We hope our work speaks for us, but in case it does not make plain where we stand: We want our contributors, community, and supporters to know that we stand with the current varied and dynamic elegiac responses to the systemic killing of Black people. We support efforts to affirm the right of Black people to live free of state-sanctioned violence and terrorism through our policies of donating our royalties to #SayHerName and amplifying writers committed to the words and the work of disrupting and dismantling the systems that made Black Spring inevitable and necessary. –The Editors
Dr. Tiffany Austin Dr. Tiffany U Austin was born on April 26, 1975 in Murfreesboro, Arkansas to the union of Anthony (Tony) Eric Austin and Ruth Ann May, who later moved to Kansas City, MO in 1977. Tiffany joined the ancestors on Saturday, June 23, 2018.
During her career, Tiffany taught at Florida Memorial University, Mississippi Valley State University, and most recently at the University of The Bahamas. She was also a widely published poet, with her chapbook Étude appearing in 2013. Of this volume, her mentor Sterling Plumpp noted, “Austin’s genius is her unusual gift for metaphor and allusion.” Others recognized Tiffany’s genius too, with her poems appearing in such prestigious outlets as Callaloo, Obsidian III, African American Review, Coloring Book: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction by Multicultural Writers, Warpland, pluck!, The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture, Valley Voices, Auburn Avenue, TriQuarterly, Sycorax’s Daughters, and Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters.
Tiffany was a teacher, writer, poet, activist, and feminist. Never one for titles, she was moved instead by both action and passion. She was incomparable, generous, artistic, and authentic—a beautiful soul who will live on in the many artistic and personal seeds she planted and nurtured.
Emily Ruth Rutter is Assistant Professor of English at Ball State University, where she teaches courses in Multi-Ethnic American and African American literature. She is the author of two monographs: Invisible Ball of Dreams: Literary Representations of Baseball behind the Color Line (University Press of Mississippi, 2018) and The Blues Muse: Race, Gender, and Musical Celebrity in American Poetry (University of Alabama Press, 2018). Her research has been published in the journals African American Review, South Atlantic Review, Studies in American Culture, Aethlon, and MELUS. Her book chapter on African American women poets appears in A Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century American Women’s Poetry, and a book chapter on Amiri Baraka and sports is forthcoming in Some Other Blues: New Perspectives on Amiri Baraka (Ohio State UP, 2021).
Sequoia Maner is a poet-scholar and Mellon Teaching Fellow of Feminist Studies at Southwestern University. She earned her B.A. in English from Duke University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She is co-editor of Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era. Her dissertation and first solo-authored book project, Liberation Aesthetics in the #BlackLivesMatter Era, examines how experimental poetics and performance bolster black social movements. You can read her essay on the performance of “quiet interiority” as collective praxis in Beyoncé’s Lemonade in the journal Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism and her poem “upon reading the autopsy of Sandra Bland,” finalist for the 2017 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, in Obsidian: Literature & Arts of the African Diaspora.
darlene anita scott is an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Union University. She is a poet and visual artist whose research explores corporeal performances of trauma and the violence of silence. Her poetry has appeared in journals including J Journal, Quiddity, and The Baltimore Review, among others. Her art has been featured in The Journal,an arts and literature magazine of Ohio State University and at The Girl Museum, a virtual museum celebrating girls and girlhood. Recipient of support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Delaware Division of the Arts, Tennessee Commission for the Arts, and College English Association, Scott’s most recent project is a multi-media exploration, Breathing Lessons,which explores the role of the good girl as it is applied to girls of color.