[image-1] Poetry at McLeod, a collaborative creative endeavor spearheaded by CCPRC, James Island Arts, and McLeod Plantation Historic Site, brings African-American poets to a preserved space where their ancestors were once enslaved. This Sunday, poet and creative writing instructor Kwoya Fagin Maples will speak under the oaks from 2 to 4 p.m.
Maples is a Charleston native and a graduate of Cave Canem — a non-profit literary service organization founded more than two decades ago with administrative and programming headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., that works to “remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape” — who now teaches creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She directs a three-dimensional poetry exhibit combining poetry and visual art.
Maples has also written a manuscript, Mend, which considers the experience of enslaved women forced to be medical research subjects, specifically, the patients of a Dr. James Marion Sims of Mt. Meigs, Alabama, who performed experimental gynecological surgery between 1845 and 1849.
Mend was a finalist for the AWP Prize for Poetry and the Robert Dana Anhinga Poetry Prize. In her introduction, Maples writes that “these poems are imagined memories and stories told from the women’s hospital beds, fragments from their previous lives. The content also reflects the fact that they were all addicted to opium.”