Queer Women of Color Poetry Tour Needs Help, Promises A Revival

There’s little left to desire once you learn about The Revival, a salon-style poetry tour that aims to connect hundreds of queer women of color artists and allies. In its third year, the poetry-on-the-go movement holds living room readings with a touring troupe. This year, the tour hits Toronto, DC, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Durham and Brooklyn between October 6 and 13.

But Revival needs everyone’s help – you, everyone you know, your family, your pets, your estranged friends from high school – everyone. With a modest goal of 5,000 dollars for gas, food, performer compensation, and books, they have officially launched a Kickstarter and hope to be done with the whole mess by Tuesday.

“No donation is too small and more than anything the power of a kind thought will go a long way,” says producer and poet Jade Foster. “After Frank Ocean’s blog post last week, the Internet is not to be played with. And there’s a new season turning, one that looks for the queer story. It’s up to the poets. It’s up to us to continue.

The tour’s Kickstarter page features reviews that make it difficult not to sacrifice your life savings, let alone to click away without giving one or five dollars of your last paycheck from your shitty part-time job.

“[THE REVIVAL] was a beautiful night in Brooklyn and I, along with so many others, had so much fun,” remembers poet Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene. “I’m sure the same is true for all the other cities y’all blessed with your presence.  It felt good to be appreciated and understood as an artist and to feel my work and time was/is valued as important.”

Perhaps who puts it best, however, is Jade Foster – founder of The Revival:

I’m loving America right now. Shout out to Nikky Finney. I’m loving how I came to be in this place. The etymology of my name. The birthplace of my parents, and their parents, and their parents before. Southeast, Washington DC. Shout out to The New American Black.

The Revival 2011 was five black queer women poets on a national tour. Each and every concert took place in a private home. (Well, except that one time). My heart is so full I have no room, to write a message, that will market this project, that will convince you of the time we spent.

It used to be illegal for a woman like me to read.

The rewards for giving to the project online are great, too, although we all know the ultimate reward for making poetry happen is having a poetic life. (It’s karma.) For only 25 bucks you’ll get an advanced ticket in the city of your choice, and if you have a hefty 250 you’ll get an all-access pass and be invited on tour. Your life could change! You could go on the road! All in the name of something beautiful.

Last year, over 400 black women artists and allies on the East Coast were a part of Revival. This year, “The Revival 2012 Poetry Is Everything Tour” will include a focus on youth empowerment, a live documentarian creating a film about the project, and a shared queer language between countless queer women of color and the people who love them. The tour has confirmed collaborations with Durham’s Mobile Homecoming Project, Toronto’s Kim Katrin Crosby, Brooklyn’s LGBT Pride Center and a recent grant recipient of DC’s Al Sura Foundation.

So why are you just sitting there? Donate.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I with they were hitting Boston/Providence. I would be sooo in to this. Perhaps I’ll have to make a quick trip to Brooklyn!

  2. I attended the first two Revivals in DC and can attest to their awesomeness. Great poetry and music, uplifting energy, intellectually stimulating conversations, and let’s keep it 100: the highest concentration of hot queer women a person could possibly ever want :-)

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