Robin Reid Drake (she/they) is a Chicago (Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations) based writer, artist and educator originally from Greensboro, North Carolina (Eno, Sappony & Shakori Nations). White, trans & queer, Drake is passionate about combining abolitionist somatics, creative practice and popular education to reckon with lines of violence in herself and her communities.
My writing unfolds to meet the world as it is, ask what it was and imagine what it could become. I am committed to writing as a lifelong practice of collective accumulation & repair.
My interdisciplinary practice is rooted in poetry and wrestles through the mud with themes of whiteness, trans embodiment, ecology and control. Influenced by the practice of artists and writers such as Genesis P-Orridge & M. NourbeSe Philip, I utilize intuitive research & collage which demand I give myself over to the world exactly as I sit in it, find light in my immediate surroundings and ask the pen to be a listening organ.
I believe art or writing cannot do anything the artist or writer isn’t willing to do every moment of every day. I believe a creative practice to be a knotted limb outstretched from a core practice of being. If I wish to write liberation, I must remember to breathe liberation. If I wish to create belonging, I must remember to walk belonging.
I am growing into a vine so rooted in presence that my breath becomes a bridge for the future to touch the past.
& I give myself permission to fail. Fabulously.
Residencies & Recognitions
ArtWorks Fund & Changing World’s Teaching Artists Survive & Thrive Grant; Chicago, IL
Ragdale Foundation; Lake Forest, IL
Writer in Residence; 2019
Windy City Times’ 30 Under 30; Chicago, IL
Lacawac Sanctuary LGBTQ+ Artists Residency; Lake Ariel, PA
Writer in Residence; 2018
New Artists Society Scholarship, SAIC; Chicago, IL
Carl Sandburg Poetry Prize, UNC Asheville; Asheville, NC
Comfort Scholarship for Excellence in Writing, UNC Asheville; Asheville, NC
They are currently a Part Time Lecturer in Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.