Healing Futures: Ghosts of the Future

zakia henderson-brown and heidi andrea restrepo rhodes
Color photograph of a woman with medium length dark brown hair, wearing a blueish grey tank, seated in a outdoor setting, staring at the camera with a simile.
Purvi Shah, 2021, shot by Neha Gautam

Event Info

“Mississippi was already worked/into my genes, a nascent veined tick.” – Zakia Henderson-Brown

“these five hundred years in our bones/striated conquistas dragging/the letters of the harrowed tongue/into the geography/of our marrow” – Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes

Zakia Henderson-Brown and Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes explore the lessons of ghosts as guides in our quests for liberation. How do we bear the weight of history when it is rife with the violences of colonialism & enslavement & heteropatriarchy, living stereotypes & borders of belonging, an ever-present need to begin again? henderson-brown and restrepo rhodes invite us to freedom quests, to document our bodies in our own terms, to provoke healing through interaction with our pasts and by summoning futures. We find here: dangers, wildnernesses, mourning, and possibilities fertile in always beginning.

Healing Futures, curated by Purvi Shah, is a series of three readings featuring six writers in collaboration with with six artists. Each event presents the poetry of two writers around the theme of Healing Futures and unveils two new limited edition broadsides. The poet/artist collaboration explores the relationship of text, image, and design, incorporating the artists’ visual conveyance of writers’ poetry and prose in broadside form. This event is hosted by Purvi Shah with readings by Zakia Henderson-Brown and Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes. Adama Delphine Fawundu and Matt Collins will discuss their concepts for the broadsides revealed during this event.

zakia’s broadside Bloodline was designed & printed by Adama Delphine Fawundu, and heidi’s broadside Lessons was designed & printed by Matt Collins.


This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council

A note from the curator of the series:

“In January 2020, as I was supporting the development of a restorative justice collaborative to address intimate violence, Sevonna Brown from Black Women’s Blueprint observed that we have to heal the past to heal the future. In Healing Futures, I draw together poets who heed Brown’s call to attend to the wounds of the past for the sake of present & future liberations.

In my curation of Healing Futures, I gather writers who tend lineages while facing harms, while holding close the life-blood of harm, who marvel even when there are not answers – for living is marvelous. The poet pairings are prisms, light shared, light refracted, light pooled. The poet pairings are histories & futures unfolding. The poet pairings are braids that at times come together, at times come apart, come always as they are. Collectively, they are wonders of attention, a praxis of futures, a healing. Collectively, they are an invitation to be an accomplice in awe and liberation.”

-Purvi Shah

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