America is Ready


Pamela Sneed is a poet, performer, and visual artist. She is the author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery (Holt, 1998) and Funeral Diva (City Lights Books, 2020), which won the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry.

Artist Bio

America is Ready-a book of epics is based on an unpublished epic poem Sneed started years ago having to do with the value of artists in a country that devalues them. It is predicated on Audre Lorde’s Poetry Is Not a Luxury and is meant to be a contemporary Howl from the perspective of a Black lesbian artist. It is more than 100 pages, a blend of satire, social commentary, and personal narrative. This epic began as America Ain’t Ready, but Sneed’s idea is to revise it based on these times and have it be the titular poem of a new collection, which would include new and epic poetry based on George Floyd, the Black Panther film, and travels in West Africa and South Africa, and focused on race, identity, gender, sexual orientation, and social justice.

Photo by Rafael German.

Pamela Sneed

Brooklyn, NY

Pamela Sneed is a New York–based poet, performer, and visual artist. She is the author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery (Holt, 1998), KONG and Other Works (Vintage Entity Press, 2009), Sweet Dreams (Belladonna*, 2018), and Funeral Diva, published by City Lights in Oct 2020. Funeral Diva was featured in The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Literary Hub, Artnet, and more. Funeral Diva won the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry. Funeral Diva was recommended by The New York Times alongside Barack Obama’s memoir. In 2021, Sneed was a panelist for David Zwirner gallery’s More Life exhibition, and she has spoken at the OSUN Center for Human Rights & the Arts at Bard College, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon Parks Foundation, Columbia University, the New School, the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Dia Chelsea, and NYU Center for the Humanities. She has published in The Paris Review, Frieze magazine, Artforum, the Academy of American Poets, and more. Her visual work was featured in the group show Omniscient (2021–22) at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York.

Photo by Rafael German.