First Made Into Language

Projects + Exhibitions

First Made Into Language


Amidst the smoke of California fires caused by climate change, the smoke of tear gas grenades pelted at protestors standing up for the rights of Black individuals to live freely without fear of the police, and the smoke of misinformation from politicians about the realities of living in these ongoing crises along with a viral pandemic, we need to hear clear voices calling out. 

Southern Exposure is pleased to share five voices – Black, Indigenous, queer – that open up space in which we can take a collective breath, and to offer a space of support for poets and artists who can sustain us with their work. These pieces build on the work of pathmaking Black, lesbian, womanist poet and writer Audre Lorde, who in 1977 birthed one of the clearest definitions of poetry in her essay Poetry is Not a Luxury. In Lorde’s radical remaking, poetry is already here; it is the site of our most intimate and empowered declarations.

Throught September and October 2020, artist, educator, and SoEx Curatorial Councilmember PJ Gubatina Policarpio invites poets Alan Palaez Lopez, Giselle Buchanan, Demian DinéYazhi, Omotara James, and ray ferreira to share their work through SoEx’s digital platforms in a new project titled First Made Into Language. These texts will then come together in a chapbook designed by Menaja Ganesh. If you would like to receive your copy of this publication mailed directly to you for free later this fall, please sign up here. 

Collection of poems:

Instructions for (Perhaps) the End of the World by Alan Pelaez Lopez
Metamorphosis by Giselle Buchanan
tormenta historica?tutabien¿ by ray ferreira
Sonnet to Watch over You by Omotara James