Barbara Fant, from Youngstown, Ohio, is a minister, poet, and artist facilitator. She has been writing and performing for over ten years. She has represented Columbus on four National poetry slam teams and five individual competitions. She placed 8th out of 96 poets in the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She has been commissioned by The Columbus Foundation, the City of Columbus, and the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. She has featured with The Columbus Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and The Harmony Project. You can find her work in the Columbus Makes Art campaign, the Columbus Museum of Art, TEDx Columbus, and Columbus Alive named her a 2017 People to Watch. She is the author of one poetry collection, Paint, Inside Out (released in 2010 by Penmanship Books of New York City), and two chapbooks, Them Brilliant Suns and RibCaged (both released in March of 2017). She holds a BA in Literature, a Masters in Theology, and is currently pursuing an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. She has worked for years in juvenile correctional facilities and schools teaching art as form of healing. Currently, she works at The Columbus Foundation as the Nonprofit Outreach Administrator and teaches poetry at Transit Arts. Barbara believes in the transformative power of art and she considers poetry her ministry.
Black Woman Repetition – (After Terrance Hayes)
Black woman, college degree
Black woman, masters
Black woman student loans,
Black woman loaned her life over to student,
Student, Black woman, woman full time job
Single black woman over 30
Single black woman… 30?
Black woman, world calls bitter
Black woman bitten angry black,
Black woman bitter black angry broke
Is she the only thing broken?
Let’s talk about war, let’s talk about Vietnam men coming home limbless,
Agent orange where black souls should be,
Let’s talk about fathers, daddy didn’t come home,
Black woman got daddy issues, black woman daddy issues,
Black woman, 30 still dealing with daddy issues?
Black woman nurse black man, Black father?
Black boy too afraid of his own insecurities?
Black woman, black hole
Black woman not whole?
Black woman, black woman, you are more than just the hole your thighs uphold
Woman of black, Black woman you are not always the night,
you are not always black and blue,
Black woman not Jonah,
Black boy, are you Jonah?
What do you do when there’s fear inside you the size of a whale’s body?
Black woman wail, Black woman travail for black man,
black woman pray, black woman pray, black woman, don’t be another man’s prey
She swim, black woman float, woman water,
Black woman your face not always an aquarium’s explosion