Manuscript Consultation



I have edited Puerto del Sol's Black Voices Series since 2015.  Fighting against the cultural erasure & violent silencing of black perspectives in general, & the specific dearth of black writers in today's literary landscape, the Black Voices Series aims to lend a platform to black-identified writers and multi-modal artists. Our aim is to hold space. To foster community. To loudly proclaim that our voices are worthy &that our words are magic, in a world quick to deny those truths. We thank those who send us their work for trusting that we will honor it. 


#blackvoicesmatter #blacklivesmatter


We are so often taught (or at least I was in college a decade ago) to imagine genre as mutually exclusive monoliths—poetry is lineated, prose is not, non-fiction is the truth and nothing but the truth, so help us god, etc. The best writers, I’ve found, the ones who I re-read, the ones whose work I analyze for tricks and treasures to steal for myself, are those who work across genre, hybridizing forms, making Frankensteins of their best parts. And so, Scarlet includes both a creative piece and a statement from the author about how they have come to understand their own writing through genre. The borders of what is and what isn’t cross-genre are fuzzy and amorphous and changing—I have no interest acting as a gatekeeper (who defines), only as a conduit (who channels and conveys). You may engage with prose poems, lyric essays, multi-modal work (think collage & writing), or performative pieces (video & audio). The only limits are defined by what we can produce.


All of the writers in this project are femmes/womxn of color who live with neurodivergence and their voices are powerful and necessary. Some of them chose to write about their experiences existing with a body that is neurally atypical, some sent in work that focused on their family experiences, others explored a lover’s gaze or their loving gaze on themselves. Their work is emblematic in just one way: Art from femmes/womxn of color who identify as neurodivergent or mentally ill rejects a single narrative. There is no one focus that we are held to, and there is no overarching aim of our work. This folio is a disco ball of topics, no single mirrored face refracts the world in the same way.


Invisible Weight demands space for those whose voices are intersectionally marginalized, whose brains and hearts and skin are used as weapons against them. They refuse that weaponization, and this work is labor of their love(s) and ability. What a blessing it is to share in that love. What a cure. A special thanks to each contributor for their trust and labor, and to Kayla and Axel for everything else.

©2018 by Naima Yael Tokunow