Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde

“Sing a Song”, It Will Keep You Calm: Prince, Earth, Wind & Fire and Surviving a Pandemic with a Little Wonder

How can a song or sound (re)connect you to breath? How can both – song and sound – expand your breathing so you regain balance and harmony in moments of panic and disorientation? During these moments, how do you find and follow the longest, loudest, or lowest note until it resonates you – all of you – into calm? Let us journey together to explore and discover more. And: Keep Your Head to the Sky…

Dr. Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde is a Memory Keeper, poet, and ancestral priest in the Yoruba Orisa tradition. Her research and creative work respectfully approach the Earth and human bodies as sites of memory, and always with the understanding that memory never dies, is subversive, and can be recovered to transform transgenerational trauma and pain into peace and power. She uses poetic inquiry, contemplative practices, and ritual to explore violence, especially in the US, Brazil, and South Sudan. As a poet and healer, she uses sound – humming, moaning, breathing – as one way to help others work through, reconcile, integrate and understand trauma. Dr. Abegunde’s poems have been published in numerous anthologies and journals, including the Kenyon Review, the Massachusetts Review, and Tupelo Quarterly. Essays are forthcoming in North Meridian Review, FIRE!!!, and the book ASHE: Ritual Poetics in Africa Diasporic Expressivity. She is the commissioned poet and ritualist for the ancestral masquerade series, including the collaborative community exhibitions Be/Coming, Keeper of My Mothers’ Dreams, and Sister Song: The Requiem. Dr. Abegunde is the founding director of The Graduate Mentoring Center and a faculty member in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. 

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