Jasmin Oya

 Based in Portland, Oregon, raised by the hands of North Philadelphia and born against the grain of Camden, New Jersey, I am a black writer, educator and scholar with an ever-transforming and sacred expression of self, body and image. A testament to the rigorous study of the academy and delicate practice of creative writing, my work is dedicated to following the trails of Black interior life and performance beyond the veils of religion, literature and popular culture. Remembering Bessie Smith’s ‘no place to lay my head’ I follow the migration of culture, spirit and body in retrieving a stolen life. The creative practice of this journeying unfolds in the tongue through fiction, creative essay and poetic reflection. I hold my BA in English with a minor in Black World Studies from Oakwood University and MA in Social Thought and Humanities from New York University. I am an Artist-in-Residence with the Independent Publishing Resource Center, and I currently hold a teaching position covering courses: Creative Writing, Journalism, Latin American & Caribbean Literature, and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Concordia University in Portland Oregon.

 In conversation with my  ‘slam’ training, my creative writing bends and vacillates between anecdotes of experimental poetry; short story and creative nonfiction. I believe in autonomy as the main ingredient for studying and writing the sensational nature of Blackness, archiving narratives of the body, and the interior life of queer frontiers and intimacies. The aim of my approach is to form a critical lens that handles Black and queer lives with a gentle care that is committed to deepening an inextricable relationship between my work and the community it represents.