//F*%K IF I KNOW
READ AND LISTEN FOR FREE :)
in twntytwntyone, shantia was coming up on the end of their time teaching in the durango juvenile detention center here in phoenix. in the hope of sharing some of their own stories with their students, shantia decided to compile this chapbook of nine poems. though they had been writing from a young age and performed their poems for a short time in high school, shantia had not yet had their own poems in a shareable, printed form. and so this chapbook, made for the sake of gratitude and reciprocal vulnerability, served as a special debut!
while originally shantia and i worked together to make a handful of copies for their students, we soon realized that we had underestimated how many we needed to print. and so we ended up doing two initial runs, each of 81 books, for a total of 162 copies. since shantia centered the number nine in this collection, we wanted to honor it in the design [see the cover, the spirals, the circular figure of nine nines, etc.] and also in the number of copies for the initial print runs [9x9=81 // 8+1=9 // 1+6+2=9]. we hope this resonance carries through.
importantly, this chapbook was assembled with the help of friends! in the words of shantia's maternal elders: "many hands make a heavy load light". -- RG
shantia's debut chapbook "THE PRIVILEGE OF SOFTNESS" was released at their farewell fundraiser performance on jan. 11, 2022 where they invited community to "celebrate the completion of my first ever published work and help donate to my journey!"
to support shantia's move away from arizona, you can contribute directly via venmo at @ShantiaElise or dm shantia on insta @healer.whos.healing !!