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The Center for Fiction Presents: Hafizah Augustus Geter on The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin with J Wortham

September 21, 2022

Who writes the stories that attach themselves to our identities, for better and often for worse? In The Black Period, poet Hafizah Augustus Geter shows us that, for her, revision means unlearning the internalized stories from white supremacist narratives and finding ways for the beauty of Blackness, Islam, disability, and queerness to flourish together. Geter’s combination of cultural criticism, memoir, political analysis, art, and reflection proves it is possible to hold space for all the troubling realities of inequality and also beauty, hope, love, and joy.

New York Times Magazine staff writer, author, and podcaster J Wortham (Still ProcessingBlack Futures) joined Geter for a richly nurturing conversation filled with Afrofuturist thought.

This event was co-presented by passerby, a magazine that celebrates the women who pass us by through intimate portraits, curated recommendations, and more.

In Conversation

  • Hafizah Geter photo - credit Beowulf Sheehan - Claire Fennell

    Hafizah Augustus Geter

    Hafizah Augustus Geter

    Hafizah Augustus Geter is a Nigerian American writer, poet, and literary agent born in Zaria, Nigeria, and raised in Akron, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina. She is the author of the poetry collection Un-American, an NAACP Image Award and PEN Open Book Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Bomb, the Believer, the Paris Review, among many others. The poetry committee co-chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, she is a Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless nonfiction fellow, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a 92Y Women inPower Fellow and holds an MFA in nonfiction from New York University, where she was an Axinn Fellow. Hafizah lives in Brooklyn, New York.

  • JWbyKATHYRYAN - Claire Fennell

    J Wortham

    J Wortham

    J Wortham (she/they) is a sound healer, reiki practitioner, herbalist, and community care worker oriented towards healing justice and liberation.

    J is also a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, and co-host of the podcast Still Processing. Their work has won multiple awards, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Newswomen’s Club of New York, the Webbys, and a finalist from the National Magazine Awards. J is also the proud editor of the visual anthology Black Futures, a 2020 Editor’s choice by the New York Times Book Review, along with Kimberly Drew, from One World. She is also currently working on a book about the body and dissociation for Penguin Press called Work of Body. When not in or near a body of water, J primarily lives and works on stolen Munsee Lenape land, now known as Brooklyn, New York.