Today we host Saida Agostini. She’ll read an excerpt from Let the dead in.
Saida Agostini is a queer Afro-Guyanese poet whose work explores the ways Black folks harness mythology to enter the fantastic. Her work is featured in Plume, Hobart Pulp, Barrelhouse, and Auburn Avenue, amongst others. Saida’s work can be found in several anthologies, including Not Without Our Laughter: Poems of Humor, Sexuality, and Joy, The Future of Black, and Plume Poetry 9. She is the author of STUNT (Neon Hemlock, October 2020), a chapbook reimagining the life of Nellie Jackson, a Black madam and FBI spy from Natchez Mississippi. Her first full-length collection, let the Dead in (Alan Squire Publishing) was released in Spring 2022. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, and member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective, Saida is a two time Pushcart Prize Nominee and Best of the Net Finalist. Her work has received support from the Ruby Artist Grants, and the Blue Mountain Center, amongst others.
Saida Agostini’s first full-length poetry collection, let the dead in, is an exploration of the mythologies that seek to subjugate Black bodies, and the counter-stories that reject such subjugation. Audacious, sensual, and grieving, this work explores how Black women harness the fantastic to craft their own road to freedom. A journey across Guyana, London, and the United States, it is a meditation on black womanhood, queerness, the legacy of colonization, and pleasure. These poems craft a creation story fat with love, queerness, mermaids, and blackness.
She lives online at www.saidaagostini.com.
Presented in collaboration with Levee Break Lit.