We Are Owed.
We Are Owed. is the debut poetry collection of Ariana Brown, exploring Black relationality in Mexican and Mexican American spaces. Through poems about the author’s childhood in Texas and a trip to Mexico as an adult, Brown interrogates the accepted origin stories of Mexican identity. We Are Owed. asks the reader to develop a Black consciousness by rejecting U.S., Chicano, and Mexican nationalism and confronting anti-Black erasure and empire-building.
As Brown searches for other Black kin in the same spaces through which she moves, her experiences of Blackness are placed in conversation with the histories of formerly enslaved Africans in Texas and Mexico. Esteban Dorantes, Gaspar Yanga, and the author’s Black family members and friends populate the book as a protective and guiding force, building the “we” evoked in the title and linking Brown to all other African-descended peoples living in what Saidiya Hartman calls “the afterlife of slavery.”
Foreword by Alan Pelaez Lopez
Cover art by Desiree Vaniecia
After ten years of performing her spoken word poetry, Ariana Brown gathers her favorite poems to return to in her chapbook Sana Sana. With a tender and critical voice, she explores Black girlhood, the possibilities of queerness, finding your people, and trying to survive capitalism. All are explored as acts of different kinds of love—for self, for lovers, for family, for community. Brown’s collection refuses singularity, insisting on the specificity of her own life and studies. As she writes toward her own healing, Brown asks readers to participate in the ceremony by serving as witnesses. Sana Sana, colita de rana, si no sana hoy, sana en la mañana.
Reviews: Broad Recognition | The Adroit Journal |
Let Us Be Enough
Ariana Brown's debut poetry EP, featuring nine of her most popular poems set to music. Listen to Ariana perform "Invocation," "Supremacy," and the single "Ode to Thrift Stores" set to instrumentals produced and mixed by Tucson-based artists DJQ and PSYPIRITUAL. Watch the music video for "Ode to Thrift Stores" to get a taste of the EP. Stream the entire EP or download for later listening. A project two years in the making, LET US BE ENOUGH is perfect for chill car rides, study/work music, and works through themes of navigating patriarchy, Blackness, relationships, and the spiritual.