Anastacia-Renee (She/They), former Jack Straw 2020 Curator and Seattle Civic Poet, is an award-winning writer, curator, interdisciplinary artist, and speaker. She is the author of Side Notes from the Archivist (HarperCollins/Amistad), selected as a New York Public Library Best Book of 2023 and feature of’s, My Brief But Spectacular Life on Poetry and Legacy. She is also the author of (v.) (Black Ocean), and Forget It. (Black Radish). and Here In The (Middle) of Nowhere (HarperCollins /Amistad). Anastacia-Renee is the recipient of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award prize in literature and, she was selected by NBC News as part of the list of “Queer Artist of Color Dominate 2021’s Must See LGBTQ Art Shows,” for “(Don’t Be Absurd) Alice in Parts,” mixed media installation at the Frye Art Museum.

2024 Jack Straw Alumni Poetry Series:

Side Notes from the Archivist is a preservation of Black culture viewed through a feminist lens. The Archivist leads readers through poems that epitomize youthful renditions of a Black girl coming of age in Philadelphia’s pre-funk ’80s; episodic adventures of “the Black Girl” whose life is depicted through the white gaze; and selections of verse evincing affection for self and testimony to the magnificence within Black femme culture at-large.

The Black Woman as an Altar

lay your white flowers on
her altar let them be thorny
& thick & full of insects to honor her life

1. a
let them (the flowers) be fragrantly overwhelmingly to represent
the way she blooms across a
hardwood floor & cannot be
contained even inside a flared

place or put or pour a glass of room temperature water because the black woman is always seeking balance (ain’t she) a woman always told she’s too hot or too cold has to be excellent & never in between.

make the room temperature water all dreadlocked goldilocks & just right. if the water spills let it run down the length of the altar as a sign of continuous flow

write a letter to womb    call it magical    call it home    call it hers   call it god (but hide this letter in case the government decides to step in)

draw a sketch of stretch marks & label each one a new constellation   make her navel a moon inside a moon inside a moon & call that moon alpha

if she died by a mob or a man or murder pray she will be merciful that no one will be the weight of her own omega

2020 Writers Program (Curator)

2014 Writers Program

Sound Clips
  • Anastacia Tolbert - Portrait
    Memoir – Anastacia Tolbert
Recent Posts
Jack Straw Artists at Westcrest Park this weekend!

September 3, 2021

Created Commons at Westcrest Park Jack Straw Artist Performances: September 4-5, 4-8pm Westcrest Park, Seattle FREE (Donations requested for Real Rent Duwamish) As part of the City of Seattle’s Created Commons initiative, Jack Straw’s partner Lelavision has invited us to collaborate on a neighborhood celebration featuring BIPOC-centered performances, wellness offerings, and science panels utilizing their […]

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Created Commons Westcrest Park flyer

Categories: Artist Support Program, Writers Program

The 2020 Jack Straw Reading Series – live from our homes in June!

May 12, 2020

The 24th annual Jack Straw Reading Series is adapting for our times, with a series of live-streamed events featuring new poetry, prose, fiction, and creative nonfiction from the 2020 Jack Straw Writers. Multi-genre writer and program curator Anastacia-Renee will host three readings with the writers from their homes, streamed live via Jack Straw’s Facebook page. […]

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2020 Jack Straw Reading Series

Categories: Writers Program

Announcing the 2020 Jack Straw Writers

January 10, 2020

Curator Anastacia-Renée has selected the 2020 Jack Straw Writers! Our fellows this year are Rob Arnold, Ebo Barton, Jeffrey Cheatham II, Ching-In Chen, Elaina Ellis, Michelle Goodman, Maisha Manson, Wryly McCutchen, Troy Osaki, Helen Thomas, Jose Trejo-Maya, and Arianne True. These writers will be hard at work for the next few months writing and training […]

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Categories: Writers Program

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