Mosaic 43

This issue of Mosaic is Black. And queer. It is blackickty-Black and queer AF.

Mosaic: Black/queer/lit explores the tender, luminous skin between Blackness and queerness, and it seeks to touch that skin. It wants to find the places where our Blackness itself is—and has always been—queer. It wants to hold the spots where queerness and gender take their shape through histories and futures that are unfailingly, unflaggingly, eternally Black.

The New New Mosaic

Mosaic #43: Queer/Black/Lit


Sept 2023, Specs: 192 pages, full color, 6″ x 9″

Bringing together an intergenerational, diasporic, multigenre gathering of novelists, poets, visual artists, playwrights, activists, academics, and more, Mosaic: Black/queer/lit stages conversations and poses questions within and between its lines: What is “queerness” to us, and how does it shape our visions of Blackness, gender, transness, class, nation, and power? How do we imagine queer spaces of belonging, both as living community, and within broader Black, feminist, anti-colonial, and other radical political legacies? What queer lessons does the natural world teach? What are the nourishing shapes of Black queer spirituality? What power does sex and desire bring to Black queer literary life? What language can we create to name our genders and lay claim to our bodies’ freedom amid systems committed to our undoing? What does “queerness” want to say to Black “gay and lesbian” history? What does it need to hear?

How do we get to our Black queer future? What do we do to make it? In that future, how do we grow the gorgeous resources of our joy?

In these conversations, we look to language. We alight. We get lit. We reach for the blazing force and beauty of literature.

In Mosaic: Black/queer/lit, our linguistic reach is transgressive. It twirls across lines of nation and generation. It talks dirty, and breaks form. It contradicts itself. It laughs hard. Sometimes, it whispers truth behind the backs of authority. Other times, it gets all up in your face, loud.

As you read, I hope you will listen for the voices gathered here—our shouts and moans, our giggles, our sighs, our ululations, the sucking of our teeth. The riffs and runs of our soaring celebration.

Find us here, luminously Black, brilliantly queer, speaking every tongue, everywhere, as we have been/will be/are, always.

Guest Editor Mecca Jamilah Sullivan

Chinelo Okparanta, Harry Sylvester Bird (Novel Excerpt)
Marci Blackman, “Zay”
Marlon Rachquel Moore, “Bullnettle and Blue Jays”

“Presence to possibility.” Alexis Pauline Gumbs interviewed by Tara M. Holman
“Screaming to Be Out.” Cheryl Clarke interviewed by Marci Blackman
“Survival is a relational praxis.” C. Riley Snorton interviewed by Noura Mutima Brock-Jaber

Airea D. Matthews, “elemental”
Airea D. Matthews, “Subtext for Troubled Times”
Donika Kelly, “Every moment I have been alive, I have been at the height of my powers”
Donika Kelly, “We Came Here to Get Away from You”
J Mase III, “A Desperate Stonewall Love Poem”
Jewelle Gomez, “Coal for Audre Lorde”
Jewelle Gomez, “Eleanor Bumpurs Reminds White People: This Is Not the Titanic…”
Krudas Cubensi, “Les Elles”
Lenelle Moïse, “All on That Day”
Odaymar Cuesta, “Tonguetraces”
Saretta Morgan, “If skin passes always through language, texture is compelled by desire”
Seven Poems by Cheryl Clarke

GerShun Avilez, “Anatomies of Womanhood: Trans Life Writing and the Question of Embodiment in Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty”
Darius Bost, “Black Gay and Lesbian Studies in an Increasingly Queer World”
Darnell L. Moore, “Touch”
Janet Mock, “I Am My Sister’s Keeper: Women’s March on Washington Speech”

Amarise Carreras
Bashira Webb
Felicita Felli Maynard

Jewelle Gomez, Waiting for Giovanni: a dream play (excerpt, written in collaboration with Harry Waters Jr.)

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe, reviewed by Alma Sterling
Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought, edited by Briona Simone Jones, reviewed by M Shelly Conner

The New New Mosaic

Mosaic #43: Queer/Black/Lit


Mosaic #43, Sept 2023, Dimensions: 190 pages, full color, 6″ x 9″