Koa Beck

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September 28th, 2018 (5:30PM) Koa Beck will be speaking at Mills College 🙂

Mills alumnae Koa Beck is the editor-in-chief of Jezebel. Beck’s literary criticism and reporting on gender, LGBTQ rights, culture, and race have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Observer, The Guardian, Esquire, Vogue, and Marie Claire. Her short stories have been published in Slice, Kalyani Magazine, and Apogee Journal. Beck is the former executive editor of Vogue.com and the former senior features editor at Marie Claire.com. Her writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and she serves on the board of directors of Nat.But, an art and literary magazine.

 

 

 

First task as a Graduate grrrl

Your girl made her first flyer as an MFA grad grrrl. Be sure to follow @mills_mfa_lit (Instagram and Facebook page) to follow some of the cool stuff our program will be doing/hosting poetry/prose/literature wise. XOXO- Amber #bayarea#MFA#grad#grrrl

For our first Contemporary Writers Series for the fall, Tommy Pico will sharing some of his amazing writing with us September 11th , 2018 in the Mills Hall living room at 5:30. Refreshments and yummy snacks will be provided as well. Stop by to hear some fresh, witty poetry from the lens of this talented Native poet. #Millscollege#MFA#creativewritingprogram#poetry#prose#MA#literature#contemporarywritersseries#millshall#livingroom

Tommy Pico’s critically acclaimed books of poetry include IRL and Nature Poem. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. Pico’s many honors include a Whiting Award and fellowships with Lambda Literary, Queer/Arts/Mentors, and New York Foundation for the Arts.

♥Adolescents- Amoeba♥

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Californian Change

Life has been a whirlwind of hopes, fingers crossed and a transporting of many boxes up and down three flights of stairs. I recently left my job in Phoenix, Arizona to pursue my Master of fine Arts in creative writing with an emphasis in Poetry at Mills College in Oakland, California. It may be one state away but the change is vast and feel as though I am walking to the unknown.

Last week, my boyfriend and I packed my tiny Subaru Impreza with as much as I could fit and made our journey north to the Bay area. The first day we drove through the Sonoran desert and said bye to the precious saguaro I’ve been surrounded by for the past ten years in the valley. We made our way though the Californian Sonoran desert then stopped for dinner in the pacific coastal town of Ventura, California.

We had made it just in time for the sunset, for a moment it seemed as though the ocean tide was bringing liquid Amber to the shore. I’ve always wanted to be surrounded by water and the sound of it, it felt like good energy. Another reason I’m glad we stopped here is because I heard one of the Islands off the Santa Barbara channel is where Changing woman once lived. This past spring I took a Dinè (Navajo) Cultural class though the Phoenix Indian Center. When I heard this, for some reason it made sense to me and I wanted to be in the presence or near where this island may have been. I looked out to the ocean and breathed. Then we made our way further North.

Also, I had some of the best mole that night in a deserted downtown Ventura. We were also the only folks in the restaurant that night. It was a bit odd but nice to have the restaurant to ourselves for one our last dinners together.

When we made it to Oakland, that is when it finally hit me, I will be staying here, I will be studying here. I will be writing here?!?! Then every part of me felt like I wanted to cling to every safe part of what I had built in Phoenix. Then I started asking myself, would I grow in all the safeness? Would I grow as a writer in my codling? Would I grow in my ego? Then I knew why I came to Oakland, to challenge myself, to push myself as a writer and to read until words started seeping out of my ears. Then I remembered and got off of the MacArthur Boulevard exit and checked in as a new graduate student.

♥PJ Harvey- Send his love to me♥

My cactus

The sands of our skin melt into each other

Like roasted velvet mesquite created by the hands and stones

of his people, desert folk,

                                          my Ha:sañ

                                                             Shi hosh

♥Bent- K.I.S.S.E.S♥

AZ central poetry spot and Cloudthroat

I have a couple poems that have been published in the past couple weeks. One is ‘Raspberries do not blush in the sky,’ a poem written for Anna Mae Aquash and missing murdered Indigenous women. This poem is located on the AZcentral.com Poetry Spot page. 

Another two poems, ‘Rose Quartz,” and “Natives with Neural Activity,’ is located in the new issue of Cloudthroat online journal which an online publication aimed to publish Indigenous creativity and revolt. 

Both projects are founded and led by some talented poets pushing for narratives that may have been unheard or oppressed, I am grateful to be included in their poetry projects and publications ♥

Ahéhee’!

Amber M.

Redskirt

Red Rock Lavender Festival

A toasty tenderness permeates from velvety purple petals

Creating Kaleidoscopes of lavender oil along my wrists down to my hips

As I walk through its pastoral

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Gasping glochid

Slice me open like a saguaro fruit

Let me bleed, raw red with delight and comfort

Take your carob thumbs and rub the skin soaked

My needles fall out easily for you

Unlike the others, I’ve made sure to stab in all the right places

So they can let me be, to bask in the sun

I was not ripe until

You knew the clouds would be here soon

I was not ripe until

You knew the rain would wash away my spirit

I was not ripe until

You saw the brightness in my stamen

 

Thank you for letting me bask as long as I wanted

Then you can enjoy the crimson of my fruit

♥Delegation- Oh honey♥

Window Rock, AZ

I wrote this when I was at last year’s #asdzaawarriorfest in Window Rock, AZ. Featured in Yellow medicine review’s issue last fall.

♥Toro y moi- My touch♥

Sneak peek of Angsty Asdzáá

Little sneak peek of my new zine, Angsty Asdzáá. I wanted this Zine to be more raw and personal. I hand typed all of my poems and prose in this zine as well, it still has typo’s in it. Flaws and all💖💖💖-AM

Angsty Asdzáá Zine.

Among it all…I finished. A collection of poetry, collages, pictures of my family and prose, all from the lens of an angsty Indigenous womxn. Will be available soon at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore and Wasted Ink Zine DistroAAcoverFINALJPEG

♥ A Tribe Called Red- Sisters♥

The mesa behind Grandma Cowboy’s house

 

Redthedog

Grandma Cowboy’s trusty dog, Red.

It leaves and returns

The day is hot and windy on top of this Mesa

Juniper trees pop up, sparse like hastiin faces

whiskers on chin and cheek

30 miles north I can see Navajo Mountain, to my right

Past the rusty pink canyons and untarred roads

Equal distance to my left is Black Mesa

A Mesa seen as skin to Diné

But paper greener than Matcha on a cold day

to all the Mr. Peabody’s in the Midwest

I hear cowbells in the distance

with old sheep moving it’s puffy chins

to make its presence known

Then grandma gets out of her truck

Alan Jackson stops playing on the radio

Her freshly permed Kinłachiini hair, Canadian tuxedo

and Shape up sketchers are made for this rez

She waltzes to a boarded shed

Dives her chocolate colored fingers

into lemon colored straw for their feast

I sit on top of the mesa

from here I can tell Shimásání

is pleased because the sheep

did not get lost in the canyons and have returned

The sheep take a moment to see the hay

and almost rumba like make their way

They were made for this rez

 

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Grandma’s sheep at the bottom of the canyon

♥The Chromatics- Runnin up that hill♥

An ode to zine making

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An ode to zine making

Makeshift manifestos and meticulous missions

Hope for a promising praxis

No money? No problem

DIY-do it yourself

 

My zine, my thing

 

Unedited language squeeze out soliloquies

Uncensored, raw dialect

Crunch and slice

Of paper ripping,

letters sinking onto an

Island of paste

 

Dialect of trauma hide

under my fingernails

Ready to be cleansed

By the soap I hold

And this water given to me

 

Wispy cuts of processed tree

transfer one sheet to another

fingers hold a stick of glue

Compositions collide

images drip disorder

colloquial concepts confuse sleeping minds

 

Indigenous liberation all in caps

Feminism red as strawberries

Spill on the page like burnt ketchup

Create ocean waves in espresso pupils

Sing like ponderosa’s

On a windy decadent night

 

I create

Tape, scissors, hand

Highlighters hiccup pyranine

Stickers vibrate youth

Salt sprinkled on watercolor paper

Bleed aubergine badlands

 

My finger gently

smooths a page of rage

made with love

not childless

nor unborn

 

My narrative, my nutrient

the paper is my water

I set afloat my words

Among my kind

A homemade delight,

how divine

♥The Julie Ruin-Just my kind♥

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