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Geographies of Power Project

$12,225 of $33,000 goal

Raised by 81 people in 6 months
Created July 26, 2018
Hi Family and Friends,

It's my Birthday so I'm going to put myself out here in your arms and try something I've never tried. 

I am embarking on a journey and I need your support in a multitude of ways. For years, Spirit has been telling me to dedicate myself more thoroughly to my calling.  And though, I have written two books of poetry and a few plays, I have always done so in the wee hours after working 2 jobs; in the crevices of space left between obligations.  

I have a new project that is greedy. It doesn't want to share the time.

I suppose a better way of saying this is that my new project demands its space; demands that I answer the call to do the work of writing; to assume the responsibility of my gifts; to tend to this altar. 

Here's where you come in. Spirit and I have cleared the space. I am available. But I need your help in making this dream a reality.  It is my moment. Our moment, really, to do this together. In these particular times when the system's power is attempting to strangle the life-blood of us, it is my job as an Artist to be on the front lines doing the work of making art that offers sustenance and resistance. 

My newest project, "GEOGRAPHIES OF POWER"  will be book of poetry and a CD.  I will collaborate with visual artists, vocalists and musicians to whom Spirit guides me.  I will work with a local, progressive  printer and a recording studio to create the final product. 

GEOGRAPHIES OF POWER will take approximately 8 months to finish. My goal is to have the book and cd ready for you all by Spring Equinox (March 20th).

In order to dedicate my full self to this necessary endeavor I need to a few things:  
1) Your money, if you have some to share for magic like this.    
                                                 and
2) Your help in spreading the word of my project and this gofundme link to other people


I am so excited to share my work with you. Upon meeting my goal and completion of the project, here's what I promise to you: 

For contributions of $40 -- I will send you an autographed copy of the GEOGRAPHIES OF POWER book of poetry

For contributions of $100 -- I will send you an autographed copy of both the GEOGRAPHIES OF POWER  book and CD.

For contributions of $250 -- I will write a personalized dedication of your choice on your book and CD package. 

For contributions of $1500 -- I will do all of the above and give a reading/performance at the location of your choice. 

Any contributions will be gratefully accepted.

FYI. The money you contribute will go into an account under Rebecca Richwine (she is listed when you contribute as the withdrawal beneficiary).  No worries here. Rebecca is my partner.  The contributions are strictly for the project.  I am utilizing this  account to manage money budgeted for GEOGRAPHIES OF POWER only. 

I thank you all in advance. Follow the links to support my work as an artist and please share the word. 

Agape,
Letta Neely
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Greetings Family,

It’s been a long while since I’ve written an update. I had to go inside the cave of grief and learn to be in relationship with darkness. I had to touch fossils embedded in walls, conversate with silence, navigate my way back here through the wails. I’ve learned so much about the “Geographies of Power” along the way:

I wrote through most of it. I thought too much through all of it, at first.

I’ve just returned from a journey with one of my oldest and best friends, Constance Robinson, through hospitals, rehab, and hospice. We laughed a lot. I did not cry enough. Only once in her last still-breathing days, did we sit the back porch of the best hospice in the universe. This was after Constance had arduously maneuvered from the bed to a high-fallutin, unwieldy wheel chair, down the elevator, through two doorways to the porch. She grunted and cried as we lifted and tilted her. The nurses wanted us to turn back because of the pain. For Constance, the greater ache had become the monotony of ‘managed-air’ environments.

On the porch, the sun kissed her third eye as she said goodbye to this world; bees visited irises and tulips; birds ate from two feeders, squirrels skatted jazz improvisations across power lines and tree branches. I observed everything and thought about the layered communications happening all at once. We sat there till she got a bit of a sun-burn. Constance became an Ancestor soon after.

Three few weeks later, my niece Naya, also became an untimely (to Humans) Ancestor due to complications with lupus. My blood and spirit family co-constructed a homegoing that continues to provide an ever-widening altar where the living and dead mingle for ring shouts, libations, line dancing, ballet, hip hop and cipher circles. It makes the long distance calling from here to there; there to here less taxing. Though it all I observed all the interactions and I wrote.

But then… I came home to Boston. I made notes of my notes, shuffled and layed them out, looking for the stories to emerge. I was unsettled, jumbled, and uncomfortably numb.

It wasn’t until I sat in the Ancestor Room of our house that Zora Neal Hurston gently reminded and caustically reprimanded me that my distancing myself from the chafing of grief’s shackles was a mirage caused by dehydration and ‘observation’. She sarcastically asked, “Did you observe that? or “Did you feel that?” as she grabbed tight hold of my wrists. She double-dog- dared me to say it didn’t hurt before she released me. She snatched my flashlight while saying, “Now, go write. And make sure you’re not absent. Taste darkness.”

Wrapped in this magnificent and intimate assignation with death, there are also on-going: assassinations, massacres and attempted murders of us for our ethnicities, sexualities, genders and religions; the post and present trauma of the senate hearings; and the continuous assaults on our freedoms as we refused to be bordered. Importantly, there is the necessity to tell a whole story which includes our steady decisions to come together as we fight the untenable power structure and dance like the warriors we are to our liberation.

There is no outsider viewpoint.

I continue to write and to meet folks with whom collaboration on Geographies of Power is essential. I made connections with artists in Indiana and the East Coast during my travels. I’m excited about the work, I’m doing. I’m scared sometimes, too. But fear is not my guide.

I performed a few days ago and have included the video with this update.

Thank you for all your financial and intangible support to Geographies of Power. I am grateful. You are an immense help as I continue to answer my calling. I can’t wait to share the final project with you all.

Please continue, if you are able to fund Geographies of Power. Please continue to share this information to others.

Agape and Grits,
Letta

P.S. Video Info: November 11, 2018, Zili Misik’s annual “For All Souls”. This year’s donations are for Gawou Ginou, a foundation in Mirebalais, Haiti. Check them out too.
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FYI, my sentence about working with laurie prendergast should have read, " I'm so excited to be working with this artistic talent extraordinaire again."
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Hi Family and Friends (old and new),
Thank you for your support of Geographies of Power. I am grateful for what is happening. The project is a little over 12% funded. With this earnest start, I have been able to breathe and write and know that all is in motion and all is well.

Up until now, I have been primarily using Facebook as an outreach strategy. Please help me continue to spread the word by sharing the Geographies of Power project within your networks. Over the next month, I will also begin sending emails as a more direct method. If you know of someone who might contribute but isn't a participant in social media platforms, I'd appreciate you reaching out to them or sharing their info with me.

I will be sharing a piece I've written for the Nightingale Garden Community Garden in Dorchester, MA on September 22, 2018. The poem will be mounted as part of an 6 poem-installation of a project called: "cross-pollination". It will be included in the Geographies of Power book of poetry.

Project update:
I have identified some of the artists with whom I'll be working and begun to make those connections. The idea is to (to use the Nightingale Garden's term) "cross-pollinate" with visual and musical artists. Meaning, they'll either vibe with a piece I've written or read to add their magic OR vice versa.

I am also happy to announce that the Great and Wonderful Artist:
laurie prendergast

has agreed to do be the book designer for Geographies of Power. Years ago, when we were both much younger, she and I labored over Juba ( my first book) The book design, cover art and font choices were all her genius. I'm so excited to

With your contributions and support, I have been able to be about the practice of being a writer. It feels incredible to be able to dedicate the time and space and energy to a whole concept in it's entirety. With your support, I get to look at what I'm doing from it's angles, crevices, achy spots, glorious arches, etc. It's really something extraordinary to sit with your concept; to manipulate text and ideas; to conduct deep inquiry of my beliefs and writing to further the work.

Thank you so very much. I'll be in touch soon with another update and a video of a piece. Please keep sharing the word.

Agape,
Letta
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$12,225 of $33,000 goal

Raised by 81 people in 6 months
Created July 26, 2018
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