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Ashaki M. Jackson

Years: 2007, 2008


Ashaki M. Jackson, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, program evaluator and poet. She has worked with youth moving through the juvenile justice system through research, evaluation and creative arts mentoring for one decade. Her work has appeared in CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art and Action, Pluck! Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture and Prairie Schooner among other journals and anthologies. Writ Large Press published her chapbook, Surveillance, in March 2016, and a second chapbook, Language Lesson, was published by MIEL, August 2016. Jackson is also co-founder of Women Who Submit, a community that supports women writers and nonbinary writers in submitting their literary works to top tier publications. She serves as an executive editor for The Offing and a summer instructor for 826LA. Jackson earned her MFA (poetry) from Antioch University Los Angeles and her doctorate (social psychology) from Claremont Graduate University. She lives in Los Angeles.


Passing Pamohna

(for Rose Marie)


Nari, the village folded into itself when we found you –

your emptied lungs blistered like cabelluda.

We scalped homes to kindle you, removed

errant roof beams for the roast. Thatched roofs

still cave in memoriam.

We erected our grief with bodies –

piled ourselves beneath you for comfort,

embraced you into decay.

Your sons held you longest, stroking away the skin.

Eulogies swelled out of our home

into the canopy. The house settled its girth

on pamohna – our dense bread of consolation.

We consumed your memory, cradled the clay pot

as if your face between laps. We alternated:

bread, chica, soaking. Each of us

arching as if possessed,

nibbling flesh from the tips of splinters.