Bianca Lynne Spriggs, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer and multidisciplinary artist from Kentucky. An Assistant Professor of English at Ohio University, Bianca is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Black Mermaid (Argus House Press, 2018), and the co-editor of three poetry anthologies, most recently Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets (University of Kentucky Press, 2018). Bianca is currently at work on a full-length play, Medusa: A Greek Triumph, commissioned by Berea College, set to premiere during the 2019-2020 academic year. CV available here.
Bianca's work as an arts administrator revolves around empowering marginalized voices. She has received funding at state and national levels to create and direct projects for a variety of social justice groups and nonprofits including:
- "Wild Women Poetry Slam," an all-women annual competitive performance poetry event for the Kentucky Women Writers Conference from 2006-2016. Featured poets and celebrity judges included Patricia Smith, Rachel McKibbens, Sonya Renee Taylor, Ellen Hagan, as well as incredible women performance poets from all over the U.S. who attended to compete and lead workshops in the community.
- "The SwallowTale Project: Creative Writing for Incarcerated Women," was a creative writing workshop facilitated in women's detention centers in partnership with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association from 2012-2015. "SwallowTale" provided book donations to detention center libraries as well as writing materials and resources to participants, and invited guests such as Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker, and National Book Award winner, Nikky Finney, to read their work and speak with the workshop groups.
Bianca's collaborations for public artworks include:
- "The Thirteen," a multimedia performance revolving around the lynchings of thirteen Black women and girls in Kentucky throughout the late 19th-early 20th centuries. The show featured the premiere of a short film, a live performance of fourteen Kentucky musicians with the collaborative efforts of Shangri-La Productions, along with a performance of original poems linking the lives of these women and girls. The accompanying exhibition at Morlan Gallery featured an installation, photography, original drawings, and resin skulls to create a kind of shrine to our shared state and national history. Audience members were invited after the show and over the course of February 2013 as a community to pay their respects as we celebrated the lives and mourned the deaths of "The Thirteen."
- "The Lexington Tattoo Project," started off as a love letter to Lexington, KY. "The _______ of the Universe" is a poem written by Bianca, commissioned by Transylvania University professors, Kremena Todorova and Kurt Gohde. Fragments of the complete poem were then inked upon the bodies of roughly 250 Lexingtonians by Charmed Life Tattoo, and documented through photographs as a kind of living mural and homage to this vibrant, central Kentucky town.
Black Mermaid (Argus House Press, 2018)
Collections & Anthologies
Undead: Ghouls, Ghosts, & More (Apex Publications, 2018)
Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets (University of Kentucky Press, 2018)
The Galaxy Is a Dance Floor (Argos Books; 2016)
Call Her By Her Name (Northwestern University Press; 2016)
Circe's Lament: Wild Women Poetry (Accents Publishing; 2015)
How Swallowtails Become Dragons (Accents Publishing; 2011)
Kaffir Lily (Wind Publications; 2010)
"What Women Are Made Of" (POETRY)
"Night on Rand Avenue" (Oxford American)
"Medium: A Bop" (Still: The Journal)
"Nocturne for Edisto Island" (The Rumpus)
"Big Black Bitch" (ROAR)
"At Home in the Mouths of Women: Affrilachian Poetry" (Rewire.News)
"The Black Woman's Quiet Rage and Fear" (Lexington Herald-Leader)