About me

creative commess is the musing space of Soyini Ayanna. Before I turned one-year-old, we moved back to the Caribbean, and 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, and critical essays; I like to consider aspects of pop culture from a black West Indian feminist lens, 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 because we’re often undervalued and overlooked. I often find myself revisiting areas pertaining to race, blackness, anti-blackness, culture and identity to name just a few. I believe in the supremacy of pum-pum shorts and that wining is good for the soul (trust meh, it is). I frequently think about and critique popular West Indian & Trinbagonian cultural trends, soca trends and what I see taking place.

I also love majestic old trees, communing with said trees and nature, quality teas and rum, bodies of water, cheek-kissing and Julie mangoes (list is not exhaustive).

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, essentially.

Additionally, #AllBlackLivesMatter — whether in Morvant or Laventille or Curepe or Kingston or Georgetown or anywhere throughout the diaspora. #BlackTransLivesMatter and #BlackQueerLives Matter today and every blasted day. ✊🏿✊🏿✊🏿 

Since some people were wondering about it: the header pic is from an art project that my very talented friend 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 collaborative ideas, offers of tea, feedback, or numbers from what yuh dream last night at: soy.ayanna [at] gmail [dot] com

If you ever feel inclined to support my writing and helping me finish a manuscript one day, or you want to help increase my tea stash, or you just have dollars to burn as they say, send me some coin 💲 here! 💲

Find some of my poetry, fiction and nonfiction work inside: Anomaly, Small Axe 53, Apogee Journal, Cleaver, Moko, Black Renaissance Noire, tongues of the ocean, sx Literary Salon, St. Somewhere Journal, The Guidebook, Black Girl Dangerous, 2010 Caribbean Writer and in Racialicious’ Love, Anonymously series.

I was awarded a scholarship to the 2019 Key West Literary Seminar Writers’ Workshop in poetry. My writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, named a notable essay of 2015 in Best American Essays, and was the 2016 winner of the Small Axe Literary Competition in poetry. I have been awarded a 2023 PERIPLUS Fellowship. Woot-woot.

My poetry chapbook Taste of Hibiscus (2013) is available from Dancing Girl Press. (Granted some of those poems make me cringe now, but still.)

*trans-inclusive feminism always

18 Responses to “About me”

  1. anonyjw Says:

    Well, let’s hope you ketch real vaps then!

    You write good stuff!

  2. soyluv Says:

    thank-you! i try to keep the vapses coming.

  3. Lesley-Ann Brown Says:

    excellent find! wow!

  4. soyluv Says:

    thank-you lesley-ann! i’m excited that you found my blog. yours was an exciting find for me as well! 🙂

  5. Lesley-Ann Brown Says:

    girl, this site is wonderful! keep it up!

  6. soyluv Says:

    aww thanks lesley-ann! i’ll try to!

  7. risanne Says:

    wow…wow….wow…feel like im listening to a friend..when i read ur stuff…doing M.A in Cultural Studies at UWI Mona…and ur opinions..biases…keep me thinking…and ofcourse..entertained. AWESOME!

  8. soyluv Says:

    hey risanne, thank-you very much! glad to hear from you! i have some friends that went to mona. heard it’s a great experience. cultural studies huh? nice! i bet we could, maybe, totally lime in real life. i heart cultural studies and in another life (OR if i had more time (or money) to kill on academia) — i’d do a degree in it too. i really dig people who are actually getting degrees in things like cultural studies (being in english, i feel we’re kind of like kindred souls) good luck with your studies! hope you come by again & are entertained some more. 🙂

  9. 2010 in review « creative commess Says:

    […] The busiest day of the year was November 19th with 101 views. The most popular post that day was the grrl behind…. […]

  10. dwknight912 Says:

    Hey Soy!

    Good to see you are still active. I haven’t had much time to write lately but will hopefully get back into it soon. Moving back to the VI at the end of the summer. There should be lots to think about there. Thanks for dropping in!


    • soyluv Says:

      ooh, exciting times indeed! i’m sure it will provide lots of new fodder for your musings. looking forward to reading ’em. 🙂

  11. Trameco Says:

    Greetings..I’ve just recently stumbled across your poetry and fell in love with your work. Is there any way that I can contact you (via email) in regards to a visual and literary art anthology that we’re producing here in The Bahamas? Would love for your work to be included in the Caribbean compilation.

  12. Tiara Gilman Says:

    Hi, my name is Tiara Gilman. I am student who goes to Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School. I’ve been looking at your work and I really admire it and I would love to be able to have a phone interview with you about colorism in the West Indian Culture. Please contact at me tiara.a.gilman@student.uncommoncollegiate.org

  13. Bruce Levitan Says:

    Hi Soyini – I hope you see this as it seems like a while since the last posting on your blog and I can’t find any other way to contact you. I just wanted to ask your permission regarding one of your poems (Underside of Knowing) which I have taken the liberty of posting on my poetry blog here: https://brucespoems.blogspot.com/2022/10/underside-of-knowing-soyini-forde.html – if you don’t wish to grant permission please let me know and I will of course remove it. Many thanks, Bruce (brucelevitan — at — gmail — dot — com)

    • soyluv Says:

      Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for reaching out and (re)sharing my work. I appreciate hearing that you enjoyed it and you are definitely welcome to repost as well!

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