For as often as it may seem to be the case, life doesn’t exist in extremes. Whatever pain, love, desire, or hurt, moving through life is a balancing act. We learn to hold onto what is important for our own growth, but we also learn that sometimes we must carry bits of the world for those who walk beside us and those yet to come. This balancing act teaches us to jettison what no longer serves us just as much as it teaches us to grip tightly to what matters most.
In a collection that is equal measures an exploration of pain after her uncle’s passing and an honoring of her own heart, Nicole Danielle’s book Broken Ballads (2019) asks who gets to be innocent? How do we move towards the life we want? What legacy do we leave for future generations? In her debut book, Nicole Danielle finds a way to unearth joy without using blinders to hide the tender spots of the heart that need to heal. She mosaics together the shattered bits of life and shows they can still be beautiful. They can still be a reflection of who we are, what we want, and where we are headed.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nicole Danielle is a writer, singer, and educator. She currently resides in New Jersey with her family.
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor.
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor. She is Founder of Linden Avenue Literary Journal, which she launched in 2012. Athena's work has appeared in various publications both online and in print. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Best of the Net nominee, a Callaloo fellow, a V.O.N.A. fellow, and a Tin House Workshop attendee. Athena is a member of the Moving Forewards Memoir Writers Collective. She is the author of No God In This Room, a poetry chapbook , originally published by Argus House Press. Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Vol. 2