Saida Agostini is Torch literary Arts Featured Artist of July
Torch Literary Arts, a non-profit literary organization with the goal of raising the creative voices of black women writers, has selected Saida Agostini as their featured artist of July. Included in the feature is a sampling of her work and a substantive interview with Saida. Read the entire feature here and find an excerpt of the interview below.
Saida Agostini is a queer Afro-Guyanese poet whose work explores the ways Black folks harness mythology to enter the fantastic. Her 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. You can pick up a copy of let the dead in wherever you buy books, or check out our dedicated shop here
Excerpt from Torch's interview with Saida Agostini
Your writing is rich with images of desire and love but also leans into the realities of pain and injustice. How do these subjects influence your work?
Our bodies were built for pleasure. What a miracle of atoms. I think one of the prevailing tragedies of misogynoir and capitalism is that we as Black folks are constantly pushed to be divorced from our physicality and pleasure. Audre Lorde defines the erotic as a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. We have a right to our etiology, our chaos, our power. I want us to know the full scope of our power, and the history of it, what it took, what it continues to take to survive this beast called America. My work seeks to recount these histories, and offer a full-throated vision of Black freedom where our pleasure is never denied.
In this audio-only feature, the Maryland Poet Laureate’s poem is read by Amanda Holmes of The American Scholar
“Agostini’s socially and spiritually aware poetry collection ‘Let the Dead In’ focuses on the duality between love and hate along with the way that these concepts integrate and clash”