From a colleague and friend, the poet Feliz Molina remembers Akilah. Look for more by Feliz on Akilah’s extraordinary work and poetry in issue 2 of continent.
Akilah Oliver. 1961- 2011. Born and Raised in Los Angeles, California. A Poet. Activist of Human Suffering. Teacher. Mother. Sister. Maker of incantatory prose poems. Experimenter of performative text and sound. Co-creator of theater group Sacred Nature Naked Girls and member of the Belladonna* Collaborative. Author of The Putterer’s Notebook (Belladonna, 2006), the she said dialogues: flesh memory (PEN Beyond Margins Award), An Arriving of Angels Thusly Coming to Greet (Farfalla, McMillan & Parris, 2004), A Toast In The House of Friends (Coffee House, 2009). Curator of the Monday Night Reading series at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s. Long time professor and mentor at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Pratt Institute, and The New School.
A network of literary communities (Jack Kerouac School, Poetry Project at St. Mark’s to name a few), friends, and admirers strewn around the map are deeply touched by the meeting and onward-ness of Akilah Oliver. She was undoubtedly an exceptional mind and artist that gracefully and conscientiously intersected theory, performance, and text housed within an over-arching investigatory poetics. Literally and metaphorically, Akilah Oliver had one foot in the page and the other on stage. It also suffices to say she had several feet, at least one that treaded on the hilly and slippery terrain of continental philosophy where many of us had the short lived gift of meeting her in the Swiss Alps at the European Graduate School in 2010.