Love & Other Futures: Poetry of Untold Stories of Liberation & Love
Love & Other Futures is a women of color poetry anthology from Ypsilanti-based Untold Stories of Liberation & Love. Love & Other Futures offers poems by Black, Latinx, Arab, Indigenous, and Asian women in and around Washtenaw County Michigan. In these pages you will find poetry born in sisterhood on Huron Street in Ypsilanti, where we gathered together in beauty, ritual, food, laughter, mixtapes, and singing to immerse ourselves in a world of our own creation, with liberation and love at the center. Together we refused to forget that we ourselves hold the past, present, and future in our hands. Untold Stories emerged in 2018 when five local women of color activists -- Catalina Rios, Desiraé Simmons, Julie Quiroz, Maria Ibarra-Frayre, and Tanya Reza -- came together over meals and walks, to share our yearning for soul-nourishing and liberatory community building. In this way we discovered our shared hunger to deepen our individual and collective strength through poetry and creative writing that liberates our imagination to generate locally rooted transformative change. We formed Untold Stories to amplify and generate local women of color’s creative courage to envision our communities fully nourished by cooperative community-governed solutions grounded in abundance. Untold Stories reflects our commitment to creativity that reveals the hidden stories of women of color discovering our power in a world designed to break us. Untold Stories seeks to celebrate the tiniest moments that shift our lives forever, the giant moments of collective power, the invisible stories that happen right before our eyes, the secret history of courage that will guide us into the future.Through a series of community workshops, Untold Stories invited local women of color to reach back to our ancestors for radical wisdom, to shift the shape of reality in the present moment, and to embody our vision of the future right now. We grounded each workshop in the extraordinary legacy of women of color poets, with the words of Audre Lorde, Joy Harjo, Gloria Anzaldua, Wang Ping, Lucille Clifton, Nayyirah Waheed, Marilyn Chin, Ada Limón, Claudine Rankine, Aja Monet, Warsan Shire, Patricia Smith, and so many others gracing the walls around us and serving as prompts for our own writing.In this collection we proudly offer the poetry of women who took part in the community workshops. Each chapter reflects a workshop and the women in it. Poems on the theme of “Mothering” are contained in the first section and echo the April 2019 workshop. The second section takes its name and theme from the May 2019 workshop “Migration, Rootedness, and Belonging.” The third section, “Survival & Vision”, reflects the August 2019 workshop. Thanks to volunteer translators from Untold Stories we are honored to offer the last section, which we dedicate to the Spanish speaking women of Washtenaw and Michigan. This section contains the Spanish version of poems that appear in English in the other sections. Someday soon we hope to publish Untold Stories poems in many more languages.The world urgently needs the voices of women of color whose experience, courage, and vision are shaping the cultural, economic, and political future of Washtenaw, Michigan, and the world. For this reason, Untold Stories guaranteed that every woman who took part in a workshop would have space for a poem in this anthology. We also trusted each woman to decide for herself what poem she wished to contribute and what the final edited version of her poem would look like.