Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

POETRY e nina jay aims to help women shed shame
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2019-06-26

This article shared 2128 times since Wed Jun 26, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


e nina jay wants women to stop feeling shame.

"I think about how much we, as girls and women, waste being ashamed," the Black lesbian poet said via phone. "How many conversations don't happen and how many wounds don't get healed. Our society was created in a way that we feel ashamed for how we look, how we smell, how we taste. We could have so much more power if nobody felt shame, and that's what I want [readers] to walk away with."

jay celebrted the release of her second book, the poetry collection Bricks Blood & Water, June 20 at Mary's Attic. The poet described Bricks Blood & Water to Windy City Times as "a walk through my valley."

"I tried to plan the walk in a way that you don't get stuck in any one place [and] you can always take a route out if you need it," she said. "I think it's a really good picture of how I look on the inside right now, and I like the way I look. I think it's funny and painful and angry."

It's anger that got her writing in the first place.

"Pain was my inspiration initially, pain and rage," jay said. At first, she kept her work to herself. "I would write and write and write and I never shared anything. I didn't think it was very good."

As jay was planning her own suicide, a friend encouraged her to share her writing. "[My friend] suggested I not die with all those notebooks in my apartment," she said. "Writing was a way I could pull myself up and feel like I wasn't gonna fall."

Although she is no longer suicidal, jay continues to write "because it's almost become like breathing to me," she said. It's also therapeutic.

"Sometimes I write something and I won't read it for days because I'm scared," she said. "Then I read it and I was like, I didn't know I needed that. There's a freedom in that particular space because you don't give a s—-. I love when I can get myself there, where it doesn't matter and I remember I can say anything I want."

jay published her first book, Body of Rooms, in 2016. The following year, former Windy City Times editor Tracy Baim persuaded her to adapt the book to film, which Baim then directed.

"She spent a couple [of] months convincing me to do it," jay said. "I was terrified because I don't like to be looked at, but it was exhilarating because I could just talk [using] poetry." Body of Rooms, which consists of jay performing her book to the camera, was filmed in one day. "It was liberating, and I will always love Tracy for pushing me," she said.

"My favorite moment is when I finish reading and a woman of 75 will come up to me and tell me she was raped when she was 15, and she never told anyone about it," she added. "I love that kind of moment. We whisper all these things and we all whisper the same shit. I want to do away with the whispering."

At these times, jay calls upon her experience as a rape survivor and her past work as a rape crisis counselor. "I haven't been in emergency rooms in 20 years, but women are still in crisis, and I find myself counseling. Invariably I open some wounds and it's my responsibility to tend to them as well."

When it comes to representation, jay is encouraged by the recent election of Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot. "I think a Black lesbian mayor is going to do a lot visually," she said. However, she remains cautious. "I've kind of blocked out politics and politicians right now," she said. "I'm overwhelmed by the absurdity of it all. I like hearing that Chicago has a Black lesbian mayor, but…[what that means] remains to be seen for me. I'm a cynic in that way."

She was far more optimistic about her then-upcoming book-release party. "I feel like I'm giving birth to a new baby, letting everyone know what we've been thinking about—the girls and women in me," jay said. "I want to create intimacy in a crowd of women. I'm craving it."

For more about the author, including books, DVD and speaking engagements, visit facebook.com/eninajay or contact eninajay@gmail.com .


This article shared 2128 times since Wed Jun 26, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world
2021-05-05
Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...


Gay News

Home of LGBTQ pioneers Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin first San Francisco lesbian history landmark
2021-05-04
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance authored by District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to designate the former home of pioneering LGBTQ and civil rights activists Phyllis Lyon ...


Gay News

Jeannie Tanner show at City Winery on May 20
2021-05-03
On Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., will host the first in-person performance of "3 Martini Jeannie." Throughout the pandemic, every Friday at 5 p.m., Tanner celebrated the close ...


Gay News

Pat Parker GCLS 2021 Trailblazer Award recipient
2021-04-30
--From a press release - Pat Parker, a poet, activist, and artist will receive the Golden Crown Literary Society's 2021 Trailblazer Award. Parker shaped the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights movements of the late '60s and '70s in the ...


Gay News

'Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories' virtual talk on May 16
2021-04-22
On Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m. CT, Women and Children First will host the virtual panel discussion "Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories" on its Crowdcast Channel. Centering on the release of Diana Souhami's new book No Modernism ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Retired Chicago Police Commander Nancy Y. Lipman dies
2021-04-22
Retired Chicago Police Commander Nancy Y. Lipman died April 11 due to complications from ovarian cancer. She was 61. Lipman was born Jan. 21, 1960 in Chicago and graduated from Morgan Park High School. She also ...


Gay News

Joan E. Biren aka JEB talks Portraits of Lesbians book journey and re-issue
2021-04-21
In an era where lesbian visibility was almost non-existent, activist and photographer Joan E. Biren (or as she is also known, "JEB") self-financed and self-published a photography book called Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians. Biren's ...


Gay News

Bechdel, Rannells among upcoming CHF guests
2021-04-21
The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced its line-up of virtual programs with award-winning writers, scholars and cultural icons in late April and throughout May. Among LGBTQ participants/guests will be Fun ...


Gay News

Lightfoot calls resignation rumors 'homophobic, racist and misogynistic'
2021-04-19
On April 18, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called rumors that she's resigning "homophobic, racist and misogynistic," The Chicago Tribune reported. Lightfoot tweeted, "1/ Good morning from my mansion in Sauganash. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock
2021-04-18
Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...


Gay News

WORLD Peru items, Kenya, UK government, Poland city
2021-04-18
The first lesbian elected to Peru's Congress promised to put up a "strong battle" for LGBTQ+ rights in the South American nation as two social conservatives go head to head for a presidential run-off vote in ...


Gay News

SPORTS Rapinoe, Morgan lift U.S. to victory over France
2021-04-14
The U.S. Women's Soccer National Team beat France 2-0 on April 13 in a friendly match against France behind goals by veterans Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, The Olympic Channel noted. The duo won Olympic gold ...


Gay News

The Amazon Trail, How to Write a Book
2021-04-10
I'm not giving away any secrets here. Not saying it's simple or that anyone can do it if they send $25.00 to Post Office Box 1,2,3. Nope, it's a personal journey and every story has a story. Here's mine, about the ...


Gay News

GLAAD Media Awards honor creative forces of change in media, culture
2021-04-09
--From a press release, video below - Los Angeles, CA, Thursday, April 8, 2021 — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, tonight hosted a virtual ceremony to announce the award recipients of the 32nd Annu ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois celebrates Black trans woman's electoral victory in Decatur, Illinois
2021-04-07
From a press release - A statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state's civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Illinoisans: "We are extremely proud of Alana ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.