Ra Malika Imhotep

Emerging Writers’ Residencies Artistic
Type of work
Literary Artist

Ra Malika Imhotep is a Black feminist writer and performance artist from Atlanta, Georgia deeply invested in Black storytellin’ practices and the ways our bodies make sense of language. As co-convener of an embodied spiritual-political education project called The Church of Black Feminist Thought, Ra facilitates spaces of critical reflection with the work of Black feminist world-makers. While in residence Ra worked on a hybrid work of creative nonfiction that speaks to and with “the illustrious Negro dead” inspired by correspondence between Zora Neale Hurston and W.E.B DuBois. In 1945, Hurston envisioned a sacred ‘resting place’ for Black genius nestled in the lush geography of the South. Ra’s project is an effort to write towards that space by weaving together pieces of poetry and prose written in tribute to different Black folks who, in life and death, have marked Ra’s engagement with the world.

“I will most remember the aliveness of the woods. How even the blown over pecan tree’s exposed root system was hosting its own kind of ‘liveliness.’ I came here to begin the work of writing a cemetery so I knew it was gonna be heavy stuff. Being in the woods at the turn of spring allowed me the space to play and find pleasure in and alongside the work. Having this week ‘outside’ of my normal life was a true goddess-send. Here I felt through a few stages of grief in record time. I cried, I wrote, I collaged, I played with watercolors and (perhaps most importantly) I let my bodymind rest.” – Ra Malika Imhotep