Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-04-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

POETRY e nina jay aims to help women shed shame
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2019-06-26

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


e nina jay wants women to stop feeling shame.

"I think about how much we, as girls and women, waste being ashamed," the Black lesbian poet said via phone. "How many conversations don't happen and how many wounds don't get healed. Our society was created in a way that we feel ashamed for how we look, how we smell, how we taste. We could have so much more power if nobody felt shame, and that's what I want [readers] to walk away with."

jay celebrted the release of her second book, the poetry collection Bricks Blood & Water, June 20 at Mary's Attic. The poet described Bricks Blood & Water to Windy City Times as "a walk through my valley."

"I tried to plan the walk in a way that you don't get stuck in any one place [and] you can always take a route out if you need it," she said. "I think it's a really good picture of how I look on the inside right now, and I like the way I look. I think it's funny and painful and angry."

It's anger that got her writing in the first place.

"Pain was my inspiration initially, pain and rage," jay said. At first, she kept her work to herself. "I would write and write and write and I never shared anything. I didn't think it was very good."

As jay was planning her own suicide, a friend encouraged her to share her writing. "[My friend] suggested I not die with all those notebooks in my apartment," she said. "Writing was a way I could pull myself up and feel like I wasn't gonna fall."

Although she is no longer suicidal, jay continues to write "because it's almost become like breathing to me," she said. It's also therapeutic.

"Sometimes I write something and I won't read it for days because I'm scared," she said. "Then I read it and I was like, I didn't know I needed that. There's a freedom in that particular space because you don't give a s—-. I love when I can get myself there, where it doesn't matter and I remember I can say anything I want."

jay published her first book, Body of Rooms, in 2016. The following year, former Windy City Times editor Tracy Baim persuaded her to adapt the book to film, which Baim then directed.

"She spent a couple [of] months convincing me to do it," jay said. "I was terrified because I don't like to be looked at, but it was exhilarating because I could just talk [using] poetry." Body of Rooms, which consists of jay performing her book to the camera, was filmed in one day. "It was liberating, and I will always love Tracy for pushing me," she said.

"My favorite moment is when I finish reading and a woman of 75 will come up to me and tell me she was raped when she was 15, and she never told anyone about it," she added. "I love that kind of moment. We whisper all these things and we all whisper the same shit. I want to do away with the whispering."

At these times, jay calls upon her experience as a rape survivor and her past work as a rape crisis counselor. "I haven't been in emergency rooms in 20 years, but women are still in crisis, and I find myself counseling. Invariably I open some wounds and it's my responsibility to tend to them as well."

When it comes to representation, jay is encouraged by the recent election of Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot. "I think a Black lesbian mayor is going to do a lot visually," she said. However, she remains cautious. "I've kind of blocked out politics and politicians right now," she said. "I'm overwhelmed by the absurdity of it all. I like hearing that Chicago has a Black lesbian mayor, but…[what that means] remains to be seen for me. I'm a cynic in that way."

She was far more optimistic about her then-upcoming book-release party. "I feel like I'm giving birth to a new baby, letting everyone know what we've been thinking about—the girls and women in me," jay said. "I want to create intimacy in a crowd of women. I'm craving it."

For more about the author, including books, DVD and speaking engagements, visit facebook.com/eninajay or contact eninajay@gmail.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: From an absorbing memoir to cool socks 2020-04-01 - —Ordinary Girls: A Memoir: In this hard-hitting memoir, Jaquira Diaz writes of struggling with depression and drug abuse while growing into her identity ...


Gay News

BOOKS Legendary Chicago 'lesbian of conscience' tells her story 2020-04-01 - In Emily L. Quint Freeman's no-holds-barred 262-page memoir, Failure to Appear: Resistance, Identity and Loss, she provides a gripping true-life story of a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian bishop, iconic activist dies, military lawsuit, drag legend passes 2020-03-31 - Rev. Bonnie Perry was recently ordained as the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan—beconing the first woman and openly gay person ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Ann Morris 2020-03-17 - Ann Morris passed away March 7. She was 67. Ann was born in Chicago on April 5, 1952, and grew up in Texas. ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL Mick's potato fertilizer 2020-03-17 - When I asked for advice about growing potatoes, our friend Mary wrote, "Here is what Mick does: blood meal, green sand, or wood ...


Gay News

Women & Children First delaying, cancelling events 2020-03-13 - Because of coronavirus-related concerns, most of the March events at Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., have been rescheduled for ...


Gay News

Debbie Pacchioni, from soccer to renewable energy industry 2020-03-08 - Soccer has been in Debbie Pacchioni's blood since she was a 4-year-old girl watching her father suit up for his first practice. "I ...


Gay News

Women's History Month events planned at Chicago's Feminist Bookstore 2020-03-04 - CHICAGO, IL ( March 3, 2020 ) - Chicago's only feminist bookstore—one of only ten feminist bookstores left in the U.S.—is celebrating Women's ...


Gay News

Margaret Cho at Chicago Improv on May 8-9 2020-03-04 - Actress/comedian/author Margaret Cho will perform at Schaumburg's Chicago Improv Comedy Club, 5 Woodfield Rd., on May 8-9. Cho, among other accomplishments, has three ...


Gay News

'Women in Business' event March 11 2020-03-03 - "A Celebration of Women in Business"—an LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois event—will take place Wed., March 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Stock and ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.