Maafa is an epic poem about reparations and the female body.
Maafa undoes the erasure of trauma and of black femininity. Maafa has killed
her father and been granted eternal life.
Maafa is Swahili for catastrophe or holocaust, and echoes the
Hebrew word Shoah. Without a word for a traumatic event, its erasure is
always in progress. Maafa killed her father in the barracoons because the sight
of him in captivity beside her was too much to bear. Now she is on her hero's
journey which is filled with efforts to shake the sense of shame and longing
and forgetting that haunts her in her pursuit of freedom. The crime chases her
into all manners of light and darkness. Through an accumulation of images she
exorcises her own haunts, and is healed into complete being.
About the Author
Harmony Holiday is a writer, dancer, archivist, and the author offive collections of poetry. She curates an archive of griotpoetics and a related performance series at the Los Angeles Museum ofContemporary Art. She has received the Motherwell Prize, a Ruth LillyFellowship, a NYFA fellowship, a Schomburg Fellowship, a California Book Award, anda research fellowship from Harvard University's Woodberry Poetry Room.She lives in Los Angeles.