Photo by Dan Stark on Unsplash

Recently, I read an essay by Audre Lorde entitled Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power. In this article, Lorde discusses how women’s erotic power has been suppressed and how we need to access it and use it to its fullest extent.

This made me think of all the ways in which my erotic power has been suppressed. Of course, as a child of sexual abuse, I often struggled with my sexual desires and identity. Additionally, growing up religious, I learned that strength comes from denying my own desires. My own desires were often labeled as “selfish” or “sinful”…

And other thoughts on sexual exploitation.

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I woke up crying because I had a serious monster nagging my brain, so I’m writing until he’s gone. When I write stories, there’s usually a point. I don’t have a point, but I’m sure I will come to one by the time this story is over. When I was 18, my family was homeless. We spent some time living with relatives in Louisiana, but eventually we wore out our welcome and returned to Los Angeles.

We lived with an old man who was an alcoholic and had six adult children living with him…

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

As a writer, I have a tremendous interest in language, words, and how they are used. Today I read an article in The New York Times entitled “As Neo-Nazis Seed Military Ranks, Germany Confronts an ‘Enemy Within’”. I’m extremely bothered by the term “Neo-Nazi”, which is a term described by Wikipedia as a “post-World War II militant… seeking to revive and implement the ideology of Nazism. Neo-Nazis seek to employ their ideology to promote hatred and attack minorities, or in some cases to create a fascist state.” …

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Last week, I was sick and trying to work. My supervisor kept telling me to take time off and reflect on self-care. I kept arguing that I did not need it. That I could push through and that everything would be okay. Finally, I got to a point where I just needed to lie down for what I said was “a few minutes”. I did not wake up for four hours. It was at that point I had to admit to myself that I was sick, and that my self-image as a “strong black woman” was defeated.

I am a…

An Essay on How I Learned to Love My Black Hair.


Hair Love, Sony Pictures Animation

I just watched the Oscar-nominated film Hair Love, and it reminded me of some painful parts of my childhood, and how challenging it can be for a girl when her mother has cancer.

One of my earliest experiences as a child is me at about two or three years old hiding in a kitchen cupboard because I did not want my mother to comb my hair. I will always remember the timbre of my mother’s voice as she walked around shouting “Trina!” …

Grace during our trip to New York

When I tell most people I’m a new mom, or I say that I just adopted a child, they think I am talking about a baby, but I’m not. I adopted a beautiful, emotional, and creative 17 year-old girl.

I first saw Grace a little over a year ago. I was working on a story about technology and NGO’s, and I came across Grace’s video and podcast where she was promoting herself for adoption. I fell in love with her then and there. I felt in my heart that Grace was my daughter.

Geoff and I sent our then youngest…

Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

Recently I read an article in the New York Times called Doctors and Racial Bias: Still a Long Way to Go, and it brought to mind an incident that happened to me as a child. While I openly tell other stories of my childhood, this one has been especially hard to share with others. …

I often get asked for poetry book recommendations, and since we are in the middle of Women’s History Month, and we just finished Black History Month, I thought it would be a good idea to share a list of recommended poetry books by black women. I chose a wide range of books. If you would like to suggest a book, please leave a message at the end of this article.

We Are Shining by Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks is the quintessential African-American poet. Brooks has an impressive body of work. Out of those works, I chose to recommend her children’s book We Are Shining. I love…

Photo by Morgan Sessions on Unsplash

As a writer, inspiration is my driving force. If I have no inspiration, I have no poetry, and I have no articles, so I work constantly to stay inspired. Sometimes I feel like finding inspiration is a job in and of itself. Inspiration is not only for artists and poets. Everyone from accountants to zoologists need to find inspiration at some point or another, so here are a few things I do to keep the inspirational fires burning.

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

This is not a pro or con piece on gun rights. This is just a means for me to share my life experiences. Take from them what you choose.

Age 7: My father got mad at one of my older brothers. For the life of me, I cannot remember if it was Charles Wayne or Barry Dean. In any case, I remember that he was angry at one of them. I cannot remember why. My father went to his bedroom and came out with his gun and started shooting at my brother. My brother ran all over the living room…

Katerina Canyon

Poet, Author, Essayist

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