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Be a part of Migritude's journey.
No contribution is too small - or too large. $2 buys coffee for a volunteer. $15 rents a rehearsal studio for an hour. $100 covers 2 hours of lighting / tech / set design. $500 helps fly Shailja to international festivals!!

You can also make a tax-deductible donation by check. Please email for details.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Big News

Photo: Jan Mangan, Bioneers

Coming from Kaya Press, in October:


The Full, Fabulous, Lavishly Illustrated, Unexpurgated, With Back Story, Interviews, Making Of, and More,


Pulitzer-prize winner Junot Diaz, on Kaya:

The most consistent, intelligent, wide-ranging, committed press I know - Kaya is an example of how to turn "small" books into literary arrows that shoot straight and true into the heart of our culture and (of course) ourselves.

Kaya Press, on Migritude, The Book:

This US debut of internationally acclaimed poet and performance artist Shailja Patel, dodges categories and confounds expectations. Part poetic memoir, part political history, part performance tour-de-force, MIGRITUDE weaves together family history, reportage, and monologues of violence, colonization, and love, to create an achingly beautiful portrait of women’s lives and migrant journeys undertaken under the boot print of Empire.

The North American book tour for Migritude will take me to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver. Get on Kaya's mailing list, and mine, to hear when we come your way!

In addition to the bookstore readings, I would love to appear on local radio shows, speak in museums, universities, community spaces. If you'd like to bring me to your campus or organization, please contact me or Kaya's marketing manager, Claire Light,

I'm also available to do university seminars and performances in Fall 2010 and late spring of 2011.

Finally, if you'd like to review Migritude for your blog, do an interview for a publication, or know a journalist or broadcaster who would be interested in covering the book - let me know! And I would be incredibly appreciative of leads to major national magazines and media - print and broadcast.

But most importantly, buy the book. Love the book. Rave about the book to your friends, family, book club, colleagues, students, teachers, lovers......Everyone Needs Migritude.

Coming Up

Tomorrow, I perform at Hold The Light For Haiti and Chile in Oakland.

On Saturday, I feature at the Indivisible Reading in San Francisco.

On May 15th, I'll be at the Turin International Book Fair in Italy, performing from 16.00 - 17.30.

On May 17th, I'll perform in Nairobi, at the Godown Arts Centre, to mark International Day Against Homophobia. The event will run from 10.30am to 4.30pm, includes lunch, and is free and open to all. In addition to my solo set, the performances will include a staging of a play, developed in collaboration with Kenyan activists and theatre artists, from the sketch I wrote for the February issue of The Africa Report, Caught In The Act.

In June, I'll be back in Sweden for Rework The World. I'll lead a session called Rework The Word, on finding new language for a transformative economy. It's scheduled for 8.30 - 9.30am on June 4th.

To hear what I'm up to after that, join my mailing list.

End of a Chapter

The gods of technology have decreed a turn in the road of my 5-year conversation with you, aka My Blog.

This blog is set up to publish via FTP, as is my Calendar. My blog program will stop supporting FTP on May 1st. I've had a couple of tech consultants look into migrating the Blog and Calendar to other domains, and the process is ridiculously complicated and time-consuming. I'm planning a total re-design of this website in the next couple of months, and have never been really happy with Blogger anyway. So I may separate my blog altogether from Therefore, it doesn't make sense to invest money in migrating the Blog and Calendar right now.

So this blog will cease to publish on May 1st.

As of now, I haven't set up an alternative blog. I've been asking myself, as I re-evaluate priorities, whether I want to continue to put time and energy into a blog.

I love the connection, immediacy, and intimacy of blogging. But I'm also feeling the urge to get my thoughts out into mainstream media, through op-eds, reviews, and essays. In theory, I could do both. In practice, I find that blogging dissipates my motivation to craft and pitch pieces to journals and newspapers. And can take my focus away from completing creative projects.

I leave for Kenya in a few days time, and will be on the road for the next six weeks. So I'll use that time to test how not blogging affects my progress on my main projects.

To stay in touch with where I am and what I'm doing - and to hear if I set up a new blog! - please join my mailing list.

I'll continue to welcome your emails at Knowing my work speaks to you, and nourishes you, is the most incredible gift to me. So even if I don't always have the bandwith to respond, please know that your emails are always read and appreciated.

Thank you, always, for being on this journey with me.

Where I've been

As faithful readers of this blog have pointed out, I have been less than regular in posting in the past month.

One reason has been physical. I've had recurring and intensifying shoulder pain, which kept me off the computer. Bodywork from my favourite healers, Jan Dederick and Leland Thunes, helped enormously. But the pain kept coming back. This week, a wonderfully generous friend gave me the gift of a session with applied kinesiologist, Dr. Mitchell Corwin, which was nothing short of miraculous. He diagnosed the problem as bicipital tendonitis, discovered a number of other exacerbating muscular strains and distortions, and (fingers crossed) addressed them all. Yaay Neural Organization Work!

The other reason has been work. I've been ridiculously busy, to the point of overwhelm, since I got back from Sundance. Each day, I'm confronted with the fact that I have more projects on my plate than I can handle, even working 16-hour days. So my top priority right now is re-evaluating my priorities. Making difficult choices about where I really want to put my time and my energy. And even more difficult choices about what to drop. Learning and practising the skill of saying No.

All tips and advice will be gratefully received :-)

Bookends To A Breakthrough

I can’t say enough about the motivating power of having a team available to read fresh pages each day and give me immediate feedback on them. I described it to a fellow playwright as “the best creative aphrodisiac for a writer.”

The Sundance Insider Newsletter just came out, carrying a front-page interview with me on my recent experience of workshopping Bwagamoyo at the Sundance Theatre Lab.

Read the rest.
Shailja Patel. patterned sari border
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