Ana Sisnett passed away yesterday at 4pm in Austin TX after dealing with ovarian cancer for three years. If you don’t know Ana, let me share her with you so that you will be as inspired as I have been. Most recently, she’s worked as a visual artist. More long-term, she’s a poet, activist, voice for social justice, internet pioneer. Here’s an article from the Austin Chronicle that gives you a little information on her work as Executive Director of Austin Free-Net, a community technology center: “Ana Sisnett: The Reluctant Heroine.”
An African Panamanian, Ana remained moved by her childhood geography and the sounds of Caribbean English, Spanish. She used the sound of her Barbadian grandmother’s voice in her children’s book, Grannie Jus’ Come. Ana wrote the poem first, and after hearing it, I told her it would make a wonderful children’s book. She took me seriously. We took each other’s words seriously — especially when it came to writing, art, politics, family — coffee and Scrabble. Even with cancer, she still kicked my butt in Scrabble.
I’ve got so many more stories, but I’ll stop now. I know there will be a huge memorial in Austin. Ana’s big soul affected so many people.