Biomythography is a term created by Audre Lourde, radical feminist, lesbian, and woman of color, to describe her1982 book Zami. A simple definition of biomythography comes from Ted Warburton: “Biomythography is the weaving together of myth, history and biography in epic narrative form, a style of composition that represents all the ways in which we perceive the world.” It often involves the use of multiple genre of writing, including poetry, fiction, biography, drama, and creative nonfiction. It is a transgressive form of writing, taking the idea of crossing boundaries as the basis of its form.
About the Audience
The audience are those voices of restraint, criticism, and divisiveness we have inherited through the particular conditions of our birth: those that belong to our body (race, sex, and sexual orientation) and those we are born into (ethnicity, religion, gender, class, etc). The audience tells us the socially acceptable ways we should behave according to the various combinations of the above conditions. These voices are internalized and used to justify our actions and beliefs even to the extant of harming ourselves and others, as in the case of American white-supremacist, patriarchal, materialist-capitalist culture. This is our inheritance. This is our audience, both external and internal. The idea of the internalized audience came to me via the blog of Hugo Schwyzer. The goal of challenging the audience, both the external and internal one, is to go beyond the racist, the sexist, and the classist while having awareness of the oppressive audience’s presence in our lives, speaking their presence, and only then transcending them.
Growing up my audience taught me the rules of a white, middle-class, christian, male. Not a hyper-masculinized environment, the boundary’s for men and woman was not as clear as many households, but there were still lots of rules guiding appropriate behavior. The main one growing up was “Above all, be nice.” Above honesty. Above speaking out on behalf of others or oneself. Above an anger calling for thetreatment of all people. Niceness was the rule of the day. While I have nothing against being nice, I do not believe it is the highest ethical value and have spent much of the second part of my life crituiqing and questioning the audience I was given and trying to cultivate an audience that supports the liberation of people into their full humanity at all times.
I am a married, thirty-something-year-old father of two, Sam and Emma. I am an undergraduate college student at California State University, Monterey Bay; my major is Human Communication (yes, I know, CSUMB has some great, but strange, majors) and my concentration is in Creative Writing and Social Action. I am going to graduate in the December, 2010. I plan on attending grad school.
About the Blog
This blog comes about because of the amazing writing, authors, poets, and artists I have come across in working on my Capstone Project for the completion of my BA. Audre Lorde, Martin Espada, Cheryl Morraga, Gloria Anzeldua, and Hugo Schwyzer are just a few that have inspired me to speak the truth, as painful as it may be, to own my own truth, to question it and push it, always reaching for wholeness and fullfillment. This blog is a mix of my writings and theirs, not always technically biomythographic, but always honest and brave and with the goal of liberating people into their ultimate potential through the presentation of forms that present different perspectives on trauma, healing, and triumph.