Since arriving on the Bay Area’s literary scene in 2017, Mimi Tempestt has lived up to her name — at open mics and poetry readings, she’s a tempestuous force of nature.
The Mills College graduate and future City Lights author knows how to harness a storm of language and imagery with her magnetic presence, reciting rapid-fire poems that often explore themes of womanhood and diasporic liberation. Now, for the first time in her career, the verbal spellcaster will be curating an art exhibit at Good Mother Gallery: whistling
The exhibit (which borrows its name after a line of poetry in Tempestt’s forthcoming book, the delicacy of embracing spirals) will showcase the powerfully kaleidoscopic energy of poets like herself who are living — and fearlessly breaking barriers — in the Bay Area. This isn’t your grandma’s tea-sipping poetry by the fireside, though; it’s poetry forged from the modern fires of a hyper-fragmented, violently gentrified Bay Area.
“I’m not a fan of popular rhetorical redundancies. I loathe perfectionists,” Tempestt says. “I’m interested in nuances, complexities, contradictions, chaos, experiments, discomforts and ideological confrontations. Art that makes you take a second glance or forces you to look away.”