Headlands Center for the Arts

Saretta Morgan

arizona | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2019

Artist Statement

I write and study poetry that challenges the images produced and normalized through anti-Black economic, biological, and mythological narratives. I work to understand the particularity of what various narrative forms render visible, and I think about the need to recognize and account for even the most subtle narrative forms. For instance, the narratives produced through pharmaceuticals, hair care, financial debt; each of these enacts their own processes of organizing people, space, and values that materialize into lived experiences. I rely on hybrid forms and broad interpretations of narrative to produce new meeting grounds, both physical and affective locations, for imagining Black living and its possibilities. My first full-length collection, Plan Upon Arrival is forthcoming from Three Count Pour/Selva Oscura in 2020. Other publications include Feeling Upon Arrival (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018) and room for a counter interior (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2017).

While at Headlands

The military buildings which comprise and surround Headlands trace several landscapes of my childhood, environments that bear on my writing to this day with their strict organization, close observation, and feelings of restraint meshed with the intimate lives and imperatives to desire of those within it.

Selected Work

Excerpt from Feeling Upon Arrival (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018)


Banner image: Saretta Morgan, Negro Hauling Home Water (video still), 2018