creative commess is the musing space of Soyini Ayanna. I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago with a Guyanese mother and a Trini father. Pop culture in general interests me, but particularly West Indian and African diaspora popular cultures. I write short fiction, poetry, critical essays and I like to consider aspects of pop culture from the lens of a black West Indian feminist, which means I get really excited about interconnections between diasporas and diasporas in conversation with one another, and there’s lots of nonsense cloaked in anti-blackness and misogynoir that I have zero tolerance for.
I am slightly obsessed with tropes of West Indian identity and or nationalism. Also slightly obsessed with black cultural spaces (both literal and figurative) like juke joints, steel pan yards, shebeens, gayelles, the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power, tamboo-bamboo among others.
I am a black feminist* and womanist and I prioritize black women & girls & black femmes always. I often find myself revisiting areas pertaining to race, blackness, anti-blackness, culture and identity to name just a few. I also think and write about love a lot. I frequently think about and critique popular West Indian & Trinbagonian cultural trends, soca trends and what I see taking place.
This blog is simply an attempt to keep myself writing about and exploring those things –freely and as randomly as I want — so, whenever I catch a vaps to do so.
Since some people were wondering about it: the header pic is from an art project that my awesomely talented friend Natalie directed and asked me to pose for. About the title of my blog, according to the 2nd edition of Cote ci, Cote La: Trinidad and Tobago Dictionary(which I love & highly recommend), “commesse” means: “confusion associated with arguments.” and “wheeling and dealing.” And sometimes, “gossip and slander” (48). (You know, context matters.) I spell it the alternate way but like “baddis” and “baddes,” “mampie” and “mampy” — when it comes to local and regional colloquialisms — we all take liberties. Or spell it how we feel like. Or whatever.
Please attribute and cite anything you may use from my blog.
Feel free to link the I with feedback, lucky number picks (or not), or what yuh dream last night at: soy.ayanna [at] gmail [dot] com
Find some of my creative fiction and non fiction work inside Apogee Journal, Cleaver Magazine, Moko Magazine, Black Renaissance Noire, tongues of the ocean, sx Literary Salon, St. Somewhere Journal, The Guidebook, Black Girl Dangerous, 2010 Caribbean Writer Literary Journal and in Racialicious’ Love, Anonymously series. My writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry and The Best American Essays.
My first poetry chapbook Taste of Hibiscus (2013) is available from Dancing Girl Press.