This week on Melanated Mom Talk, I feel inspired to think differently about the written word. They said if you have a plan or an intention to do something - write it down, old school, with a pencil and paper, and that is where the magic is solidified and unleashed. That is the magic that creative writers and poets tap into daily.
Being home all these weeks I have noticed that the books on my shelves that had been collecting dust are becoming more and more of an entertainment option. Sidebar- have you been noticing the reemergence of indy magazines? Lesser known fact about me, I am a complete magazine nerd. So from CRWN magazine which has been picking up a ton of steam recently to new sparks like Ayesha Curry’s Sweet July … I live. And yes, of course, reading a book (READ: an adult book) as a mother of young children is a complete luxury; a fantasy in fact. I hardly have time to read emails. But the availability to find the time to read has come back.
My kids and I pretend the books in my bedroom are a different library from the books in the living room and we go back and forth borrowing and sharing. My Instagram feed is peppered with photos of stacks of books on friends and strangers desks so I’m crushing multiple audio books on my walk to the stop sign and back. And my mother, the notorious CBD, is schooling me, my sister and our cousin in a private revisiting of Frantz Fanon.
I love holding the pages. I love cracking the binding. I sharpen my pencil to a ridiculously sharp point so I can underline sentences and not muddy up the next line. I write notes. I highlight. Highlight in multiple colors. I fold the top corner of pages I know I’ll want to come back to. And in this pandemic, books have been my way to travel beyond our boundaries; my boarding pass. Each chapter I actually finish is like getting a stamp in my passport. And so to honor the women who walk in that space daily we welcome creative writer, author and professor Marcia Douglas to the conversation.
Born in the U.K. and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Marcia is a creative writer of fiction and poetry. Receiving her PhD from SUNY Binghamton, Professor Douglas spends her days teaching at the University of Colorado in Boulder, mentoring and of course writing.
She is the author of three novels: Madam Fate, Notes from a Writer's Book of Cures and Spells, and the most recently published, The Marvellous Equations of the Dread: a Novel in Bass Riddim. A recipient of the 2020 Creative Capital Award and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Marcia has also written one collection of poetry: Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom and in addition to writing, she has performed a one-woman show, titled Natural Herstory.
Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies internationally; including Edexcel Anthology for English Language/London Examinations IGCSE, The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, Kingston Noir, the U.K. Poetry Book Society Recommendation, the 2016 Republic of Consciousness Prize and the 2017 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature- just to list a few.
And above all, her biggest joy next to the solitude of reading and writing is her family: her husband and her daughter, Avani, who keep Marcia’s life full of music and laughter.
This podcast episode also features music from the Jamaican singer Jah9 (buy her music today!) and excerpts from the novel The Marvellous Equations of the Dread read aloud by Jamaican artist and creative Donalee Curtis. Find out more about her life and works at: donaleecurtis.com