Camonghne Felix, Born. Living. Will. Die., 2021
Sometimes I think I’m never
going to write a poem again
and then there’s a full moon.
I miss being in love but I miss
myself most when I’m gone.
In the salty wet air of my ancestry
my auntie peels a mango with her
and I’m no longer
writing political poems; because
mangoes and my favorite memory is
I’m digging for meaning but
haunted by purpose
and it’s an insufficient approach.
What’s the margin of loss on words
not spent today?
I’m getting older. I’m buying smaller
images to travel light.
I wake up, I light up, I tidy, and it’s
all over now.
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 7, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
My name is Staci Bu Shea (b. 1988, Miami, Florida).
I’m a curator, writer, educator, archivist and organizer living in Utrecht, The Netherlands. My pronoun.is/they.
Broadly, I focus on aesthetic and poetic practices of social reproduction and care work, as well as its manifestations in interpersonal relationships and daily life, community organizing and institutional practice.
With art historian Rizvana Bradley in 2019, I embarked on a study trajectory called Poetics of Living to explore already existing and emerging non-normative forms of living together in consideration of rapidly changing discourses around sexuality, health, communal life, and death. In many ways, this forms the basis of my life practice and my interest in art and culture.
Stemming from this, I’m currently working on an artistic and poetic research project called Dying Livingly, which looks at the communal life and interior architecture of hospice and highlights emergent cultures of end of life care. Since 2019 I help out at a beloved local hospice and I received end-of-life care training from Going with Grace. I have slowly started a practice as a death companion and end of life guide, which involves non-medical, holistic support for those dying and their loved ones. Please get in touch with me if you need support.
From 2017-2022 I worked as a curator at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, an art institution based in Utrecht that focuses on collective art projects and organizational experiments. Together with the team I managed the exhibition program from concept writing and organization to working with artists and designing programs, but was also engaged in other areas of the institution. Noteably I stewarded a digital and analog archival project to establish a base for Casco’s archive since 1990 and sustainable archival practices for the team moving forward. I also worked to make Casco more accessible by implementing accommodations and fostering a culture of accessibility, testing what’s possible for a social, aesthetic experience of care while learning from and working with disability communities.
In the past, I co-curated Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies (2017) at Leslie Lohman Museum of Art (NY) with Carmel Curtis, and graduated from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College with the group exhibition Emphasis Repeats (2016) at Hessel Museum of Art (NY). From 2011-2014 I worked as a studio manager and assistant to artist Jim Draper in Jacksonville, Florida.