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Black and Ropy
— —
Arielle Cottingham
Black and Ropy by Arielle Cottingham at Abbey's Bookshop,

Black and Ropy

Arielle Cottingham


Pitt Street Poetry



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I am untamed Dominican curls

and my grandmother’s movie star teeth.

I am hips carved of Sicilian marble

and eyebrows arched by Sephardic Jewish paintbrushes.

I am the high cheekbones of the Taino people

dusted with the sand of Irish freckles

and skin kissed by Quisqueya herself.

"I think it boils down to the live performance, and the human connection with people that live performance can foster. On one hand,
people who may not necessarily know much about the topics a poem covers, or have a differing viewpoint from that of the poet, are much
more likely to think about a piece of art that touches them deeply than, say, a rhetorical argument. In arguments, people aren’t trying to learn; they’re trying to win. With a piece of performance, that layer of competitiveness isn’t present, so they’re more open to really listening.

On the other hand, a performance that people can relate to can be an ecstatically healing experience – seeing your own views and struggles
expressed in a public medium like performance poetry touches that deep part of our psyches that fears being alone and misunderstood.

Finally, speaking about the issues I do is a public act of defiance against the status quo, and we live in a world that needs to be shaken up – now more than ever." (interview with Benjamin Solah, Oct 2016)

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Black and Ropy by Arielle Cottingham
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By:   Arielle Cottingham
Imprint:   Pitt Street Poetry
Country of Publication:   Australia
ISBN:   9781922080844
ISBN 10:   1922080845
Publication Date:   August 2017
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Afro-Latina poet, performance artist, and dancer Arielle Cottingham began performing spoken word in 2014 while studying at the University of Melbourne. She returned to San Antonio, Texas to complete a Bachelor of Arts in theatre at Trinity University, during which time she became a regular performer at PuroSlam and the Blah Blah Blah Poetry Spot. In September 2015 she returned to Melbourne, where she found herself pursuing a career as a full-time, working performance poet, creative producer of Slamalamadingdong. She released her first chapbook, The Tarantist's Soapbox, in April 2016, and six months later she took first place at the National Championship of the Australian Poetry Slam. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, where she continues to write and perform.

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