This month's video is an absolute love note to us all. I love us. I need us. We need us. I can't wait to hug you all.

"This is our music," -Fred Moten

❤️  Happy New Year. ❤️

**Stay tuned for a new film documenting the debut -- coming soon. And watch out for the San Francisco debut of FIELD THEORIES - five - happening during MLK week!**

Pushcart Prize Nominee!

Many thanks to poetry editor Eunsong Kim, and the entire editorial board of Drunken Boat, for nominating five of my poems from their recent issue #24 for Pushcart Prize!

Nominate poems published in the issue are: "Field theories," "Notions of temperature," "Sometimes in a body," "Sore broken in the place of dragons," and "You don't have to pump the breaks you just gotta keep your eyes on the road," all of which are included in my soon-to-be-published collection, Field Theories

The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is "the most honored literary project in America." Previous Pushcart Prize nominees from Field Theories include "Coronagraphy," the 15-poem sonnet sequence nominated by Poet Lore in 2013.

Saying So Long to 2016 with Sisters, Theories, and Song in New Orleans

This summer, I sat down with beloved friend and art padna Roland Dahwen Wu, of Patua Films, and talked about a dream I wanted to work through. In it were Field Theories in full shapeshift. These poems, this poem, moving through form, leaving it's ink-on-tree self as matter on earth, and taking its place as light through space.

-- and as happens almost effortlessly when Roland and I discuss our dreams, we looked at each other and said YES. And here we are, somehow, halfway through. The fourth short film of six; December's theory, last of the year, is in the can and ready for it's New Orleans debut.

FIELD THEORIES -four- is now. is necessary. Is love embodied. So much beautiful. So much us. So much reminder. So much yes. I am in gratitude to the world, to all of my beloveds who have helped me make these dreams happen, again and again, and to those who have made them with me like Roland and Keyon.

Sometime on or before December 31, 2016, end of the month, end of the year, it's coming. In New Orleans? Come on through. Elsewhere in there world? Stay tuned to how to be there, anywhere. 

Sometimes we need reminders of who we are. Sometimes we make things that remind us. "What is a thing of beauty, if not us?" #gratitude

FIELD THEORIES - four - Ready for its in New Orleans Pop Up Drop!

FIELD THEORIES - four - Ready for its in New Orleans Pop Up Drop!

During the six months leading up to the release of FIELD THEORIES, the poem(s) of it are being reimagined through a new medium: sound+image+light.

Follow along every month as each mini-short is released in a different city across the country: Portland; Los Angeles; Baltimore; New Orleans; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C. Is that where you'll be? Come through and see!

Then don't miss the full stitching of all six mixes into one intergalactic FIELD THEORY just in time for the New York City release of FIELD THEORIES in its ink-on-tree book form.

Catch up here on any films you've missed:

Stay tuned for a heads-up on when/where/how to be down!


:: This Week's Word on the Street ::  

"Field Theories masterminds the “neverhush,” and each poem makes a spectacular event of artful speech that dances on the ridgeline of this brilliant poets’ history, heart, and intellect. And while she cuts to the quick, all swift-witted and informed, what I admire most is Bashir’s dexterous language, how she aligns our bodies to a vernacular sense of ourselves, knowing that the world is more than empty signs and algorithms, and that we need to ever engineer the widest possible love the world has ever seen."

Author of Holding Company, Hoops, and Leaving Saturn