We Are Owed. (1).png

We Are Owed. Tour

Ariana Brown and Alan Pelaez Lopez's Fall 2021 tour, We Are Owed., explores the history of enslaved Black people in the U.S. and Mexico, loneliness, and migration while centering articulations, demands, and visions of Black freedom in our contemporary moment. Named after Brown's debut poetry collection, We Are Owed., is an interactive artistic experience with the poets. This fall, they are offering three creative writing workshops: "We Are Owed.," "Gender, Sexuality, Freedom" and "Caring for Each Other." Each artist is offering two art talks: "Art as Civil Disobedience: Taking Our Stories Back" (Alan). "Demanding Better Care: On Community Organizing, Accountability, & Future-Making" (Alan). "Taking Care of Black Girls When the World Won't" (Ariana), and "We Are Owed: Language and Liberation" (Ariana). And both poets are also offering performances with live dialogues.


Download We Are Owed. Tour Materials


About the Artists

2019 Headshot 1_Jess Alvarenga_edited.jpg

Alan Pelaez Lopez

Alan Pelaez Lopez is a coastal AfroZapotec poet, installation and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. Much of their writing honors the messiness of grief, love, social movements, and reconciliation. They are the author of Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien (The Operating System, 2020), a finalist for the 2020 International Latino Book Award, and to love and mourn in the age of displacement (Nomadic Press, 2020). They believe to have left the present long ago and continuously travel between ancestral memories and futures otherwise. Pelaez Lopez’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and “Best of the Net,” and selected to appear in Best New Poets 2019 and Best American Experimental Writing 2020. They have received fellowships and/or residencies from Submittable, the Museum of the African Diaspora, VONA/Voices, and the University of California-Berkeley. Pelaez Lopez’s work is published in Poetry magazine, Catapult, the Georgia Review, Puerto Del Sol, Everyday Feminism & elsewhere.


Ariana Brown

Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from the Southside of San Antonio, TX. She is the author of the poetry collections We Are Owed. (Grieveland, 2021) and Sana Sana (Game Over Books, 2020). Ariana’s work investigates queer Black personhood in Mexican American spaces, Black relationality and girlhood, loneliness, and care. She holds a B.A. in African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies and an M.F.A. in Poetry. A 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion, Ariana has also recorded a digital poetry EP titled LET US BE ENOUGH, available on Bandcamp. She has been writing, performing, and teaching poetry for over ten years, and owes much of her practice to Black performance communities led by Black women poets from the South.