Featured Contributor

Niema Lightseed

Video & Images by collaborator Sophia Emigh

The Body Poetic invokes soulful living through embodiment, education, sharing the healing power of creativity, and inspiring personal and collective liberation. 

About Niema Lightseed & The Body Poetic

“I sing the body electric.”   ~ Walt Whitman

The Body Poetic name is inspired by both that line and poem above, an ecstatic exultation of the sacredness of our forms, and the phrase “body politic,” which has been used for millennia to describe a group of people as a biological organism.

Poetry is a way of expressing the ineffable, an attempt to convey the wonder and heartbreak of existence with our imperfect shared tool of words. As written by Toni Cade Bambara, “The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.”

This is a revolution of love, a remembering of the artists we all are, a striving towards solutions to systems that dehumanize, exploit, separate, and ultimately destroy us. There is a way through, and it involves entering deeply into our bodies, through our souls into the soil, through the mycelium into creative union with each other.

Niema (she/her) self-describes in this way:

I belong to poetry, to painting, to music, to all art. I belong to the tall trees and still-wild rivers, to the dandelion, lavender, and salmon. I belong to the wisdom of the healing body and the relationship between touch, movement, and wellness. I belong to a liberated, creative, and interconnected future. I am a Black, fat, cis-woman originally from the lands of the Neshnabé people in what is now called Chicago, Illinois. Since 2013 I have been a grateful guest in the lands of the Tsinook, Multnomah, and Kalapuya people in so-called Portland, Oregon. My life and my offerings are a blend of ancient traditions and modern explorations, medicine distilled from an irrepressible inquiry into the marrow of life. I want to meet the rock that became the paint that flows from brush, literally and metaphorically in all we create. I am a lifelong student of liberation in an ever-deepening process of learning how to transform internalized white supremacist heteropatriarchal oppression, dismantle capitalism, and serve our collective evolution towards an equitable, regenerative, and truly healthy world, guided by creativity and radical imagination.