bull-jean & dem/dey back
BULL-JEAN & DEY/DEM BACK
by Sharon Bridgforth
(books expected to ship in early October)
me/they call bull-dog-jean i say
that’s cause i works lik somekinda old dog trying to git a bone or two
they say it’s cause i be sniffing after wy’mns
down-low/begging and thangs
bull-jean & dem/dey back collects two performance/novels centering Sharon Bridgforth’s southern-Black-butch-sheroe, bull-jean. First published by RedBone Press in 1998, the Lambda Literary Award-winning the bull-jean stories chronicles the course of lovve returning in the Life-times of bull-dog-jean. Set in the rural 1920s south, the bull-jean stories is an act of griot-anthropology, remembering the ancestor we never knew but always knew we needed--the raucous, sweet-talking, heart-aching wo’mn-lovvn-wo’mn bull-dog-jean and the fierce and beautiful community that surrounds her. Twenty-two years later, bull-dog-jean returns in bull-jean/we wake. Grieving the loss of their elders, seeking healing, the Narrator calls forward bull-jean. Through a series of dreams, porch prayers, and visitations from cussing conjurers, Black Mermaids, children that fly, and shape-shifting ole folk, bull-jean and dem guide the Narrator towards a realization of the sustaining power of love, memory, community, ritual and spiritual binding.
Sharon Bridgforth is a writer who creates ritual/jazz theatre. A 2022 Winner of Yale's Windham Campbell Prize in Drama, Sharon is a 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, a 2022-2023 McKnight Fellow, a New Dramatists alum, and has received support from The Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Creative Capital, MAP Fund and the National Performance Network. Widely published, her work is featured in Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature and Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought. Sharon's Lambda Literary Award-winning the bull-jean stories will be produced by Pillsbury House + Theatre in October/November 2022, directed by Signe Harriday. Sharon is Executive Producer and Host of the Who Yo People Is podcast series and her dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/The Show is streaming on the Twin Cities PBS platform.
Signe V. Harriday (she/her) is a fierce visionary and powerful storyteller who crafts theatre that awakens our individual and collective humanity. As a director, multidisciplinary artist, activist/abolitionist, facilitator, and producer, she uses theatre as a catalyst to ask questions about who we are and who we are in relation to others. She is the Artistic Producing Director of Pillsbury House + Theatre, a center for creativity and community in Minneapolis. She is a founding member of Million Artist Movement, a network of artists and activists committed to Black liberation and healing. She’s also a member of Rootsprings Cooperative cultivating healing space for BIPOC artists/activists/healers in MN. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow and earned her MFA in Acting at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard and Moscow Art Theatre. She’s also a gold medalist with her synchronized swimming team the Subversive Sirens. www.signeharriday.com
Celeste Henery is a cultural anthropologist working at the intersections of race, gender, and health. Dr. Henery’s broader research interests include black ecologies, feminisms, diaspora studies, and death and dying. She currently works as a Research Associate in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her writing on black life across the diaspora has been published in various academic journals and blogs, including Black Perspectives. In addition to her academic endeavors, Dr. Henery works as a mitigation specialist, conducts interviews for the Texas After Violence Project, and guides others in their creative lives.