Kathy Y. Wilson and her army of talented, female poets are slinging words and taking names.
They are Bitch’s Brew, a group of females dedicated to great poetry—and so named (with a nod to the Miles Davis album Bitches Brew) to reclaim the often abused term, “bitch.”
“I thought about all the bad poetry I’d heard and witnessed around Cincinnati during the past decade-plus and thought about how butch, misogynistic, and even racially segregated it was and still is,” says Wilson. “I decided if I could call out an all-star team of women poets, what would it look like?”
Nearly a year later, Wilson’s vision includes the talent and diversity of members Abiyah, Murray, Ophelia, Yvette Nepper, and DJ Apryl Reign. “All these women are very well-known for their respective artistry and each brings their own faithful and disparate audience,” Wilson explains.
Although they are a gifted group of artists from all walks of life, these women do not come together for the sake of poetry reading alone, but also to promote a strong message of female empowerment and female interaction, no matter what the cause.
“It is important for women to interact. Period. Don’t matter how, when or where,” Wilson says. “We just need to acknowledge one another in love and mutual respect and stop believing the lie America’s told us that we’re supposed to hate and envy one another and aspire to look precisely the same. Every woman in this group has a different body type, sexuality, income bracket, and background.”
Bitch’s Brew performs readings every other month at The Greenwich Tavern in Walnut Hills in two sets followed by a five-slot open mic.
TRACK 1: Sam Cooke, “Bring it on Home to Me”– YN: “This song kind of makes me wish I was in the middle of a terrible break up just so I had to turn to Sam Cooke for support. If I made movies, they would all be about people falling out of love to Sam Cooke songs. It would be really sad.”
TRACK 2: The Drifters, “Some Kind of Wonderful”– YN: “This is what I should’ve been slow dancing to in high school. I owe my love for this song and an early sexual awakening to the film Dirty Dancing.”
TRACK 3: Etta James, “I’d Rather Go Blind” – Murray: “The epitome of R&B. I always imagined my favorite poets wrote in an old school study, sipping whiskey with this song going low on a record player in the background. I’ve imitated this imagined process often with only a cheap whiskey, one bookshelf, and this song playing low on a CD player. Effective.”
TRACK 4: B.o.B feat. Janelle Monae, “The Kids”– Ophelia: “This song kind of exemplifies why I do my art: the poetry, the graphic design, the blogging, the crafting—everything.”
TRACK 5: Suave (facebook.com/suaveishere), “Heaven” – Ophelia: “On top of this song being written for me by my favorite person...this song reminds me of who I am and what I have accomplished in a way that motivates me to do more and be better.”
TRACK 6: Patti LaBelle, “Lady Marmalade” – KYW: “Patti LaBelle screams like a police siren on crank. This song reminds me of growing up deciphering all those 1970s song lyrics rife with double entendre and feeling like a grown-ass when I did.”
TRACK 7: Sonic Youth feat. Chuck D, “Kool Thing” – Abiyah: “The true embodiment of my perspectives on being both a woman and a genre-bending artist, packaged in a gap-bridging tour-de-force of two artists whose music and being had a significant impact on both my entry into adulthood and my own musical style nearly 20 years later.”
TRACK 8: Bad Brains, “I Against I”/ Mos Def & Massive Attack, “I Against I”– Abiyah: “In this battle of verses, both are winners....Mos reinforces the need to win the internal struggle against your damn self in the midst of the wackass haters who love you.”
TRACK 9: Jill Scott, “Gotta Get Up” – Apryl Reign: “Perfect description of my current career path.”
TRACK 10: Erykah Badu, “I’m Clever” – Apryl Reign: “Because I can be.”