June 1, 2015 by petrujviljoen
Presenting Nikkie Skies. I invited her to write about writing, it sounds like thinking about thinking.
Nikki Skies is an accomplished poet, speaker, playwright, author, and performing artist living in Atlanta, GA. She is best known for her books Pocket Honey, Wind and Hips, Mississippi Window Cracks and her new fiction novel, The Town Dance (released June 2015) that takes a bold and gripping look into sexual assault between same sex partners.
Nikki has traveled the country participating in panel discussions and facilitating workshops amongst the likes of Sonia Sanchez, Saul Williams, Gloria Steinem and the late Amiri Baraka. Her award winning blog hosted “She Chronicles”, a collection of writings for and about women and a poetry series “When We Arrived” that featured poets from around the world. More information for Nikki can be found at http://www.nikkiskies.wordpress.com
Whose Ever Voice This Reaches
I am often asked why do I write or what inspires me to write and it is ultimately because I seek answers. Writing is the space where I can ask all the silly, impertinent, healthy, damaging, progressive, one-sided questions I want! Writing is the place that keeps me here and present.
Living amongst a culture of people where education is politically charged, I was always aware people that looked like me were absent from literature and our stories void of text book discussions. From elementary education, I was being encouraged to believe African Americans were salvaged through slavery and that God had created only a few bright minds capable of speaking their own narrative. At least this is how I felt. I remember feeling compartmentalized and taught limitations. Even though I was taught to respect my teachers, I didn’t believe what they were saying. So I’ve been torn between rebellion and respect since I was about eight years old.
One of my favorite past times was reading because when I read I could time travel and escape. Reading gave me a safe place to believe the things in my heart and mind. The sky felt a familiar blue and I was able to understand the things I was learning in science. Like the connection of rain and green grass and oxygen and morning mist. It all made sense through reading from a holistic view not the compartmentalized education that was being provided to me in public schooling. I’m a creative thinker so I learn best through creative expression. And I discovered that when I wrote I learned even more. And most importantly, the boxes that education confined me in, tumbled.
So I write because I learn and teach through the process. Sometimes you can’t explain what you are thinking until you read it somewhere. I write because this is what someone possibly needs in helping knock a wall down. I write from a place of rebellious respect, where the grass speaks and the air bends false reality. I write to make connections with and for some people, whose ever voice this reaches.