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Twenty-three writers, thinkers, poets gave their words to make this book live. Immense gratitude and deep gold and bright pink love to all of them.   Click on their picture to learn more about who they are and what they do.  


Walk Towards It was Edited by Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe with creative co-conspiring from Gabrielle Civil. 


Towards It



Louis Alemayehu Poet, Educator, Community Organizer. Born in Chicago of African and Native heritage. His believes that poetry is a tool for healing. As a founding member of the musical group Ancestor Energy, Louis, along with composer/musicians Carei Thomas and David Wright, has been performing in support of African liberation, Native American land rights and spirituality, the women's movement, and human rights for more than 25 years. 


Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist poet, conceptual, and performance artist originally from Detroit. She is the author of Swallow the Fish, a memoir in performance art. Her remarks here come from her talk “Experiments in Joy: Art/ Action Post 11/9” delivered in the English Department Colloquium Series at St. Catherine University.                                                                    

Sharon Day  Ojibwe Elder Sharon Day was born and raised in Minnesota. As a Midewin, part of her spiritual practice is to care for water. Sharon is executive director of Indigenous People’s Task Force and Co-founder of The Nibi Water Walks. She continues to lead water walks and writes, sings and creates visual art. 


May Lee-Yang is a playwright, poet, prose writer, and performance artist. Her work has been presented by Mu Performing Arts,  Intermedia Arts, Illusion Theater, Out North Theater, the National Asian American Theater Festival, the MN Fringe Festival, and others. As a roster artist with COMPAS, she also teaches creative writing and theater to youth and senior citizens.                                                                                        


adrienne maree brown is a writer, pleasure activist, doula and facilitator living in Detroit. co-editor of Octavia's Brood, author of Emergent Strategy.


Rachel Moritz is the author of Borrowed Wave, a finalist for the 2015 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, and five poetry chapbooks. Her second collection, Sweet Velocity, won the 2015 Besmilr Brigham Women Writer’s Award and is forthcoming from Lost Roads Press. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner and son.  


Susan Raffo is a writer, bodyworker and community organizer in the Twin Cities. She lives with her partner, Rocki, and their 14 year old daughter, Luca.


Ifrah Mansour is a Twin-cities based multimedia Somali artist.  Her play How to Have Fun in a Civil War opened at The Children’s Theatre in January 2017.


Josina Manu Maltzman is a carpenter, writer, and rabble-rouser.  Jo recently completed Dreaming Kaddish, a mytho-biography.  This novella follows four generations of a Jewish family and connects inherited trauma and mental health issues to cycles of violence – both intimate (family) violence and global (political) violence.  Seeking publication in 2017.


Lisa Brimmer is a Queer, Black, Transracial Adoptee poet and arts based community organizer. She is a two-time Givens Foundation for African American Literature fellow, has received a Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellowship and is a current graduate fellow at the University of St. Thomas in English Literature. 


Junauda Petrus is a writer, aerialist, performance artist, runaway witch and soul sweetener. She has written for the page, stage and screen and loves to produce wild and powerful pieces with her experimental arts collective, Free Black Dirt, with co-creator, Erin Sharkey. 


Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe is of Irish, English and German ancestry. She is a poet, performer, filmmaker. Her work includes the book of poems Fierce Shimmer- Poems for Mama and the feature length documentary Thought Woman- The Life and Ideas of Paula Gunn Allen. She lives in Minneapolis two blocks from the Mississippi with her Dad, four cats, her husband Juma B. Essie and their amazing daughter, Naima.  


Paula Gunn Allen was a Two Spirit woman from the Laguna Pueblo people and of Lebanese, Metis and Scottish descent. She wrote the groundbreaking book The Sacred Hoop- Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions as well as novels, essays, poetry and literary criticism.


Lila Sarene has mostly lived in Philadelphia now Minnesota. Her family are Eastern European, and Jewish survivors of the Nazis, Scottish, English, French and African. Multigenerational white and also white-passing. She is gathering histories, remembering how to create and pray,asking for ways to stop causing harm and learning about what makes repair possible. 


Sharon Bridgforth is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist and a 2016 Creative Capital awardee. A New Dramatists alumnae, Sharon collaborates with actors, dancers, singers and audiences live during performance as she composes moving soundscapes of her ritual/jazz texts. Widely published, Sharon is currently developing, The dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home Project. Sharon is proud to say that Laurie Carlos claimed her - taught her and walked with her in Life-Sisterhood-and Art. 


Alma Luz Villanueva Author of eight books of poetry, most recent, 'GRACIAS.' Four novels, most recent, 'SONG OF THE GOLDEN SCORPION.' Many anthologies and textbooks- I love hearing from students from middle school to university. I've taught in the MFA in Creative Writing program, Antioch University Los Angeles, for nineteen years. I've lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for twelve  years, continue to love it- hope Trump doesn't poison it for expats, the idiot. 


신선영 Sun Yung Shin is the author or editor of six books: Unbearable Splendor; Rough, and Savage; Skirt Full of Black; A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota; Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption; and 쿠퍼의 롐슨 Cooper’s Lesson. She lives in Minneapolis.


Ricardo Levins Morales is an artist by trade, a healer by temperament and a troublemaker by necessity. His art and writing both grow out of his relationships with communities and movements in struggle for a more livable world. Visual art is available through Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio which is both a physical location in Minneapolis and an online store. 


Juma B. Essie is a drummer, writer, award winning homebrewer and Naima’s Baba. Originally from New Jersey and Detroit, he lives with his family in Minneapolis.  


Andrea Jenkins is a performer, a poet with several books and an activist for transgender rights.  curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota.  She is running for Minneapolis City Council 8th Ward. 


Lewis Wallace is a white transgender writer, reporter, weirdo and rabble-rouser, a midwesterner with southern roots, and a long-time prison abolition activist. His journalism can frequently be heard on public radio stations around the country. He currently lives in New York City.


Ayanna Muata, also known as "Waning Moon" is a Twin Cities based artist. She is a photographer, videographer, songwriter, recording artist, and curator. 


Coya White Hat-Artichoker is a proud enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. She is a board member for SisterSong, a reproductive justice organization and is a writer, and speaker on issues regarding race, Two-Spirit identity and sovereignty. Her writing has appeared in the film After Stonewall, The Advocate; Sharing Our Stories of Survival (Altamira Press 2007)  She lives in the Powderhorn Park area of Minneapolis with her trusty co-pilot EmJay.


Erin Sharkey is a writer, producer, educator and graphic designer based in Minneapolis. Her writing has appeared or will appear in Brooklyn Quarterly, Paper Darts, and the Walker Art Center’s Untitled. With Junauda Petrus, Erin is the co-founder of Free Black Dirt, an experimental arts production collective.


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