For the latest installment of our "Tell Us Something Good" local celebrity interview series, we talked to writer, interdisciplinary artist, archivist, educator, and one-time Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Reneé—whose new exhibition, (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts, opens January 30 at the Frye—about how she's been staying entertained in Seattle during quarantine. Read on for favorite local spots (like Pam's Kitchen) and the media she's been digging lately (like The Selected Works of Audre Lorde).
What are your favorite restaurants for takeout or outdoor dining right now?
What are your favorite local businesses or shops, aside from restaurants?
This is a hard question to answer. Let's just say I LOVE BOOKS, magazines, stationery, magazines, indie cards, totes/coasters/t-shirts that say important, wild, or social justice-driven things.
What movies or TV shows that you've seen recently would you recommend?
First, I would not recommend ANY of my suggestions but, recently I have watched: Lupin, The Twilight Zone, Private Practice, Abstract, Kippo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, Move, Tiny Pretty Things, Journey of an African Colony, Afronta, Shaun the Sheep, and Best Leftovers Ever.
(Ed. note: We think these are great suggestions!)
What music or podcasts have you been listening to on repeat lately?
I listen to A LOT of music. Especially when I grade, edit, or write. Always in rotation: Nina Simone, Meshell Ndegeocello, Gregory Porter, Bobby Womack, Minnie Riperton, Donny Hathaway / Roberta Flack, Blitz the Ambassador, Otis Redding, Earth Wind & Fire, Ibeyi, Marvin Gaye, and Etta James, and indie/underground music. I LOVE (real) jazz and music from the '60s and '70s. I feel like the music during that time period had more texture and layers and fewer bells and whistles.
What are the best books you've read in the last few months?
Again, I can't say the books I am reading are the "best," but here's what I have been reading: Notes from a Black Woman's Diary, Gender: A Graphic Guide, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Good Woman, The Selected Works of Audre Lorde, Rubyfruit Jungle, Anodyne, Seismic, Little Blue Encyclopedia, Natural Birth, The Undertaker's Daughter, I Love Myself When I Am Laughing, The Collected Plays: 2010-2015 by Portland Preschoolers, and Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.
What outdoor spots or activities have you enjoyed recently?
How else have you stayed entertained in Seattle during COVID? Anything else you'd recommend?
I would recommend: checking in on people you care about, crying, laughing, sleeping, learning to cook or bake new things, making movies on your phone, coloring, giving yourself permission to be angry, writing letters and mailing them, getting rid of things you don't need, watching cartoons!
What are you most looking forward to doing in Seattle when COVID is over?
Hugging people. Cooking for people. Going on a vacation. Writing in public places.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
The intersectionality of crisis is really hard to survive. My love and encouragement to all those who have had to endure COVID alongside multiple levels of racism.