Side Notes from the Archivist
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Pub Date 14 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 09 May 2023
The award-winning, genre-crossing writer demonstrates her power as a funkadelic and formidable feminist voice in this rich and beautiful collection of verse and image—a multi-part retrospective that traverses time, space, and reality to illuminate the expansiveness of Black femme lives.
Side Notes from the Archivist is a preservation of Black culture viewed through a feminist lens. The Archivist leads readers through poems that epitomize youthful renditions of a Black girl coming of age in Philadelphia’s pre-funk ’80s; episodic adventures of “the Black Girl” whose life is depicted through the white gaze; and selections of verse evincing affection for self and testimony to the magnificence within Black femme culture at-large.
Every poem in Side Notes elevates and honestly illustrates the buoyancy of Blackness and the calamity of Black lives on earth. In her uniquely embracing and experimental style, Anastacia-Reneé documents these truths as celebrations of diverse subjects, from Solid Gold to halal hotdogs; as homages and reflections on iconic images, from Marsha P. Johnson to Aunt Jemima; and as critiques of systemic oppression forcing some to countdown their last heartbeat.
From internet “Fame” to the toxicity of the white gaze, Side Notes from the Archivist cements Anastacia-Reneé role as a leading light in the womanist movement—an artist whose work is in conversation with advocates of Black culture and thought such as Audre Lorde, Amiri Baraka, and Nikki Giovanni.