Thank you Roxane Gay
And the Roxane Gay MasterClass Raise Your Voice Challenge
Since I’m on sabbatical this semester writing a book I decided to join MasterClass to watch and learn from their writing courses. I wanted to learn from Joy Harjo, Amy Tan and Roxane Gay so as to infuse my writing (process) with something akin to joy. I’m writing an academic book about teaching/pedagogy, and, as Roxane Gay rightly quips in her MasterClass, academics are notoriously bad writers. This is why I’ve started most mornings with poetry. I read Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve Ewing — a fellow Sociologist —a few years back and thought to myself, “all academics should be poets!” Ewing’s writing is beautiful.
I’ve also been writing creative non-fiction for healing, to help make sense of living in my body in this world. I’m writing in response to all the other works I’ve been (re)reading about living in bodies (with/post breast cancer) in this world: Catherine Guthrie, Tig Notaro, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Susan Sontag, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Anne Boyer, to name a few.
Then I saw that MasterClass and Roxane Gay were hosting a writing contest during Women’s History Month, and on a whim, I went back to a short piece I had written, revised it in the spirit of Roxane Gay’s MasterClass teachings, and submitted it to the contest. Much to my surprise, I was selected as one of 5 winners!
So, I wanted to, in the only public space I take part in, say:
THANK YOU ROXANE GAY
…for sharing your knowledge in your MasterClass and your writing with the world. Thank you for your commitment to new and emerging writers. Thank you for highlighting the voices of the undersung. Thank you for taking the time to read all the essays that were submitted for this contest.
I’m humbled by this honor, and grateful for the opportunity to learn more about writing and thus, about being a better human.