S1E5: Understanding Creative Consent feat. Jaki Shelton Green


Episode 5 features newly inducted NC Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, a true writer, artist and daughter of North Carolina. A self-proclaimed “cultural activist,” Jaki currently teaches documentary poetry at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

With a career that spans several decades, Jaki shares her compelling story of growing up as a young African-American girl in the rural South and how writing found her against the backdrop of a tumultuous American era. After a long career in community and service work, Jaki shares that it “took a long time to step inside and say ‘I am a writer,’ even as a published writer.”

We tap into Jaki’s well of wisdom as she discusses giving herself the permission to walk away from work that consumes too much energy. She also explains what documentary poetry is, her women’s writing retreat program, SistaWrite, and of course, Beyonce’s Lemonade.  

As always, this episode features the following music: Aspire by Scott Holmes, and Purple Light by Blue Dot Sessions.

To learn more about Jaki visit: https://www.ncarts.org/jaki-shelton-green-appointed-poet-laureate

Listen to Episode 5 and read the full time-stamped transcript below or tune in on the following podcast platforms:

Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Play, Google Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Podbean, PlayerFM and Blubrry.

Enjoy the episode and remember to Create & Connect!

Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green

Understanding Creative Consent

How can one create without the permission to do so? Jaki Shelton Green takes us on a soul-stirring journey to discovering your life’s work and preserving your artistic energy.

Full Transcript

Narrator:                                 00:02                       Welcome to Meraki mentors, a podcast we train women who create, we interview creatives from every field and around the globe to discuss art risk taking and what it means to live a creative life. Here's your host, Candace Howze,

Candace:                                  00:18                       Jaki Shelton. Green is one of those special people who instantly leaves a good impression. She is just as impressive in person as her resume suggests, but her you melody is both loving and inclusive. When I met her last year, I was inspired and intrigued by her work at Duke Center for Documentary Studies, and I couldn't help but reflect on our conversation this year. Jackie was named the newest poet laureate of North Carolina and honor, that's also historic. She is the first African American woman to hold the post, a decorated poet, teacher and community arts advocate Jaki shares loving words of wisdom during this conversation that spans everything from finding your life's work, to challenging yourself with documentary poetry, to why every artist must give themselves permission to do the work. The question is how? Welcome back to our podcast. This episode of Meraki mentors. We are speaking with someone who is very inspiring to me. She was just named the poet laureate for North Carolina and she currently teaches at Duke University. She's a very talented and successful writer, so I definitely want to welcome to the podcast today, Jackie, Shelton green and first and foremost, thank you so much for. I'm just spending some time with us today out of your busy schedule and sharing a little bit about your art with us.

Jaki:                                            01:53                       Thank you so much Candace. It's quite an honor for you to invite me and for us to be able to have this conversation. I am looking forward to getting to know you and knowing your work better so I truly embrace this moment for you

Candace:                                  02:09                       and just as like a background story for everyone who's listening. So I met Jackie, I would say. I think it was. I feel like it was maybe February or March of last year of 2017. I'm at the Durham Arts Council. I was there. I'm receiving an emerging artist grant that's given through various arts councils in North Carolina and we were able to meet there at the reception and um, it was just a beautiful evening and a beautiful time. So it is definitely great to reconnect again and definitely continue this relationship. So I guess I will give you the floor for a moment just to kind of formally a kind of introduce yourself and what you do and just kind of share a little bit about yourself.

New Speaker:                        02:56                       Certainly. So I have been writing. I'm 65 years old. I have been writing since I was very young. Uh, I've been published since the early 19 seventies, uh, have a number of books and in publication. And my background as a writer has not been in the academic sphere, has not been associated with the cannon. I've always referred to myself as a cultural activists for community based writer, artist. I teach documentary poetry at the Center for documentary studies and I'm very, very happy to be back at Duke. I do contractual work with them many, many years ago through their literacy and photography program, working with photographers from all over the world teaching photography and literacy to public school children and teachers and the Durham public school system. So I've circled back around on that sphere on I write poetry and the poetry that I write is pretty much an embedded in story and the stories of growing up in the rural south as an African American girl growing up in the rural south.

New Speaker:                        04:20                       Um, growing up in the rural south during the advent of desegregation during the Vietnam War, uh, I was kicked out of public schools and Orange County for participating in a civil disobedience act to walk out. And I landed in a quaker boarding school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the George School. And it was as the George school where I really wrote a lot. I was excited about being there, but I was also feeling displaced as a rural person. Now in a very. This prep school was in a rural environment. But, um, you know, in a situation with young people from all over the country and all over the world perspective certainly helped me to texturize my voice, my writing and also to hone the skills that I need it. So I really credit my early, early childhood and my teenage years for getting a very deep seated foundation for what would be sort of the anchor, sort of the lightning rod that would bring forth, you know, to this existence of being a teaching writer and being a published writer, being able to engage with other writers from all over the world.

Candace:                                  05:47                       That's fantastic. And for, I know for so many artists, even myself included, you know, having that artistic talent, that desire sometimes does come from an early age and it's very in the, in um, in who we are as people. Would you say that even during that time as a youth writing, did you kind of always know that like, this is how I'm going to spend my life, this will be my career? Or did that kind of take its own journey in terms of, um, knowing that this is what you want it to do

Jaki:                                            06:22                       for a living? So why are you being sort of found me, even though I was very active as a child writing, I never had any tension for being a writer. I want it to be a scientist. I wanted to be an oceanographer, grandmother who gave me this love of writing through a very simple act of giving me little tiny notebooks that I took to church and I was fidgety, fidgety and nosy in church. And it was paying attention to everything. So I would write, I write my little stories. And then even as I became a teenager sitting in church, I would slip in my own journals and I would sit there and write a [inaudible]. I've always been inspired, influenced. I wrecked it by everything around me, the every day ness and the ordinariness of, of life that influences the texture of my work. Um, so I do believe that sometimes our life work finds us.

Jaki:                                            07:33                       And it took me a long time to really step inside of saying I am a writer, even as a published writer. I think it wasn't until I started receiving public acclaim awards, uh, you know, that I stepped into what that meant because my life has not been a professional life of working. My professionalism goes back to almost 30 some years of working with legal services as a community economic development consultant, as a public benefits paralegal, a being a development officer at a real hot shot fundraiser for a multimillion dollar, a child advocacy and policy nonprofit. Um, and I could go on and on. We're the department of Agriculture. So I was always writing throughout my professional careers or I should say my day job. And it wasn't until 2004 that I was ready to give myself permission to walk away from all of the other work that I can't say. It was distracting me from my creativity. But it certainly was holding hostage to a certain degree. And I was not fully seeped into the work, the creative work. And to be honest, my juice, you know, my Mojo was getting weaker. And weaker because all of my energy was about the other career. So once I stepped into that, I sort of went full throttle with it.

Jaki:                                            09:22                       So that's been my journey to writing. And to be honest, I never, I'm never saw myself as a published writer. Writing has always been my yoga. Writing has always been my dream. It's always been my necessary, you know, companion. So I always tell people if I never publish another book in life and I pray that doesn't happen, but I'm good because I would never stop writing. Yes. All of the public awards, this greatest Dean is wonderful being the poet laureate, but these exterior acclamations do not harvest the spirituality, you know what I'm saying? And the close relationship that I have with my art, it's a very personal relationship and it's a very solitary relationship. So I'm always making sure that I'm preserving because on this journey and when you are as busy as I have been and as I am becoming right now, you are not writing. You know, it's impossible to have. I mean, you can be with so balanced when you're teaching writer a published a writer who has a very high public presence when you're traveling all over the world and when you are very service oriented. So I'm very careful that I have to often tell myself enough. You cannot accept one more speaking engagement for the next six months. You must, right?

New Speaker:                        11:05                       [inaudible].

Jaki:                                            11:06                       Yeah. Because the um, the output of energy to be honest is far greater and what I'm bringing in, that's not to say that my readers and public audiences do not feed me because they really do and they nurture in Norwich mate. But the creativity juice only I can, you know, can, can, can dig deep to make sure I'm not exhausting it.

Candace:                                  11:36                       Yes. What's a few things to actually stand out to me from, from what you said, but one would be kind of creating that boundary in that space to create. Because in so many ways I, if I look at my own self with writing, I feel like it is something that's very personal and very necessary to me. Just even in as a human being constantly journaling, constantly having a way to process emotions and things that are happening around. So like you said, even apart from if no one ever read it or saw it or thought anything of it, it's something that is innately a part of my life, but I think it's very crucial to understand that our lives can take us in different places and sometimes it takes. Having that intention of setting yourself aside and saying that I'm going to create an and I'm not, I'm not going to let these other obligations or outside forces get in the way of that kind of

Jaki:                                            12:40                       sacred practice. We'll do. This is true.

Candace:                                  12:45                       It's kind of a good transition point. I would say that in many ways, um, that probably is part of the kind of inspiration isn't for you starting sister, right? Which I think would be great for you to kind of share and talking about what it's like to have these retreats and these moments where you can kind of go away and be. And a secluded place to work on your writing or to just have those obligations kind of off of your chest for a moment to kind of get some inspiration.

Jaki:                                            13:20                       Yes. Thank you for this invitation to talk about sister, right? Sister Right. Um, is sort of a lifelong dream actualized. I've attended many, many retreats over the years on. So those retreats were so intense that when I came back I was exhausted and they were too academic for me. Some of those regions were a very playful. So I went away and had a ball talking about writing a lot of fabulous writers. Uh, but that wasn't feeding me either, so I kind of knew what I wanted for system, right. I wanted it to be a very nurturing, safe space for women writers could give themselves the permission to, to walk away from their everyday schedules and come being nurtured a in a circle of other women writers. Um, so I have been very intentional about where we go. So we have a central hub which is on Oak Island in the outer banks of North Carolina at my dear friends bed and breakfast accrues in and we take over his bed and breakfast for from Thursday until Monday.

Jaki:                                            14:53                       And in that time frame I am cooking, providing meals so women don't have to worry about food. Um, we create a scenario of an itinerary that's balanced with a lot of open space where participants who come have an opportunity to just be on their own timeframe for writing. Also because women are so stressed and we are so involved in our lives and other people's lives. The teaching or raising a family, being a partner, a life partner, being a care provider for an elder, that this is a space where we come and there are no expectations. There is no judgment. So if somebody shows up and the first two days they just need to sleep because they're physically exhausted and that's totally acceptable because it is a retreat on, in that sleep time and that space of rest. It might be just the space where your creativity can show up again, can find you because you are open to it.

Jaki:                                            16:11                       So it's balanced with me facilitating creativity salons sometimes once a day, sometimes twice a day. It varies on this year for the first time I am introducing something I've always wanted to do as a part of, of the sister, right format is to have other writers in residence. So not only does it is all about me and it's not all about me, it's all about also a space where other women writers can show up and be the facilitator because I don't always want to be the talking head. Um, so that invitation is open to my friends and peers and colleagues, you know, who will come be in residence with us, but they will, you know, facilitate several of the workshops or creativity salons that we host. So, um, we have a series of insistent right called writing in places that matter. A couple of years ago, maybe three years ago, we traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia, uh, where the home of Harlem Renaissance and Spencer is in. It's now the Spencer House Museum, first group of people, the first writers to be invited in her house since Zora Neale Hurston to sit in her writing cottage. So that was an overwhelming experience for all of us. Absolutely. Yeah. Uh, so I'm currently, um,

Jaki:                                            17:57                       reconfiguring sister, right. In terms of international locations. We just returned from Morocco where was there for a month? I hosted a group of women. The first phase was a group of women coming for two weeks and they left and then a second group of women came for another two weeks because of my view post as port laureate. I'm not sure what 2018 looks like, but definitely I'll probably be back in Morocco 20, 19, late 2019. And in another region of Morocco we were in the south of Morocco this time in the atlas mountains and on the southern coast of, of the coastline. So very excited about all of these Moroccan, the Moroccan community building that I'm building with writers and allies and Morocco. And there are other places that I'm looking at with another friend that I may be possibly collaborating with. Sister. Right. And Dream yourself awake, which is a fabulous travel group that a girlfriend of mine in New Jersey facilitates.

Jaki:                                            19:15                       So looking at the possibilities of opening up Australia and Europe perhaps as kind of next rounds for system, right on Ireland is on the table. Um, so we'll see, uh, in addition to the getaway retreats, I also host a one day pop up salons. We called them one day pop up creativity. So there are typically a nine to five. Uh, they're very inexpensive and it's just a great intensive writing day and those are throughout the triangle. I'm actually traveling to Asheville and October to do a weekend, a pop ups. So that's another fun way for women who necessarily can't get away, you know, for all retreat. There's the opportunity to have these one day retreats that have been very, very promising and very important to people.

Candace:                                  20:15                       Well, I can definitely say I, I love what you're doing and being able to create a diversity of different formats and locations to fit whatever, um, a writer might be looking for, able to do. Um, and I definitely need to join them. One of these sounds so exciting.

Jaki:                                            20:34                       Yes. We'd love to have you come. It's very intergenerational. It's very. The diversity is just so wonderful on so many levels in terms of, of a sexual preference and uh, Muslims, Jews, you know, it's just, it's just beautiful. And I never know who's going to show up because I do not do a vetting process for sister. Right though. I think for the future sister, right? International programs, I will be more intentional about making sure that the intensity of the workshop in a foreign country, you know, is what everybody, you know, making sure it fits the needs of a very body because sometimes that kind of journey, um, it's very, very taxing and journey just brings up a lot for a lot of people and being in a foreign place and not all of us are able to, you know, to just surrender to, to new experience or the unexpected without having expectations or agendas, you know. So it is an intensity that I'm very sensitive to and wanting to make sure that whoever travels with sister right is promised, you know, and I can actually deliver a really good time. But the other part of that is someone's readiness, uh, to be able to be on that journey.

Candace:                                  22:17                       Absolutely. What is kind of, um, something that you think is important, you know, if you're on a retreat or a similar trip and you're looking for inspiration or looking to be able to produce more work, what is something that you find is kind of helpful for yourself to kind of get your, your creativity flowing, so to speak?

Jaki:                                            22:42                       Certainly. So there's a practice that I do. I just did it for the women journeying to Morocco. I do it with women coming to cope and we do a journey exercise. And this exercise has been very powerful and very, it seems very simplistic, but just the anatomy of the journey. So I, um, I offer the women an opportunity, an invitation to a journey exercise before they even arrive. And that entails a series of questions that I sent to them, you know, to discuss what does, what does a journey mean to you, and uh, what do you need to extrapolate? What do you need to, as we were crossing the Atlantic Ocean, what do you need to metaphorically drop into that ocean? So this journey exercise of metaphorically just dropping, you know, whatever you're carrying, that's not going to serve you. Just drop it in the ocean on the way over.

Jaki:                                            23:50                       And you know, we do this on the ferry because the journey to oprah coke is even long journey from the triangle. It's a six hour, it's a four hour drive, uh, to catch a ferry and then it's a two and a half hour ferry ride. So on that ferry, I ask people to do this journey exercise. What are you needing to leave behind, you know, writing out a how journeys have served you and kind of, um, what does this journey mean to you? How, how do you want to show up in this journey? What do you need for other companions on this journey with you? You know, what do you need from them? And there are more questions. I'm not looking at my list right now. There are many more questions and that becomes sort of the, um, the footprint is this, if I can use that, it becomes sort of a footprint for when we step off the airplane, when we step off the theory that you have a different clarity about why you showing up.

Jaki:                                            25:00                       And I think that's directive and it offers some guidance and it helps people to think of writing as this powerful tool that they can use to dig into that journey. Um, you know, it sounds like kind of like a flip easy exercise, but women have told me that, uh, when they were on the ferry, they're like, oh, let me pull out my little sheet of paper. Jackie asked me these questions all, let me just write down something. And I found myself like, you know, throwing up over the side of the fairway because I really hadn't thought about what I needed to unload so I could show up and my own authenticity in my own skin. You know, what permissions that I need from myself to show up and what permissions will the journey grant me so many questions and by the time people work through that, they've worked through a lot and um, for most people it's, it's a refreshingly daunting welcomed exercise that just helps them to be in community and to be in community in a very affirming way for the rest of the community, if that makes sense.

Candace:                                  26:21                       It definitely makes sense. Um, and I liked this idea of thinking about the journey and, and what that means to each person, um, because in so many ways art is a way that we are honestly preserving ourselves and our experiences, even our entire, um,

Jaki:                                            26:43                       entire

Candace:                                  26:44                       era just of the world around us at any given time that we're here and kind of documenting those experiences. Um, and I think it's important that we are constantly asking questions of ourselves because it's in searching for those answers that we not only come up with the best work, but we also have a better understanding of just who we are as people.

Jaki:                                            27:11                       Exactly. And, you know, I'm asking a lot of people who might be meeting me for the first time in Morocco or in how to trust me to trust the process, you know, to trust total straight. There's you, you're going to be with women for anywhere from, you know, an Okra. Coke is like five days, some women you're meeting for the first time. But what I have seen is an incredible sisterhood grow out of these chance meetings. The very first sister right group remains in tact. Uh, we travel to a lot of sister right events together. One of the sister right women who came to Morocco has, has done everything system right? Has any event I have ever offered sponsor, she's shown up, you know, so that, that core group for the very first sister, right, they met, they bond it, their support systems to each other.

Jaki:                                            28:18                       Another instance was a, a huge sister right one day pop up through about 20 women there. And unbeknownst to me, what grew out of that one day, all of these friendships and a collective has happened for these women meet on their own without me to critique each other's poetry, emailed each other's work. And that's exactly what I want, sister right to do this. This for me, because my, you know, my only work, I'm an artist, I'm a cultural activists. I'm not a full time professor at Duke. I don't want to be a full time professor at Duke. So, you know, sister, right, was to also augment my, my, my revenue. But the cool thing, you know, the, the real currency of all of this for me is to see what happens, what goes to the next level. You know, when two or three women go off and read on their own, on, those are the magical things that I celebrate.

Jaki:                                            29:31                       You know what I'm saying? As the byproducts, the, um, the side effects and sister ride does have deep community. I don't advertise a lot. I don't mark it a lot because all of the events that I've sponsored pretty much sell out immediately. Uh, I have lists, I have waiting lists upon waiting lists for Morocco trips and trips to ocr coke, so I just feel very, very blessed that my intentions have been blessed to make this what I'd wanted it to be for women. And um, and I also want it to be a model, um, in this day and age, everybody and their mother and their sister has a writing retreat. Yes. And I'm not buying into the competitiveness of that. On the right is different. I'm not saying it's better or it's worse than anybody else's retreat, but it is different and I stand for the possibilities of what happens in being different inside of sister, right?

Jaki:                                            30:47                       Sister right welcomes every woman because we all have powerful voices. We have ge stories that need to be on earth and many of them, women who come to system, right are sometimes emerging writers are nontraditional writers and often they are not writers at all. There are quilters or they are sculptors or they are artists who are looking for the narratives inside of there. Other art forms dancers have come. So it's an open door for anyone who espouses to want to explore their creativity, the community with creative women and build community. Because for me, that's what the arts is truly about. It's about building community, it's about changing the world. One story, one point, one dance and one song at a time. And we have to intentionally create these spaces and it's about the food we eat. Well, it's sister, right? I'm a good and nourish people. So they have finger in finger licking suchan stories that they tell. You know, it's, it's good. It's just good. Discuss good medicine when we're there with each other.

Candace:                                  32:08                       No, it's been. And I think it's, it's always be the phone when you're able to create something that does, um, flourish and become a greater extension of the community because so many, um, so many of the women that I've even been able to connect with doing the show and talking on the podcast has, have really reinforced the impact and importance of community and their wellbeing and their creativity. And so it's beautiful to see how that's flourishing. I want it to 'em kind of nearing down here to, um, ask you about

Jaki:                                            32:52                       your

Candace:                                  32:53                       class that you teach in terms of documentary poetry. And I know for a lot of people they're probably wondering how those two things kind of come together in a sense. So, and I know I was very inspired by, um, your description of it when we first met. So if you could tell us a little bit about what documentary poetry is.

Jaki:                                            33:15                       Sure. So the most simplistic way to talk about documentary is to think about it as a form of read that, that seeks to document or capture historical moment on or a current event in words, images, sound, vd, video, podcast, you know, any other kind of media. Um, and I teach, uh, John, John Ray in terms of, you know, it can be spoken in first word or you know, it can be a third person perspective. So documentary poetry, you know, use as primary and secondary source materials to texturize informed the poetic. So, you know, it's, it's often a containing quotations or images, um, you know, say from a historical documents. So for instance, one of the documents that my students and I look at and examine and dismantle is the magnet charter. So when they are writing a response to the Magna Carter, I'm saying the Magna Carter, uh, they may actually use quotations or lines from the Magna Kotter or Natasha threat away when she was poet laureate, went to New Orleans with a film crew and document it, the horror of people losing their lives and homes from ward to ward.

Jaki:                                            34:52                       So some of the, you know, there was, there were images or quotations, but her poetics, you know, was uncovering the truth and retelling that historical event. Um, so in my documentary poetry class, we look at, look at marginalized histories and histories. Uh, we look at narratives, um, but my students are right a lot of documentary poetry starting with their own preexisting documents. So one of our first exercises is to, uh, to do a selfie point. So we do a whole, a whole unit on the Selfie were we discussed the militarization of the Selfie, the of the self with the commercialization, the political association, you know, the, uh, the sexualization of the Selfie and they have to do a selfie documentary poem with no images. So it's totally based on primary and secondary documents. So it's very interesting. Some have chosen, one of my immigrant students shows his primary sources were a stack of letters and cards as the first immigrant child of his family to attend college and all of the letters you to receive from his grandparents and his siblings.

Speaker 5:                               36:25                       Um,

Jaki:                                            36:26                       and his first book he learned to read from because as a child he did not, he couldn't read, he didn't talk and they worried about them. And now you know, he's an amazing student at Duke. Uh, other students have said, well, my primary document is the least to my apartment. I guess I'm grown now because it's the first thing I've ever signed and my name. So it, you know, it could vary with those primary and secondary documents. Look like some people, it was a birth certificate. It was a passport, it was their families, well, historical page out of their families, uh, you know,

Jaki:                                            37:06                       history of coming to this country through Ellis island, that historical document, um, so, you know, family documents, archival material, even public testimony would be considered, you know, elements of documentary portrait. So, um, for me in the teaching of this class is about merging the social with the personal and that's what my students through to, through a very comprehensive introduction to many, many other documentary poets, we'd look at a lot of youtube documentary poetry either. There's a lot out there. And matter of fact, my students are writing nine poems a week responding to three different lists, more than nine. There are responding to three different documentary poets. They are not analyzing the points, the points of those poets, but they are responding from three different perspectives to that, that piece of work, you know, pulling out a line or two as their primary source. And then they are constructing their own responses to that documentary point from three different perspectives.

Jaki:                                            38:32                       So that's nine poems. Her per, for writer center. Actually that's three times nine. So I have 27 points a week, so it's an intense writing class and they have team projects, uh, that I assigned them a to team projects and then their final grade is based on a documentary portfolio of poetry and it can not include any of the coins they've written for their weekly assignments. But it's fun. We have a lot of fun. One of the most fun things is they, um, they're excited because lemonade, beyonce lemonade video is a part of the syllabus and they have to dismantle it. And uh, I select to students the lemonade syllabus because there's a teaching syllabus for eliminate on that's just fabulous and they have to dismantle it and, but the entire class has to respond so they present. So actually all of the students also every week to students are assign the three writers that they have to present to the class, like all the classes during the assignments.

Jaki:                                            39:58                       But I give a list of questions for the treatment of how they examined the documentary poetry and two people have to teach the class and I feel when you know any, any, you know, any voids on. But they do a terrific job of doing it themselves. So this year I really wanted to change my syllabus, revamp it. I was going to make lemonade out and I was going to put in the new childish Gambino Video, um, you know, but with this new position, I think the syllabus will remain absolutely, absolutely. I have a box of new material that I want to, you know, to weave into a new syllabus. But I don't think it makes logical sense for me to do that this year.

Candace:                                  40:49                       Absolutely. Um, so we have a, um, I kinda fun segment that we do at the end of every show that we like to call Meraki picks. And so it's kind of fun, kind of art related things, um, that we put together and ask all of the guests. So the first one would be basically your favorite restaurant or a restaurant that you wish everyone could go to you at some point.

Jaki:                                            41:23                       Well, um, that's a really hard one because I'm such a. and most recently, um, my publisher in Chicago Press and my family hosted a really wonderful surprise, celebratory lunch and for me at city, uh, in Raleigh City is 11 nice restaurant and I'd forgotten how much I love the food because I hadn't been there in awhile. So it just reawakened my appreciation.

Candace:                                  42:01                       Absolutely. Number two would be what is, um, an artists and musical artist or a song that has been on your mind lately?

Jaki:                                            42:23                       [inaudible]?

Candace:                                  42:42                       Yes, absolutely. Um, so last but not least, um, which sometimes I feel is, can be one of the hardest questions, but it's a fun one. And that would be, do you have kind of like a, maybe a quote or a piece of advice like a saying that, um, you kind of live by or that you kind of is your mantra?

Jaki:                                            43:15                       I do. I have to actually. And the quotas, tenderness until the unknown is tenderness unto oneself. And that has been a tremendous. It's a tremendous guiding point for me when I was dealing with the loss of my daughter, uh, when I've been at the threshold of uncertainty, uncertainty, and not knowing if I should embark on something new or, or how do I know, tamp down fear, so tender to the unknown is tenderness or to oneself. And the advice that I try to live by my mantra is to show up, is to tell the truth, at least the truth by which you know it, pay attention and don't sweat the outcomes.

Candace:                                  44:11                       I love that. I'm going to write that and put that on my wall. Absolutely.

Jaki:                                            44:19                       But they work from the.

Candace:                                  44:22                       Absolutely. Well, I definitely want to thank you and um, and also give you an opportunity to let us know where we can, if there's anywhere we can follow you online or just anything coming up that we can, um, look forward to you.

Jaki:                                            44:40                       Oh my gosh, there's so many things to look forward to. I was just about to print my schedule on facebook because I have an itinerary that started. Uh, the minute I got off the plane, literally from Morocco that is extended all the way through, uh, December of 2019 that is going on my friend, I'm going to be doing a lot of readings and a lot of this will be publicized, the official North Carolina poet laureate induction. It will be quite an auspicious moment for me and, and I want to share it because I'm not here standing on my own legacy of legs, you know, it's a legacy ancestors and family and my readers and anybody I've ever interacted with, you know, in this realm. So that's the most important one right now. Um,

Candace:                                  45:47                       absolutely. Well, again, thank you so much for just sharing your time and your words and beautiful spirit with us today. Um, it has always been a joy and an honor. Um, and I know it is for everyone listening, so thank you so much.

Jaki:                                            46:06                       Thank you candice, and I look forward to catching up with you.

Candace:                                  46:11                       Thanks so much for listening. If you happen to be in the Carrboro North Carolina area this week, you can hear Jackie read flyleaf books this Friday, October 19th at 6:30 during the west end poetry festival. For more details, visit west end poetry festival.org. Also be sure to rate and review us on itunes or facebook. I'd love to hear feedback and follow us on social media for more updates, words of inspiration and creative tips.

Narrator:                                 46:39                       To learn more about today's guest or the podcast, visit Muraki mentors podcast.com.

Candace:                                  46:45                       Don't forget to create and connect.