Poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez is a recent Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient. She participated in this fall’s Delve, Haunting Legacies: Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Contemporary Representations of Slavery, and crafted a poem inspired by the seminar’s discussions:
Toni Morrison’s Beloved Story
This is not a story to pass on. This is
a story that will eat you clean.
Start with your heart,
end with your feet. All four of them.
This is not a story to pass on. This
is a story that can break your neck.
From a rope on a tree,
from a handsaw near a mother’s milk.
This is a story that can’t set you free.
Free of neck jewelry or ankle
chain-ups at breakfast or
a tree spreading its red branches
across your back. This is a story
about a red ribbon in a pocket,
a red neck in a mother’s arms,
and a red ghost with the face
of 60 million or more.
By: Cindy Williams Gutiérrez
Oregon Book Awards Fiction and Poetry Finalists reading
April 25, 2018
Featuring: manuel arturo abreu Omar El Akkad Samiya Bashir Allison Cobb Stephen…
April 26, 2018
Come celebrate Portland’s creative youth during our seventh annual Verselandia! poetry slam.
Oregon Book Awards Ceremony 2018
April 30, 2018
Join Literary Arts’ annual celebration of the state’s most accomplished writers in…
Dao Strom, Shayla Lawson, Elena Passarello
May 9, 2018
In partnership with the Northwest Academy Visiting Writing Series Shayla Lawson is (and…
Words That Burn: Staged Reading
May 15, 2018
Words That Burn brings to life the distinctive voices of conscientious objector William…
Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin
June 13, 2018
In collaboration with the Le Guin family, Literary Arts invites the public…