Friday, February 25, 2011

RIP Akilah Oliver

Akilah Oliver has left us. During her time in Los Angles she was a supporter of Beyond Baroque and a frequent reader here. We will miss her.

Akilah was born in 1961 in St. Louis and grew up in Los Angeles. In the 1990’s she founded and performed with the feminist performance collective Sacred Naked Nature Girls. For several years, Akilah lived in Boulder, Colorado, where she raised her son Oluchi McDonald (1982-2003) and was a teacher, activist and beloved member of the community at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac  School of Disembodied Poetics. When she resided in Los Angeles Akilah was associated with the Beyond Baroque Literart Arts Center where she gave readings and taught workshops. Recently, in New York City, Akilah taught poetry and writing at The New School, Pratt Insitute and The Poetry Project, where she also served as Monday Night Readings Coordinator in 07-08.  Her books include A Toast in the House of Friends (Coffee House 2009) the she said dialogues: flesh memory, a book of experimental prose poetry honored by the PEN American Center’s “Open Book” program, and the chapbooks An Arriving Guard of Angels, Thusly Coming to Greet (Farfalla, McMillan & Parrish, 2004), The Putterer’s Notebook (Belladonna 2006), “a(A)ugust” (Yo-Yo Labs, 2007) and A Collection of Objects (Tente 2010).

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