Hurrah’s Nest, a debut collection of poetry by Grand Lake area writer Arisa White, has been nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.
White describes Hurrah's Nest as "a coming-of-age story written in verse, an imaginative and emotionally honest exploration of growing up the second oldest of seven siblings in Brooklyn, NY, as part of a family searching for itself inside its wounds, afflictions, and brief triumphs." It was published by Virtual Artists Collective in February 2012.
A Brooklyn native, White moved to the Bay Area in 2006 and now lives close to Lake Merritt, where she trained for the 2009 San Francisco Marathon.
"When I would get homesick, I walked the entire length of Brooklyn Avenue, from Park Boulevard to the lake," she says. "After completing the walk, I felt more grounded in being here."
Last year, White connected with a teacher at the Oakland School of the Arts who heard her read from Hurrah's Nest at Pegasus Books, 5560 College Ave., Oakland. She's since become a regular speaker at classes at the school.
White was also one of the judges who selected Oakland's first Youth Poet Laureate in 2012.
White received her master's of fine arts degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005. She is currently working on adapting her chapbook, Post Pardon, into an opera.
If you'd like to hear White read from her work in person, she has the following appearances scheduled in the Bay Area and nearby:
—WordTemple Poetry Series Jan. 12, Sebastopol Vets Building, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol, http://www.wordtemple.com/blog/?page_id=14
—Radar Reading Series, San Francisco SF Main Public Library, Feb. 6, http://www.radarproductions.org/category/radarreadingseries/
—Evergreen Valley College, Feb. 20, San Jose
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.
The NAACP Image Awards celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be announced during the two-hour star-studded event, which will air live on Friday, Feb. 1 (8 ET live/PT tape-delayed) on NBC.
Other nominees in the category of Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry are Thrall by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, The Ground by Rowan Ricardo, Truth Thomas’ Speak Water, and Maybe the Saddest Thing by Marcus Wicker.