Our People: Quin Williams

Artist, Healer, Activist

Charlotte native Quin Williams, better known by her persona and preferred name Minx, is a Queen City queer-artist who uses poetry and spoken word to express her pro-feministic views. Williams began writing poetry at the age of nine by composing haikus (short-form Japanese poems) about nature, which she says was the first style and genre of poetry that she was initially drawn to.

Minx, now 37, says the majority of poetry that she has written in the last couple of years is a unique genre she refers to as sensual poetry. “In the last two years, I’ve become more sensually expressive,” says Minx. “It became a kind of artistic realm that allowed me to feel liberated,” she added.

Minx says that by using poetry as an outlet to talk about the things that made her feel happy, free, comfortable and relaxed, she was able to experience a type of freedom. “I would write about sensual things that would ordinarily tip-toe around in my head,” she says.

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qnotes had the pleasure of sitting down with Minx to learn a little more about her poetry and what kinds of things she draws from for inspiration. The poet also shared a few other details about her life outside her art as well.

Can you describe your persona ShesMinx and what it means to you?

Minx is my sensual alter ego. She is about liberation through freedom of expression and stimulating the mind to think outside the ordinary and the soul to seek the unfamiliar by pushing the envelope through poetry and the art of spoken word.

What are some of your favorite venues for spoken word performances?

I have performed at a few places in Charlotte, N.C., however, La’wans Soul food restaurant is a local, and black-owned establishment which I’ve performed at that also has spent a lot of energy and resources serving the community and the youth of our community during the stress of the coronavirus. Lit Lounge is another space I’ve performed in; the staff was very welcoming and kind to every artist performing, and I didn’t have to pay a dime to perform or get in. I will say that there aren’t enough LGBTQ+ safe venues within the Charlotte community that host spoken word for artists like myself, so I am still looking for that special place, and I’m hoping to connect with an establishment soon for an LGBTQ+ sensual spoken word night!

What medium do you primarily use to showcase your poetry?

I usually use IG (Instagram) to showcase my poetry. I’ve also, due to the lack of the type of venues I’d like to host shows in and financial resources, curated a sensual spoken-word podcast called, Wordgasms Podcast, which you can find on anchor.fm through GooglePlay and App Store! The link is in my IG BIO! Wordgasms Podcast has become my new haven of expression. I have taken full power by creating a safe space for all creatives on a remote level which showcases not only poetry by myself but by other spoken word artists like myself along with indie music artists.

What initially inspired you to start writing poetry?

I was initially inspired to write poetry because I was an imaginative, introverted child who wanted to express herself in ways that, hopefully, people could understand. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old.

Has the Black Lives Matter movement influenced your poetry at all? If so, how?

Absolutely! Poetry has always been a way of expressing my fear, hurt and pain. Black lives being taken away unlawfully with no justice served not only inspired me to write a poem which you can find on my poetry page, shesminx, called “Fed Up,” but you can also find it on Wordgasms Podcast along with an entire episode called “Hear Us,” which is dedicated to the struggle by black people experiencing the struggle.

How do you use your poetry as a tool to overcome the hatred and intolerance of racial injustice?

I use my poetry to overcome hatred and intolerance of racial injustice by expressing all perspectives, with raw emotions and words that cut deep which speak directly to the issue.

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What are some significant themes or messages conveyed in your poetry?

The themes conveyed in my poetry are self-love, healing, survival, lesbian sex, spirituality, perspectives of society through the eyes of a black lesbian woman and religion.

Can you explain your use of the portmanteau  “Wordgasms?”

My use of Wordgasms is to place emphasis on how words can stimulate you sensually and mentally. It’s about a mental climax, a peak in the sparks communicating to create brainwaves to open your train of thought and clear your tunnel vision. It is a play on words that works so well.

Can you tell me about your poem related to the death of Ahmaud Arbery?

My poem “Fed Up” speaks specifically to the social climate by speaking in the first person initially and addressing how I feel that “white America” loves black culture, black hair, black booty, black lips and all that makes us cosmetically fashionable but do not love black people as a whole. I break it down all the way to the harassment in stores and purposely ignoring the racial injustice done to us and our cries for change. It speaks also directly to “Black America” reminding us how beautifully strong we are, regardless of the seemingly purpose oversight of a pattern of murder and injustice, a society who loves everything about us but us.

Do you prefer to type or handwrite your poetry?

I actually speak my poetry into an audio app and then edit the text. It seems that the pen and pad or keyboard and screen creates a disconnect and get in the way of my thoughts. I try to stay away from writing or typing poetry to keep it in its rawest and most authentic form.

What do you enjoy doing for fun?

For fun I love to spend time with family, read books, walk in nature alone, meditate and long rides with people who calm me. I love things that keep me grounded. Peace means so much to me, my peace is my fun.

What are some of your favorite places to dine or have a drink in the Charlotte area?

My favorite places to dine, well a few, because I’m such a foodie: Portofinos, La’wans Soul Food, Pinky’s, Jack Beagles, Bad Daddy’s, Chicken King on West Blvd., and Mert’s! I guess my favorite place to drink is anywhere that has good drinks. I’m definitely a Jack and Ginger kinda gal.

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