/ Exposed Brick Literary Magazine (2019-2023)
Exposed Brick Literary Magazine or #BrickLit is a curation of quality writing and design, started by young creatives in Lawrence, Massachusetts. BrickLit is run by two friends and artists from Lawrence, Massachusetts: Milly Joseph and Gladys Wangeci Gitau-Damaskos who started this journey November 2019 during a conversation at a writing club in their local independent bookstore. They identify as writers and alliterates (people who can read but don’t always want to). This project was a way to encourage more creation and consumption of literacy and art in the city, a way for everyone to read and write more. At the beginning they faced the typical issues a startup publication might encounter: lack of funding and a dying print market. Soon they also had to deal with unpredictable factors, namely a global pandemic and political revolution. Inevitably, they were able to experience success due to a community that believes in them, artists who trust them with their creations, a team with a passion for the work, and a historical moment that reminds us all why this work is needed. Thus, they pivoted to a digital model and on June 21st, 2020–launching a beautifully curated 40-page literary arts magazine featuring twenty local writers and artists.
/ I’m Not Allowed to Explain (Only Foreshadow & Reminisce) (2021)
“I’m Not Allowed to Explain (Only Foreshadow & Reminisce)” is my second book, an attempt to recollect the space between our bodies and our spirits when we give in to the journey life sets before us. Through poetry, I explore the elusive nature of an American upbringing as a queer Black immigrant femme, specifically recounting the dispossession of personhood I experienced at a predominantly white college as my family back home went through deportation proceedings. Between interpersonal violence and systemic oppression, “I'm Not Allowed to Explain'' is about the stories we cannot tell in real time and what happens to them when they are left to ferment in the shadows. With prayers and confessions, I name what I am most afraid of: that sometimes surviving means starting over and starting over means we forget everything we were, an alchemy as tragic as it is redeeming.