Rae Paris began writing The Forgetting Tree: A Rememory in 2010, while traveling the United States, visiting sites of racial trauma, horror, and resistance. The desire to do this work came from being a child of parents born and raised in New Orleans during segregation, who ultimately left for California in the late 1950s. After the death of her father in 2011, the fiction Paris had been writing gave way to poetry and short prose, which were heavily influenced by the questions she'd long been considering about narrative, power, memory, and freedom. Paris is driven by the familial and historical spaces and by what happens when we remember seemingly disparate images and moments. A blending of prose, poetry, and images, The Forgetting Tree: A Rememory is a necessary collection that argues for a deeper understanding of past and present so we might imagine a more hopeful, sustaining, and loving future for Black lives.
Rae Paris is from Carson, California with roots extending to New Orleans. Her work has been supported by a NEA Literature Fellowship, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Hedgebrook, Hambidge Center, and Atlantic Center for the Arts, and VONA. She is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Washington.