About this Issue

This double issue emerges out of the 2013 Worlds of Shange conference held at Barnard College and celebrates the important work and life of Barnard alumna Ntozake Shange (BC ’70). “The Worlds of Ntozake Shange” highlights Shange’s centrality to black feminism and the continuing impact of her work both within and outside the academy. In […]

Moving Across Disciplines and Genres: Teaching Shange

In “Moving Across Disciplines and Genres: Teaching Shange,” scholars, writers, and teachers explore what it means to teach Shange’s works as “embodied” texts. Using music, dance, voice and gesture, Shange “attacks, deforms and maims” the English language to create new spaces and forms more suited to afrodiasporic and black female experience. The video gives tips […]

A Hole in the Sky

Download “A Hole in the Sky” (PDF) here. Reprinted with permission from World Literature Today. During his distinguished career, Nigerian born writer Niyi Osundare has worked in a variety of genres from scholarly essays to plays and poetry. His works include Songs of the Market Place (1984), Waiting Laughters (1990) Songs of the Season (1990), […]

Performing Shange

In this video, “Performing Shange,” Barnard students pay tribute to Ms. Shange with ensemble performances of dance, music, and theater. Led by music producer and BCRW Alumnae Fellow Ebonie Smith ’07, the students perform excerpts from Ntozake Shange’s oeuvre. Their collective discussions of Shange’s work resulted in adaptations and original pieces that are both directly […]

“walkin on the edges of the galaxy”: Queer Choreopoetic Thought in the African Diaspora

In her 1978 essay, “takin a solo/ a poetic possibility/ a poetic imperative,” Ntozake Shange interrogates literatures and criticism that submit to demands of racial representation over the possibilities of creative expression. Critiquing US literary culture’s tendency to reward writers whose voices reinforce prefabricated models of blackness, Shange observes that that, “if you are… female […]