Angela Williams Bickham

Title: With My Name in Your Hand

With My Name in Your Hand memorializes the lives of free Black women living in 1830s America through large-scale sculpture and historical fiction as poetry. Angela Williams Bickham and Sawyer Rose have worked collaboratively on this project.

Location: Mayfield Heights, Ohio, USA

Creative Experience

All of my creative work has been dedicated to giving voice. I am compelled to dig through extant archives in order to locate traces of lives lived. I bring those traces together for the express purpose of painting pictures of lived experiences through poetry. I start in backrooms of libraries, in microfiched and digitized records, in graveyards, and in stories passed down through generations. I then begin an internal conversation with the people I have been researching in order to pinpoint the stories they want me to tell for or about them. The stories become personal to me. They move from historic record keeping into aiding me in living my own life and hopefully into influencing the lives of those who read my work or those who listen to me present my work. I have utilized the mediums of poetry, poetic prose, and playwriting. And this history-based work is the work I feel is my mission and my poetic purpose. 

 Biography and links 

Poet and independent researcher. She earned her BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia, her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Notre Dame, and her MA in American Studies from the College of William and Mary. Since 1996, she has published poetry and essays in journals such as Obsidian, The Black Scholar, The Journal of African Travel Writing, Xavier Review, and Catologue. She is also published in Gathering Ground: Cave Canem’s First Decade and Role Call - A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature & Art.