When you hail from one place, live in the other and don’t feel completely at home in either, you engage in some deep magic to find a place where everything about you is perfectly explainable. (Or for that matter needs no explanation.) You conjure up an island in the middle of an ocean that did not before exist. Welcome to AtlanticRock. It’s a concept, it’s an idea, it’s a hope, it’s a place with citizens in exile.
Here we share stories that speak to our experiences on both sides of the Atlantic. We are here to rejoice in our dual identities, poke fun and pick at the scabs too. Because we are human beings after all. If we were perfect we would be angels. And that is a messy business if you don’t have wings.
AtlanticRock was first started by me, IBé, back in 2004 as a marketplace of ideas and resources about and for Africans living in the US. Then somewhere along the way, it became my personal blog. But here again, it’s back trying to be something more: the biggest online portal featuring literary works speaking to the African immigrant experience. It’ mostly works by people living this experience. But understanding that those living in close proximity to us can and do have keen insights into our lives, the authors may not always be African or presently living in the US.
This is the dream! Until it is fully realized, you’d see mostly my writings. But hopefully, if all goes well, soon I will disappear into the plethora of voices represented in the postings. And you could be one such voice.
In addition to the poems, stories, essays and whatnots–each month’s issue of ARJournal features writings from about five writers around the same topic–mostly connected to being an African-in-America. Contributors are both established and emerging writers whose talent and insight I find fresh and relevant. This can be you! I am looking to meet new writers. Especially those considered “emerging” because every growing plant needs light, and often when it comes to literature, in particular, the limelight is hugged by the same few people. If you don’t consider yourself a writer–emerging or otherwise–no problem. If you have a story to tell, I can work with you to write it.
Wherever you are in your writing journey, if you would like to contribute to the conversation, here is how you can join.
Thank you! I hope you look around. I hope you find something that sticks with you for a while.
Hey, I’m glad you are considering donating to support. I really appreciate it. Obviously, much of AtlanticRock is currently just my musings and whatnots. I like writing! It’s my honor that you would even visit and read some of my words. In this regard, your time and interest is more than I can ask for.
I am asking for donations for two key reasons. First and foremost, I would LOVE LOVE to be able to give a little stipend to folks I invite to contribute to AR Journal. I am a writer. Unfortunately quite often people think this is easy or it’s nothing worth supporting financially. I don’t want to be one of those people. So I would love to be able to give invited writers (not only to AR Journal but any other contributors) a little envelop to say thank you, I know this one page or poem took a lot longer than typing the words.
Secondly, the website costs a little money. Any help you can offer to help offset this would be greatly appreciated.
If you are really wanting to be generous and support ME as a writer, I wouldn’t say no 🙂 For example, I hate writing grants, but if I can afford to take time off from work to say finish the memoir I am writing…now how wonderful would that me!? And in this regard, if you are interested and really want to be generous, we could even arrange for tax exemption write off, allowing you to write off your donation.
Please click the donate button to the right or drop me an email: Ibe[at]atlanticrock.[dot]com
Who am I? The name is IBé. I breathe, I dance, I write. From Guinea and Sierra Leone, I live in Minnesota, USA. For now. I am known mostly as a spoken word poet. Been writing and performing that since early 2000–in many corners of Minnesota with few stops in other cities around the country and the world. But long before that, I told stories, wrote few as well.
For the few years I have been alive, in 2018 I have been in the US for over 26 years. Consequently, I spend way too much time over-analyzing myself, trying to figure out the origin of some of my thoughts, believes and behaviors, whether they are African or American. I write some of these things down, hoping to connect with those that feel similar.
A student recently asked me how come I don’t write a book. Well, I have written books. I have even managed to publish one, Bridge Across Atlantic, and a chapbook, Bumpersticker Self Expression. Plus I also currently have at least 2 novels and a memoir in various stages of completion. But I told them it’s because it takes too long to write a book…and I am too busy, not only writing poems, and this blog, but also with my day job as an IT consultant and three kids at home don’t make it any easier either. But don’t worry world, when the kids grow up and I retire, I will write so many books my fingers will beg me to stop. Though I suspect by then we will not be typing, but rather all our thoughts will be automatically transcribed by the machines.