I’m obsessed with a scene in James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” where he describes musicians as “keeping it new at the risk of ruin.” At the risk of ruin, I aim to explore how we locate ourselves within the definitions of words, how we interrogate encounters and how we give them space. My words are grounded in the bodily experience, layered in unusual imagery and sound—sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, but always musical/foregrounded in rhythm. Mainly prose and lineated verse, my work gives space to Cape Verdean identity, contemporary surveillance and the phenomenology of femininity.
Shauna Barbosa's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Virginia Quarterly Review, the Awl, Colorado Review, No Tokens Journal, the Atlas Review, PANK, and others. She received her MFA from Bennington College. Her first book Cape Verdean Blues is forthcoming in Spring 2018 from Pitt Poetry Series.