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Keisha-Gaye Anderson – #febflash

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Keisha-Gaye Anderson

WHAT SHAPE DOES YOUR INTELLIGENCE WANT TO BE?

If you’re a storyteller, you probably can’t keep track of all the inspiration you experience on a daily basis. But before you get overwhelmed at the thought of writing a 300-page novel for every new realization you have, consider what other “shapes” will give your story maximum impact.

Some of my stories were better served as short fiction than poetry. And some worked better as visual art.

Now, I caution you–don’t randomly multi-task because you are excited by the idea of being “multi.” Trying to do everything isn’t what I’m talking about. That’s unproductive.

What I am suggesting is that you exercise your latent talents so that the ideas you feel moved to share with the world get birthed in their most potent form.

How will you know what shape your intelligence wants to be?

1. Recall the genesis of your idea. Did you hear, see, feel the creation in your mind’s eye? Is it music? Is it a picture? Is it two characters talking while they walk through the woods?

2. Then think about the forms that YOU like to work with–not what you think an audience would like to see. Is it clay? Paint? Are you on a stage? Are you dancing?

Where these two meet, a genuine physical representation of your inspiration is born, and an audience can literally feel that.

Your intelligence is just one of your many inaudible names, but you can introduce yourself better to the world if you let your art come out the way it wants to. And it doesn’t hurt to hone those skills through classes and workshops.

We all are many things and multi-layered, and you should never feel that you have to only do one thing for the rest of your life. Smash the boxes and exercise your wings. Trust me, they exist.


Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a Jamaican-born poet and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of Everything Is Necessary (Willow Books), Gathering the Waters (Jamii Publishing), and A Spell for Living (Agape Editions). Her poems, essays, and fiction have been widely published in anthologies and literary journals. Keisha is a past participant of VONA and Callaloo writing workshops, and was short listed for the Small Axe Literary award. In 2018, she was selected as a Brooklyn Public Library Artist in Residence. She was presented with the Poetic Icon Award from her alma mater Syracuse University in 2021. Keisha holds an M.F.A. from The City College, CUNY. Learn more at www.keishagaye.ink.

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