Friday Field Notes :COUNTDOWN:  Only 9 Weeks Left!
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:: This Week's Word on the Street ::  

“To read Samiya Bashir’s poetry is to be pulled up by a force so intense and magnetic as to constitute a new field of action: dark matter and radiation, witness and redaction, and the pendulum of time and history, swinging, swinging. I am reminded of Melvin Tolson’s description of the night on which that legendary steel-driver John Henry was born: ‘an ax of lightning split the sky.’ This book splits the sky right open, swinging like a melody, swinging like a boxer, swinging on each elemental and freighted word to beat the devil.”

Poet | Light | Field Guide



"I step from the airplane. My hair melts dead air."

I am returned from New Orleans, where a crowd of revelers joined FIELD THEORIES - four - and lit up the New Years Eve Eve night. With only nine weeks and two more films left to complete the cycle, I am thinking about the first film's debut on the final night of the Portland Institute for Creative Art's 2016 Time Based Art Festival. Supported by hands and hearts of community, beneath the fractured light of a harvest moon eclipse, black|bodies descended into TBA:16 and radiated poetry/light.

|| click here to watch FIELD THEORIES - one - the film being screened above ||


When Anna Lena Phillips Bell reached out to me about closing Ecotone's 10th Anniversary Issue with my poem, "A small matter of engineering" I was truly honored. I appreciate their work and Bell thoughtfully read and understood what I was doing.

 "Samiya Bashir is electric," wrote Ecotone editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell in her short piece for
Vela, ANNA LENA PHILLIPS’S FIVE POETS OF PLACE. "Her poems evoke both a defiant allegiance to place and an expansive interpretation of it." Read the rest of it here.

Watch me read "A small matter of engineering" at The World's Oldest Ship in Brooklyn,
with music by Fumio Tashiro and film by Charlotte Lagarde.

Publication date: March 1st 2017

Nightboat Books
Distributed by UPNE (
Paper $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-937658-63-2
6.25 x 8 in 128 pages Poetry
Publicity contact:
Stephen Motika at or 718-930-1062

These poems span lyric, narrative, dramatic, and multi-media experience, engaging their containers while pushing against their constraints
Field Theories wends its way through quantum mechanics, chicken wings, Newports, and love, melding blackbody theory (idealized perfect absorption vs. the whitebody’s idealized reflection) with live Black bodies. 

Woven through experimental lyrics is a heroic crown of sonnets that wonders about love, intent, identity, hybridity, and how we embody these interstices.

Albert Murray said, “the second law of thermodynamics ain’t nothin but the blues.” So what is the blue of how we treat each other, ourselves, and the world, of how the world treats us?
Portland Edition!

Sunday, January 15, 2017
6:00pm  8:00pm
Aladdin Theater 

On January 15, 2017, writers across the United States and in Europe will come together for Writers Resist, a “re-inauguration” of our shared commitment to the spirit of compassion, equality, free speech, and the fundamental ideals of democracy. Writers Resist events, large and small, will be held in dozens of locations throughout the US and the world.

Join me and "Dear Sugars" Cheryl Strayed, Steve Almond, Wendy Chin-Tanner, Zahir Janmohamed, Cooper Lee-Bombardier, Lidia Yuknavitch, Cari Luna, and more greatness at The Aladdin Theater, from 6pm - 8pm. 


Read the SF Chronicle's write-up about the international event here!
Photo Credit: Kenan Banks
Samiya Bashir’s books of poetry: Field Theories (Spring 2017), Gospel, and Where the Apple Falls, and anthologies, including Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art, exist.

Sometimes she makes poems of dirt.

Sometimes zeros and ones.

Sometimes variously rendered text.

Sometimes light.

She lives in Portland, Ore, with a magic cat who shares her obsessions with trees and blackbirds and occasionally crashes her classes and poetry salons at
Reed College.
F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
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S A M I Y A B A S H I R dot com
F O L L O W on V I M E O
S U B S C R I B E on Y O U T U B E
Copyright © 2017 Samiya Bashir, All rights reserved.

Find out more @
samiya bashir dot com

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