Poetry, chapbook, 32 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
This collection of poetry began as a feminist manifesto authored while in residency with Arte Suma Paz in San Bernardo, Colombia. Written in response to a lifetime of toxic relationships with men, the title Devil Worshiping Lesbian refers to a homophobic slur directed at her by a male classmate while sexually harassing Naomi in highschool. Devil Worshiping Lesbian sometimes reads like nursery rhymes for adults, it takes the reader on a personal journey of a bisexual queer girl to womanhood, while dealing with the theme of traumatic love.
The second half of the title, A bisexual woman’s love letter to men, is earnestly intended to mean just that. The author writes, “True love contains dignity, and part of that is acceptance and recognition, and that can only live on a foundation built with honesty. Patriarchy fails everyone. The subjugation of the feminine created a culture where men were not taught to value their emotional maturity and personal growth. This created an inevitable iniquity of emotionality in all relationships. A social dynamic where we are in competition with one another, rather than in partnership. We are measuring the extent of one another’s love, comparing and contrasting, instead of growing and nurturing. I can look back fondly on the men who I have loved in my life, and it's not in anger that I bring these experiences to light, but with hope. I look back in heartbreak for men who I loved, respected, and admired, but who failed to be the great men that I knew they could have been; if not for a culture that encourages isolation as the only therapeutic method of masculinity. Men are not the enemy, it is the culture that needs to change. Patriarchy fails everyone.”
Naomi Fuqua is a writer, multidisciplinary artist and curator from Houston, Texas. She began her art career with a polaroid camera in 1989, as a little girl she photographed the people and places around her home. Her mother Donna Beken was a poet, and it was to her that Naomi wrote her first poem at the age of five. She grew up and continued with photography, working as a portrait photographer. She continued to write and consume poetry throughout her life. In 2020 she founded Dark Arts Presents, an indie feminist art organization curating annual themed art shows, specializing in the “strange and unusual” from local female identifying artists. Its most recent exhibition, A Perfect Girl: A Fine (Girl) Art Show 2022 focused on the distortion of the feminine ideal in pop culture. The show featured a mixed media sculpture, Blasphemy Barbie, a dress crafted from bible pages, in the style of a 1950s Dior gown and styled on a 1994 Barbie doll, created by the author. She also (rather inconsistently) writes a blog entitled Naomi’s Mixtape, each post contains humorous and reflective stories and has a corresponding song from a Spotify playlist of the same name.