Published 20 May 200920 May 2009 · Main Posts Poetry Slamming with the President Maxine Beneba Clarke The Obamas held a poetry jam at their big White House last week. James Earl Jones was there, and Poetry Slam Champion Mayda de Valle. And yet, despite Obama’s frequent emails to me, I didn’t receive an invite. How could he have left me off the list? I mean, he even wrote me the evening he was elected, saying: Dear Maxine, I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first. We just made history. And I don’t want you to forget how we did it. You made history every single day during this campaign …I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next. But I want to be very clear about one thing… All of this happened because of you. Thank you, Barack… I swear to God that is, word-for-word, what came through to my hotmail from Obama (ie: his publicity team) about ten minutes before he walked on stage. The only possible explanation for me being left off the readers list is that Michelle saw my serenade to her husband, and got insanely jealous…Still, as a poet, it’s heartening to know the high emphasis the ‘leader of the free world’ and our ‘orator in chief’ puts on words. God knows, they got the man to where he is today. May he never forget that. This entry is cross-posted here Maxine Beneba Clarke Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016. More by Maxine Beneba Clarke Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 25 May 202326 May 2023 · Main Posts The ‘Chinese question’ and colonial capitalism in New Gold Mountain Christy Tan SBS’s New Gold Mountain sets out to recover the history of the Gold Rush from the marginalised perspective of Chinese settlers but instead reinforces the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty. Although celebrated for its multilingual script and diverse representation, the mini-TV series ignores how the settlement of Chinese migrants and their recruitment into colonial capitalism consolidates the ongoing displacement of First Nations peoples. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 February 202322 February 2023 · Main Posts Self-translation and bilingual writing as a transnational writer in the age of machine translation Ouyang Yu To cut a long story short, it all boils down to the need to go as far away from oneself as possible before one realizes another need to come back to reclaim what has been lost in the process while tying the knot of the opposite ends and merging them into a new transformation.