Romaine Washington, M.Ed. is the author Purgatory Has An Address (Bamboo Dart Press) release date, April 15th 2021 and Sirens in Her Belly (Jamii Publications, 2015). Her writing has been published in many anthologies and periodicals, including San Bernardino Singing, Lullwater Review, and Cholla Needles. She has presented her work in a wide variety of venues from National Poetry Slam to NPR and KPFK.
Washington is a fellow of The Watering Hole, South Carolina and the Inland Area Writing Project at the University of California in Riverside. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from California State University San Bernardino and her Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University. As a university instructor, she taught in the Cross Cultural Language and Academic program and she has been an educator for over twenty years. Washington is active in the local writing community through workshops and readings, the organization Women Who Submit, book festivals and literary events.
Mother. Daughter. Daddy. Child. Each one of these poems explores the topography of family history and family pain with a sense of ferocity that eats the reader alive. The sun glares without warmth and black boxes drift through desert landscapes as Washington tears through the emotional terrain of violence intermixed with tenderness and longing. Reading these poems, you will understand why “penance is a slow process” and how we live with the hurt of what was done to us in the unrelenting terrible beauty of this book of poems.
—Nikia Chaney, poet, Literary Laureate,
and author of us mouth
... abundant with magic, manifestation, and mediation despite these bleakest of times... she grounds herself and the reader in moments of much needed peace. From fires, chaos, and grief, Washington creates herself new: “and she was poem / and she was good.” Let this collection be a reminder to anyone who needs it, that they, too, are a poem.
author of Posada:Offerings of Witness and Refuge
Purgatory Has An Address is an ode to the poetry of place and how this poetry weaves itself into the heart of the people who are both inhabitants and the place itself... Because of Washington’s incredible use of language, images and surprise, by the end, it is as if there is no way to exist without poetry at all.
author of Songs After Memory Fractures and even god
Romaine Washington’s poems in Purgatory Has an Address smolder with unpretty claws and an emptiness that seeks belonging. There’s magic for your senses and music in her words...
—Cindy Rinne, author of silence between drumbeats
Washington’s book of poetry zeros in on the unique challenges women face in our modern world,
and does it with unwavering strength.
BET, Editors Must-Read Books for 2016
Romaine Washington's poetry is filled with images that are hot and cold, soft and hard. She pulls readers into her work with passion and determination as she draws on nature to illustrate her themes. Once we are in, we do not want to leave her poetic realm.
- Dr. Beverly V. Head, author of Walking North
[Like] Lucile Clifton... Romaine's lyrical voice unmasks the hard truths of our human condition, particularly the oppression of women, through her unique use of diction, syntax, and extraordinary imagery, which engages the intellect and speaks to the souls of her readers.
- Dr. Catherine Humphrey, IAWP UCR Fellow
Romaine Washington is a poet for our times. Her words evoke images that will linger in our minds long after the reading is done. Her poems are defibrillators of the soul - resuscitating our hearts to a world yearning for freedom.
- Ewuare S. Osayande, Editor Stand Our Ground:
Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander
Like an ocean's shifting waters, Romaine's poetry gently laps at your psyche before bursting into strong waves - either stirring up nostalgic longing or repulsion at bad memories. Her stylishly clever way with words, rich in imagery, transforms common life settings into unique scenarios that promise to never fade.
- Yayoi L. Winfrey, Editor/Publisher, Brothers and Others: An anthology of Black women writing about Black men