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Welcome to Words without Border’s tenth annual Queer issue.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Continuing the Celebration of LGBTQ Pride with Trans Soul Singer-Songwriter Shea Diamond

Shea Diamond- Illustration by Emily Gage

The discovery of Shea Diamond is my absolute magic. 

I love how she belts out this lyric- "...the voice inside your soul is trying to sing you home...

"Trans soul singer-songwriter Shea Diamond embodies transcendence. Imprisoned in male correctional facilities for 10 years, searching for something to carry her through her incarceration, she found her voice.
In 2016, the singer introduced herself with the powerful “I Am Her,” and two years later, on Friday (June 29), she released her triumphant debut EP Seen It All."  Henry Youtt

Please, please listen to this acoustic version of Seen It All.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Octavia McBride-Ahebee's Work Featured in Bilingual Journal Agony Opera

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Honored to have three of my poems featured in the Agony Opera Journal's June 2019 issue. Agony Opera is a bilingual journal of English and Bengali. The indomitable poet Staceyann Chin has her work featured in this issue, as well, which is translated in Bengali. Visually it is so delicious to take in!!!! Check out the site and leave me some comments on the site.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Octavia McBride-Ahebee Continues Blog Tour on Poéfrika

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Thirty-eight years ago, I was a 19-year-old headed to Lesotho, a starkly beautiful, mountainous country in southern Africa. Under the auspices of Operation Crossroads Africa, I-3rd from the right- and a motley crew of wide-eyed college students, Carla Boykin- 2nd from left, including our leader who was an African-American Rhodes Scholar-made our way across southern Africa, starting with Lesotho and moving on to apartheid South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and a spanking, brand new Zimbabwe, -what stories we have- and thus began my love affair with Africa; a wonderfully vast, diverse and endless source for storytelling.
That winter trip was about getting me to South Africa, a place I had become obsessed with because of literature-Bessie Head, Nadine Gordimer, Athol Fugard, Dennis Brutus… But, the beginning of that journey started with Lesotho, a place, though rich in its own cultural history, was deeply affected by apartheid. That long winter, so long ago, I learned, especially roaming the hills of Thaba Tseka on horseback, meeting all sorts of intriguing people, how important it is to connect to the world and bring the stories of its people to each other. That’s what Lesotho taught me!
All of this reminiscing brings me to a special gentleman and poet Mr.Rethabile Masilo, who has graciously featured two of my poems, from Praise Song for the Gravediggers, on his literary blog Poéfrika, as part of my virtual book tour. Mr. Masilo is from Lesotho and now lives in France. I find it, indeed, poetic that a connection to Lesotho, which is the source that really propelled me on my literary journey as both a reader and a writer would offer a platform for me to share my work. The poems presented here are not informed by my southern African sojourn, but are rooted particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Please discover Rethabile Masilo’s work and his blog as well.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Octavia McBride-Ahebee Begins Virtual Book Tour at Blog Cat-eyed Woman

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Photography- Ruud Van Empel
   So excited to start my virtual book tour promoting my work and new poetry collection-Praise Song for Gravediggers. First stop is Cat-eyed Woman, a blog created by globetrotter, educator and writer Furaha Youngblood who is based in Panama.
   Simply scroll down to read two of my poems on her blog and discover the inspiration behind their creation.
And leave me some commentary!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Praise Song for the Gravediggers is included in the Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon's Traveling Library

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Here is the phenomenal poet JP Howard of Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon, out of  New York. I am so thrilled that my new collection of poetry, Praise Song for the Gravediggers , is included in this salon's traveling poetry library-1st row, 3rd book from the left. Thank you for this honor. 

Octavia McBride-Ahebee Reads at the Historic Pomona Hall in Camden, NJ

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I had the honor of reading last Thursday, from my new poetry collection, Praise Song for the Gravediggers, at Pomona Hall in Camden, in the space where enslaved Africans worked and slept-sacred space. There were slave plantations even in southern New Jersey and Quakers were plantation owners like Marmaduke Cooper of Camden, NJImage may contain: 1 person, indoor
Praise Song for the Gravediggers is available on Amazon

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Octavia McBride-Ahebee to Read at the Camden County Historical Society

Pomona Hall
Camden County Historical Society
1900 Park Boulevard
Camden, New Jersey 08103

So honored to be reading from my new collection of poetry, Praise Song for the Gravediggers, which is available on Amazon. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Proud Mama- Sojourner Ahebee Celebrating the Humanities At Stanford

    I am so proud of my daughter Sojourner Ahebee,  a recent Stanford grad, who was invited by the university to share her experiences as a humanities major ( African and African-American Studies). Stanford is world-renowned for its science and technology programming, but it has equally stellar humanities programs.  Enjoy!!!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Praise Song for the Gravediggers by Octavia McBride-Ahebee

     I am so excited about my new poetry collection, "Praise Song for the Gravediggers", which delivers a geography of women/girls whose stories, once historically silenced, rise to the top to be heard and considered. Readers meet the likes of Aminata, a Malian woman, who crossed both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea finally landing in an urban, U.S. city where she, undocumented, braids working class African-American girls’/women’s heads using the hair Indian girls/women donated to their religious shrines to receive blessings; no money. All this feminine intersection, this cast of global females, gathering in the flesh or in hair, in unassuming salons, in the hood is magical, yet buoyed by undercurrents of structural, economic inequities. This collection brings women from all backgrounds into a fertile space where world history, economic systems and current events meet to form an oasis of human exchange and storytelling.

Available on Amazon at