The Voice of Arisa White (Online Exclusive)

With the support of many departments, University of the Pacific had the pleasure of having Arisa White as a guest poet in honor of Black History Month on February 23rd. Every February is a dedicated time to recognize the role of African Americans in U.S. history.

 

Arisa White uses her voice as a poet, writer, and educator to discuss themes such as the American imagination about blackness, what is home, domestic violence, criminality, femininity, death, and love. She read from two of her books Hurrah’s Nest and Black Pearl.

 

In one poem specifically, she details her experience of watching the tending of a gun wound and notices it as a truly intimate and unique experience. Other poems are riddled with metaphors. Some are more light-hearted, still packed with meaning and significance, referencing to hip-hop group Run D.M.C.
You could tell by the way she read, that she owned her writing and she could stretch her arms out to speak to and for others. Readings like this are Pacific’s way of broadening our horizons and properly paying attention to important events, be it a holiday or entire month of appreciation.

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