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Listen to Tracie K. Smith read my poem "Momma Said" on her podcast The Slowdown

Conjuring the Sacred: Poets of the Diaspora, Thursday, October 28, 2021

Conjuring the Sacred: Poets of the Diaspora, Thursday, October 28, 2021

Join us for a free virtual celebration of Black poets, living and writing in the diaspora. This magical lineup includes: Gbenga Adesina, Kemi Alabi, Romeo Oriogun and Candace Williams. These four contemporary scholars, storytellers and archivists, whose work expands the cannon, will perform poems and offer their favourite poetry prompts to the audience. The program will be moderated by Omotara James and is brought to you by City Artists Corps Grant & NYFA. Gbenga Adesina, Nigerian poet and essayist, is the author of Painter of Water, a haunting meditation on intimacy in the face of war and historical violence selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the New Generation African Poets series. His work centers intimacy as a form of inquiry, and the sea as archive and brutal border around which orbits the questions of empire, migration, and exile. He was a Goldwater Fellow at NYU where he received his MFA, and was mentored by Yusef Komunyakaa. He was the 2020 Olive B.O’Connor Fellow at Colgate University, where he taught a poetry class called, “Song of the Human”. His work have been published in Prairie Schooner, Harvard Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, and the New York Times. He’s the winner of the 2020 Narrative Prize. (Author photo description: A person with a beard. Description automatically generated with medium confidence). Kemi Alabi was born on a Sunday in July. The author of Against Heaven (Graywolf Press, 2022), selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Academy American Poets First Book Award, their work appears in Poetry, the Atlantic, Best New Poets 2019, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2, and elsewhere. Alabi is coeditor of The Echoing Ida Collection (Feminist Press, 2021) and lives in Chicago, IL. (Author photo description: A person wearing glasses-description automatically generated with low confidence.) Pre-order Against Heaven (Graywolf Press, April 5, 2022, paperback, $16):!/Against-Heaven-Kemi-Alabi-AVAILABLE-FOR-PRE-ORDER-APRIL-5-2022/p/411073335/category=0 Romeo Oriogun is the author of Sacrament of Bodies, a finalist for the Lambda Award for Poetry. He currently lives in Ames where he is an Innovation Fellow at Iowa State University. Purchase Oriogun's Sacrament of the Bodies from the Bureau (papeback, $17.95):!/Sacrament-of-Bodies-Romeo-Oriogun/p/322030021/category=0 Candace Williams is a black queer nerd living a double life. By day, they’re a middle school English teacher. By night, they’re a poet. Their chapbook, Spells for Black Wizards, was a 2017 TAR Chapbook Series winner and published by the Atlas Review. The Dark Diary (formerly futureblack), their first full-length poetry manuscript, was a 2018 National Poetry Series finalist and is forthcoming from Grieveland. They've earned a MA in Elementary Education from Stanford University, a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship, Pushcart nominations, as well as workshop scholarships from Cave Canem and the Fine Arts Work Center. They were a 2017 Create Change Fellow at the Laundromat Project. They've read their poetry, given lectures, and devised original performances at many venues including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Bushwick Starr Theater, Poetry Project, Eyebeam, Dixon Place, the New School, and the New Museum. They are a member of CityLore's Homer 2 Hip Hop Advisory Committee. (Author photo description: A picture containing person, indoor. Description automatically generated.) Moderator: Omotara James is a multidisciplinary artist, poet and editor, based out of New York City. Her debut poetry collection is "Song of My Softening," slated for release in 2022, with Alice James Books. (Author photo description: A picture containing person, glasses, indoor. Description automatically generated.) Pre-order Omotara James's Song of My Softening (Alice James Books, April 12, 2022, paperback, $18.95):!/Song-of-My-Softening-Omotara-James-AVAILABLE-FOR-PRE-ORDER-April-12-2022/p/411074065/category=0
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