Black, Queer tea shop owner makes literary debut with poetry collection

When she first sat down to write, Sis Got Tea owner Arielle Clark‘s (she/her/hers) mind kept circling back to one central issue: the underrepresentation of voices like her’s on bookshelves across America. As a Black, queer, polyamorous woman from Kentucky, her story isn’t the sort typically chosen for book club meetings or “Ladies Wine and Writing” nights. And yet—it should be.

Queer Black voices have been silenced for far too long. Add “Woman” and “Polyamorous” to that adjective list and watch the pool shrink even further. It’s about time we had another voice in the room.

In this first collection, published by Nanny Goat Press, Clark dives into the Black queer experience in contemporary America. She does it brilliantly, moving through the subjects of race, sexuality, mental health, and trauma. The issues we all need to be discussing are met with art and beauty and pain.

In 2019, Nanny Goat Press, a Queer-owned publishing house was launched to serve the publishing needs of the communities most often overlooked. The Press is a storytelling startup aimed at giving creative equity back to the artist and providing a platform for marginalized voices.

Storytelling has always been the way we connect, and now is the most vital time to take a step back and hear from the voices who have traditionally been silenced. It is time to listen to those in our community who have been underrepresented for far too long.

This brilliant piece of work that Arielle has produced is a compilation of poems, stories, and musings for the black and brown bodies who have never felt represented before, the bodies that hold up the strength of ancestors and future generations. This book is a representation of our secrets that are oftentimes withheld and guarded by shadows. This is a glimpse into the exploration of multi- layered identity in its raw, pure, and vulnerable magnificence.” 

—Forward, Fairen Kia

Clark’s story is personal, and yet, deeply universal. The poems she writes—such as “My History,” “My Shit Ain’t Pink,” and “Things to Not Say to Your Black Friend, Lover, Co-worker or Classmate”—tell a different story of queer Kentucky. The queer Kentucky that isn’t lily white or privileged or safe from day to day traumas. They are the stories of many. 

Her voice is resounding, but not unaccompanied.

Let’s here more of these stories. Let’s amplify more of our voices.

Preorder the Book, here!

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