African Voices Summer 2017 AV Summer 2017 Digital Issue - Page 15

A Farewell Note From Poetry Editor Mariah “Ekere” Tallie Over 20 years ago, my writing life began to take shape because of a beautiful soul named Carolyn Butts and her arts newspaper, African Voices. I was eager to explore journalism, write poetry, and meet other writers and artists engaged in cultural work. Carolyn was bringing cultural workers together at events all across New York City and in the pages of her publication. It was a perfect match! I had no clue it would last for two decades. I’ve done amazing work through African Voices, and I’ve served in many capacities: volunteer, writer, staff writer, senior writer and finally poetry editor. Each of these positions has helped me grow as a writer, person, and member of the artistic community. My gratitude to Carolyn runs deep. She makes the work of bringing forth this magazine, producing a film festival, organizing book signings, curating art exhibitions and bringing creative programs to young people in schools look easy, but it is a mountain of work. Carolyn does it because she cares about ensuring that those of us who are searching have an opportunity to create and have our work recognized are given it. The most important thing we do at African Voices is to provide space for folks in the creative community to share their work and have their say. I have said much of what I needed to say through African Voices. As poetry editor for the last five years, it was a joy to open the door for many poets across the country whose work has been presented in our pages. There have been many highs! African Voices has provided me with an amazing foundation. Now, I need to say new things and I have to move in new ways I can feel but have yet to uncover. It’s time for me to go and “build me a home.” Angela Kinamore is African Voices new poetry editor and she is ready to embrace your voices and put her own fantastic stamp on the publication’s history. Welcome her! African Voices is one of a kind. It is independent. It’s for you, whether you have a degree or not, whether you are 15 or 95, whether you write sonnets, slam, or both. This magazine is for us, and I hope you’ll support it as it has supported so many. One, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie african Voices 15