Membering is a personal exploration of my family's history. Mer Rouge is a small town in Louisiana named for the red fields of dirt that rise as you drive over the hill towards the center of town. The place was built by the labor of enslaved men and women brought by my ancestor Josiah Davenport. Josiah was also the captain of the ship Cleopatra that most likely was used as a slave ship out of Providence, Rhode Island. I did not grow up in Louisiana, my mother left for Baltimore when I was two, but I spent my summers with my father in the south. This ongoing exploration combines documents and photographs related to my family archive from both the northern and southern ancestors.
I layered the narratives from the documents I found while researching to create a set of 4 chapbooks. Each chapbook combines several narratives into a documentary poem.
The book was published in 2022 by Antenna Paper Machine in New Orleans https://www.antenna.works/product/membering/
A PDF of the work can be found at https://www.issuu.com/meredith113
The work was exhibited at the Tower Fine Arts Gallery at SUNY Brockport in September 2018.