The ideas for this poem was derived from “The Migration of the Negro (The Migration Series)” by Jacob Lawrence, Panel No. 57. exhibited in The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. (May 3 – October 26, 2008) and located in the books Jacob Lawrence and The Migration Series from The Phillips Collection (odd numbered panels) edited by Elsa Smithgall and in Over the Line, The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence edited by Peter T. Nesbett and Michelle Dubois. Currently, the 60 panel of artwork, portraying the epic event of southern African Americans migrating North, is shared between the Phillips Collection (odd numbered panels), Washington D.C. and The Museum of Modern Art (even numbered panels), in New York.
Patricia Biela is a native of Maryland and is a UVA grad with a BA in Psychology. A first generation American, she is of Angolan and Haitian descent. Biela is a Cave Canem South Fellow and has participated in 18 writing workshops including Callaloo, Cave Canem South, How Writers Write Poetry–International Writing Program-The University of Iowa, Hurston/Wright, Provincetown, and Dr. Tony Medina’s Poetry Boot Camp. Her poems appear in Barely South Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, The Caribbean Writer, Drumvoices Revue, and World Haiku Review among others. She has a poem exhibited in Epiphany Salon and Spa, Washington, D.C. Biela has editing experience, and has written over 25 articles, some of which appear in Brainworld Magazine and Funds for Writers—Writing Kid. She is a third generation educator, teaches poetry workshops to retirees, and to other adults. Biela is honored to be in the Duke Young Writers’ Camp teaching family. Her poem, “Please Leave a Message” can be found on CD Baby, iTunes, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Napster, Google Play, and more