Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues

Diode Editions June 2021 * Click Here to Order

Named as an honorable mention in 

the New England Poetry Club's Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize

Find out what others are saying about GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA!

Harriet Books, Poetry Foundation Review by Ryo Yamaguchi

Seven Days Review by Skye Jackson

Kenyon Review by Diana Whitney

The Adroit Journal

Events & Readings

Most events will be virtual or take place within safe distances adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.  If you want to book an event, click here.

 Lucy Terry Prince: Witness, Voice, and Poetics 
within the American Tradition

Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday Event 
Wednesday, February 2 @ 7 p.m. * Virtual (click here to register)

Beginning with Vermonter Lucy Terry Prince, the first known African American poet in the U.S., poet Shanta Lee Gander explores creative lineage within poetics. Surveying the work of Phillis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Rita Dove, and slam poet Dominique Christina, Gander considers the poetic arc from the past to the modern moment.

Virtual Poetrio: Shanta Lee Gander, 
Diamond Forde, and Ashley M. Jones

Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe
Sunday, February 6 @ 4 p.m. * Virtual (click here to register)

The Poetics of Girlhood and Womanhood in America:
Through Body & Verse
 A Conversation with Christal Brown,
Shanta Lee Gander, and Diana Whitney

Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday Event
Wednesday, April 6 @ 7 p.m. * 224 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301
Click here for up-to-date event details

Poets and writers Diana Whitney and Shanta Lee Gander join Christal Brown, associate professor of Dance at Middlebury College, in a conversation that explores how girlhood and womanhood in America are manifested across the boundaries of poetry, dance, and lived experience.

Featured Poet @ Black Writers Read (Virtual Event)
Sunday, April 10 @ 3 p.m. * More Details to Come!


What does it mean to move away from the shadow of one’s mother, parents, or family in order to come into being within this world? As collective memory within the Black diaspora has been ruptured, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA time travels by creating and recapturing memory from a fractured past to survive in the present and envision a future. In her first full-length collection GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, Shanta Lee Gander navigates between formal and vernacular styles to introduce the reader to a myriad of subjects such as scientific facts that link butterflies to female sexuality and vulnerability; whispers of classical Greek myth; H.P. Lovecraft’s fantastical creature, Cthulhu; and the traces of African mythmaking and telling. Beneath the intensity, longing, seeking, wondering, and the ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ voice that sometimes tussles with sadness, there is a movement of sass and a will that refuses to say that it has been broken. Gander leaves a door ajar in this ongoing conversation of the Black female body that walks the spaces of the individual within a collective; the tensions between inherited and hidden narratives; and the present within a history and future that is still being imagined.

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