Alexis Pauline Gumbs, 2020–21

The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde: Biography as Ceremony

Founders’ Fellowship; Research Triangle Foundation Fellowship, 2020-21

Provost, Mobile Homecoming Trust Living Library and Archive, Independent Scholar


Alexis Gumbs

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings. Her work in this lifetime is to facilitate infinite, unstoppable ancestral love in practice. Her poetic works in response to the needs of her cherished communities have held space for multitudes in mourning and movement. Gumb’s coedited volume of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (PM Press, 2016) has shifted the conversation on mothering, parenting, and queer transformation. She has transformed the scope of intellectual, creative, and oracular writing with her triptych of experimental works published by Duke University Press (Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity in 2016, M Archive: After the End of the World in 2018, and Dub: Finding Ceremony in 2020.) Unlike most academic texts, Alexis’s work has inspired artists across form to create dance works, installation work, paintings, processionals, divination practices, operas, quilts and more.

From 2017 to 2019, Gumbs served as visiting Winton Chair at University of Minnesota where she collaborated with Black feminist artists in the legacy of Laurie Carlos to create collaborative performances based on her books Spill and M Archive. During that time she served as dramaturg for the award winning world premiere of Sharon Bridgforth’s Dat Black Mermaid Man Lady, directed by Ebony Noelle Golden. Her book Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals is forthcoming from AK Press in Fall 2020. She is currently at work on multiple manuscripts including: The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde: Biography as Ceremony and Go There, an engagement with the archive of Black feminist transnational practice spearheaded by Cheryll Y. Greene and Alexis De Veaux at Essence Magazine from the 1970s to 1990s.

Selected Publications

Undrowned

  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals. Chico, CA: AK Press, 2020. Forthcoming.
  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. Dub: Finding Ceremony. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.
  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. M Archive: After the End of the World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.
  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.
  • Gumbs, Alexis Pauline, China Martens, and Mai’a Williams, eds. Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2016.
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