In written art, h.u.e has three broad areas of interest: creative writing, community development, and live storytelling.
Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in:
::: understory quarterly ::: (2021)
- Bellevue Literary Review (2021)
- *winner Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry, selected by Jen Bervin
- The Night Heron Barks (2020)
- Cahoodaloodaling (2019)
- Umbel & Panicle (2018)
- Rigorous Magazine (2017)
- Anchor & Plume Press/Kindred Magazine (2015, 2016)
In 2019 h.u.e was blessed to be selected and attend the Annual Cave Canem Retreat.
Through daily workshops under the guidance of faculty members Cornelius Eady, Willie Perdomo, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Ruth Ellen Kocher, h.u.e wrote one new piece per day, attended craft talks and public readings, and most importantly was challenged and pushed and hugged and dapped-up and restored amidst a stellar group of poets:
- Ashunda Norris
- Camonghne Felix
- Cat Ntube
- (Jennifer) Falu
- Kush (Thompson)
- Liz Acevedo
- Marvin Hodges
- Robert Gibbons
Enjoy featured excerpts in South Side Weekly Annual Lit Issue.
In late 2018, h.u.e reflected about the process of writing and publishing The Attic, The Basement, The Barn with WHPK (88.5 FM) radio host Sam Larsen. The interview spans decolonizing Curious George with his toddler twins, child-rearing in the context of “priorities” + “balance” + “success”, and what intergenerational (parenting) trauma can teach us about artistic practice.
In 2019, h.u.e began laying groundwork for two projects: ‘The Deacons’ and ‘Youth Electric’.
‘The Deacons’ is a series of epistles chronicling the intertwined lives of four, Black, small-town Mississippi men attending a Bible college in Chicago in 1947, through their weekly sermons and letters home. He has outlined character arcs, literal and figurative Mississippi—Chicago transitions, as well as newly-adopted and unwillingly-abandoned routines and rituals.
‘Youth Electric’consists of prequels for Kendrick, Jaimie, Carlos, and “me”, the four eponymous youth introduced in The Attic, The Basement, The Barn. In a nod to Chicago’s underground/hustle economy, ‘Youth Electric’ will be printed as a “Bibliothèque Bleue” -style chapbook. Translated as “Blue Books”, these publications were sold for pennies to peasant clientele and provincial bourgeoisie throughout 17th century France until legislation on peddling literature ended this tradition.
In quiet moments, h.u.e continues to sketch two ongoing children’s projects: Little Herbert & the Couch inspired by his grandparent’s furniture, and #HedgeSketch (updated via Instagram) with musical collaboration from The Wiggly Tendrils.
Self-published works include:
- A hand-bound, limited edition prose book, ’40 days & 40 nights’ (2003)
- A limited edition watercolor, hand-lettered short story, ‘The Girl Who Dreamed Roses’ (2002) [audio linked below]
- A deck of mix-media essays for Warren Wilson College graduation board, ‘Footnotes’ (2001)
Similar to h.u.e’s performance art, the personal and the political are closely related. Since 2000, h.u.e has volunteered and consulted for a variety of nonprofit agencies. Combining a passion for scholarly research and a penchant for layperson’s linguistics, h.u.e has focused on the most basic issues: food, work, and family.
Past resource guides, whitepapers, and tool-kits include:
- Museums & Race Report Card (2018, 2019, Museums & Race Transformation and Justice)
- Museums for All, Promoting Access for Low-Income Families (2016, Institute of Museum and Library Services/Chicago Children’s Museum)
- Community Advocacy 101 for Teen Parents (2013, Illinois Action for Children)
- Infant Safe Sleep & Risk Reduction (pg. 224 – 249) (2013, Office of Inspector General Annual Report)
- The Earned Income Tax Credit (pg. 32-40) (2011, SSA Advocate’s Forum, University of Chicago)
- Urban Youth Farming (2003, Congressional Hunger Center/Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee)
From an early age h.u.e has been fascinated by narratives. His mother ran a home-based childcare center where story time was just as essential as nap time. Since 2012, h.u.e has been combining his improv background and story-telling passion by telling “stylized autobiographical monologues” at open mics.
*Live Story from September 2012 “Writer’s Read” Forum. Audience members spoke into my camera phone one thing they are passionate about. Then I incorporated all 15 people’s passion into an improvised story about my life.
The 15 passions: 1) learning, 2) family, 3) short-story construction techniques, 4) exploring, 5) understanding, 6) the body, 7) connection, 8) movement, 9) helping people figure out who they are, 10) identity, 11) making stuff, 12) the truth, 13) helping, 14) breakfast, 15) evolving/”evolvement”.