Metatron Prize


for Rising Authors

 

 

 

 

 

Alexandra

Khan-Anselmo

 

Para Você

 

 

 

 

 

Who are you?

I am a queer Indo-Trinidadian Portuguese writer and actor living between Los Angeles and Vancouver though I am currently in New York City. 

 

What is your book about?

Para Você is a convergence of memory. It explores grief through a time of victimhood and trauma. 

 

Could you tell us a bit about the process of writing this book?

Para Você began as an act of catharsis. My father died in September of 2017, just one month before my world was upended by the New York Times and New Yorker exposé on the predatory actions of Harvey Weinstein, my former boss and abuser. Within a year I had written 188 poems. The collection is a distillation of raw memory, it crystallizes the unforgettable images through healing and trauma. 

 

What are some books you’ve read and enjoyed lately and/or books that influenced the writing in your submitted work?

In times of grief it is difficult to focus on anything. I had a lot of unfinished books in those years. Music was a huge source of relief and inspiration. My father was Portuguese and loved bossa nova. I listened to a lot of St Germain, Gal Costa, Astrud Gilberto, Stan Getz and João Gilberto.

 

Lately I’ve been reading Toni Morrison, Lucille Clifton, and Rilke. As well as some incredible plays by August Wilson, Susan Lori Parks, and Steven Adly Gurigas. Katie Ebbitt's Para Ana was a big inspiration in the editing process. 

 

How would you describe your book using emojis only?

🚲 🌳 😔 🦈 🌊 🫖😑

 

Anything else you'd like to share?

I hope people enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

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PARA

     VOCÊ

[EXCERPT]

 

 

sem mais lágrimas .. no more tears
 

there is no place i can visit you
 
no tombstone with your name
our name
 
no tree
no park bench
you who never had a home
 
no coisas nossas
 
just muddied memory
at the bottom of every drink
at the lowest note of every bossa song
 
you
a brushed drum in Gentle Rain
 
and us
lost to the world

 

 


 

 

 

um ano .. one year
 

one year and still
there is no word like
your name

 

 


 

 

 

navalha .. razor
 

close my eyes to remember
every wrinkle, every mole
the shape of your hair
the shade of your razor
burn neck
red heat from all the sun
gold from all the beer
cans cracking in the memory of you
1000 aluminum tabs

 

 


 

 

 

a paisagem .. landscape
 
hidden in the pines of an evergreen
holding ancestors in trees
waiting for you to pass by
to drop needles on my
sleeves
a blackberry bush to snag my sweater
a stone to trip over
water to catch me
in a forest by the sea
anything to remind me
de você e eu

 

 


 

 

 

boiar .. swim
 

asleep on the bed in the middle of the day
tape you snoring
ocean ink fills my mind
swim there
skin changing colour
eyes begin to burn
the chain of your hand gripping near the surface
chiseling out new hollows
of an unturned world
tied to your freedom

 

 


 

 

 

sapato .. shoe
 

a life not poetic
artistic, not grand
 
never accomplishing much
not anything for that matter
 
satisfied waiting on me
with ginger ale and cranberry

 

 

 

 


 

treze .. thirteen

Sure Thing on repeat in a rental car
an ice-cream cone dripping down my hand
you bought me my first hoodie
spoke in French
shaved my underarm
cut my toe nail
on the only vacation we took together

 

 


 

 

 

verificações .. checks
 

mowed the lawn in the rain
did a wheelie on a two wheeler in america
 
until someone said
you can’t ride on one wheel
get down, you can’t be up there
 
so get back, go back
where
wherever you came from

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alexandra (she/her) is a queer Indo-Trinidadian-Portuguese actor and writer living in between Vancouver, Canada and Topanga, California. Born in Calgary, Canada, she was an equestrian Show Jumper until age 21, when she moved to Berlin to pursue a career as a journalist. She worked in Berlin for a year as a writer and assistant editor for an expat magazine called the ExBeriliner. After she went on to complete her Masters in International Journalism, an acclaimed program at City University London.

In 2014 she began working as a Digital Writer for the Guardian UK helping to create experiential pieces for readers worldwide. In 2015 she began her work in film and moved to New York to work for the Weinstein Company. She worked directly with Harvey Weinstein for a little over a year and has since participated in a number of projects exposing the depth of Weinstein's predatory actions against women. She continues to advocate for women's autonomy in the workplace and beyond.

She is currently completing a book of poetry, Para Você (For You), a dedication to her father who lost his life to a rare genetic disease that specifically impacts people from the Azores, Portugal, in 2017. She has been a part of numerous LBGTQIA+ led independent film projects as an actor and writer. She is currently in pre-production as a co-writer and actor for a short film project, titled: The Men We Know, a queer love story that follows the relationship of two people struggling with loss and addiction.

 

 

      

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