Audio Roundup: Epic Voices, Literary Mentors, Emerging Poets & More
The rainy weather has not put a damper on the fiery poetic happenings at Poets House! May and June saw electric readings and discussions as part of our Epic Voices series, our Passwords series, and Emerging Poets Fellowship. Whether you missed these programs or would like to revisit them, we invite you to listen in now!
We continued our year-long Epic Voices series, an exploration of epic traditions and the long form:
- In a discussion of what she calls “the (un)epic,” poet M. NourbeSe Philip drew on poets of the Caribbean/Cari Basin heritage to explore the “place and space of massive ‘interruckshuns’” in the Caribbean.
- In a related program, Rosamond S. King, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Sean Henry-Smith, and Erica Hunt presented an experimental collective reading of Philip’s epic poem Zong!, a text based on historical documents relating to the massacre of 150 Africans on a slave ship in 1781.
The Passwords series, in which poets examine and pay homage to literary mentors and predecessors, continued with three in-depth discussions:
- Derek Fenner, co-editor of Arcana: A Stephen Jonas Reader, joined poets Randall Horton and Pamela Sneed to explore the work of Stephen Jonas, an under-recognized yet important poet of the American postwar era. The poets discussed how Jonas’ work expands black and queer literary histories.
- Ammiel Alcalay, Iris Cushing, and Mary Catherine Kinniburgh honored the work of Diane di Prima on the occasion of the launch of a digitized copy of her 1973 chapbook Loba, Part 1 to the Poets House website.
- The artistic collective du monde noir, featuring Devin Cain, Alexandria Eregbu, and Krista Franklin, offered up Infinite Plentitude, a performative presentation on historical and contemporary AfroSurrealism. With a focus on Martinique as the birthplace of Aimé Césaire, poet and co-founder of the Negritude movement, the collective further explored Suzanne Césaire, Frantz Fanon, and René Ménil.
We are honored to share programs aligned with our 2019 Emerging Poets Fellowship, which provides ten talented New York City poets with instruction, mentoring, public lectures by visiting poets, and access to Poets House’s resources. This program is supported by the Jerome Foundation.
- Yanyi, a former Emerging Poets Fellow, returned to discuss his debut poetry collection, The Year of Blue Water, a collection which investigates a self in crisis, queerness, and a dialogue connecting the living and the dead.
- Poet Simone White discussed her poetic influences and a long poem of hers that explores the cost black women are forced to pay for living an anti-patriarchal life.
- The 2019 Emerging Poets Fellows—Rabih Ahmed, Kiran Bath, Catherine Chen, Charlene François, James Fujinami Moore, Trevor Ketner, Shalewa Mackall, Val Rigodon, Sarah Sala, and Nicole Wallace—presented their writing in a celebratory public reading, introduced by their workshop instructor, poet Anselm Berrigan.
Please enjoy these programs, as well as our many other audio recordings. We will continue to update our audio archive so that you can stay in touch with the happenings here at Poets House. Also, please consider joining us for the 27th Annual Poets House Showcase, kicking off on Thursday, June 27, 2019 with an opening reception and reading at 6pm. We hope to see you!