The final day of the Festival is tomorrow. It will be yet another amazing day. Join us for the Social Change Book Fair from 9:30 - 4:00 tomorrow in the Thurgood Marshall Center Gym.
Also check out the following panels and workshops tomorrow:
-Black LGBTQ Writing as Agents of Change
-Don’t You Hear This Hammer Ring: Origins, Mission, and Future of Split This Rock, Your National Organization of Socially Engaged Poets
-Write from the Source: Breath, Gesture, Word
-Birth and the Politics of Motherhood in Poetry
-The Poet as Historian in the 21st Century: A Rare Opportunity in Difficult Times
-Fatty Girls, Imaginary Cocks, and Vaginas Built Like Bookstores: A Workshop on Writing the Activist Body
-Poesia Para la Gente: Writing to Save Lives
-Radical Diversity: The Presentation of Poetry as an Agent of Radical Change
-Fire and Ink: A Social Action Writing Anthology, and the Rewards of Teaching Activist Writing
From 12:30-1:30 at Bell Multicultural High School, there will be a Teen Open Mic featuring Jeffrey McDaniel.
From 1:30-3:00 SOMEHOW TENDERNESS SURVIVIES: A TRIBUTE TO DENNIS BRUTUS, LUCILLE CLIFTON, MAHMOUD DARWISH, AND HOWARD ZINN
From 2-4 DC YOUTH SLAM TEAM FINALS
Between 2 and 3:30, check out the following performances:
-Willow Books Reading
-We are All Iran: A Group Reading by Iranian-American Poets
-AQUI ESTAMOS: A Sampling of Poetry From the Inaugural Acentos Poetry Festival
Featured Readings will again take place at Bell Multicultural High School. From 5-7, Featured Poets Richard McCann, Allison Hedge Coke, Lenelle Moïse, and Fady Joudah will read. There will be a break, during which sandwich combos can be purchased for $5.00. Following the break, Featured Poets Toni Asante Lightfoot, Martha Collins, Sinan Antoon, and Chris Abani will read with the winners of the 2010 and 2009 Adult Poetry Contests Simki Ghebremichael, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, and Teresa Scollon from 8 to 10. (For more information about the context winners, click here.)
Richard McCann is the author, most recently, of Mother of Sorrows, an award-winning collection of linked stories that Michael Cunningham has described as "almost unbearably beautiful." He is also the author of Ghost Letters, a collection of poems, and editor (with Michael Klein) of Things Shaped in Passing: More 'Poets for Life' Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. His work has appeared in such magazines as The Atlantic, Ms., Esquire, and Tin House, and in numerous anthologies, including The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007 and Best American Essays 2000. For his work, he has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. A professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at American University, McCann serves on the Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and is a Member of the Corporation of Yaddo. www.RichardMcCann.net [Photo credit: Joanne Jacobson]
Allison Hedge Coke holds the Distinguished Paul W. Reynolds and Clarice Kingston Reynolds Endowed Chair of Poetry and Writing at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, and directs the Reynolds Reading Series & Honoring the Sandhill Crane Migration Literary Tribute Retreat. Her five authored books include: the American Book Award winning volume Dog Road Woman and the Wordcraft Writer of the Year for Poetry volume Off-Season City Pipe, both from Coffee House Press; Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer, an AIROS Book-of-the-Month memoir from the University of Nebraska Press; and Wordcraft's Writer of the Year for Poetry in 2007, Blood Run, a verse-play from Salt Publications. Hedge Coke has edited seven additional collections. She came of age cropping tobacco and working fields, waters, and working in factories.
Lenelle Moïse, hailed “a masterful performer” by GetUnderground.com, is an award-winning "culturally hyphenated pomosexual" poet, playwright and performance artist. She creates jazz-infused, hip-hop bred, politicized texts about Haitian-American identity and the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, spirituality and resistance. In addition to featured performances in venues as diverse as the Louisiana Superdome, the United Nations General Assembly Hall and a number of theatres, bookstores, cafes and activist conferences, Lenelle regularly performs her acclaimed autobiographical one-woman show WOMB-WORDS, THIRSTING at colleges across the United States. Curve Magazine calls her debut spoken-word CD Madivinez "piercing...covering territory both intimate and political...vivid and powerful." She shares a bed in Northampton, Massachusetts. www.lenellemoise.com
Fady Joudah's The Earth in the Attic won the Yale Series for Younger Poets in 2007. Contest judge Louise Glück describes the poet in her foreword as, “that strange animal, the lyric poet in whom circumstance and profession ... have compelled obsession with large social contexts and grave national dilemmas.” He won the 2008 Saif Ghobash – Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of poetry by Mahmoud Darwish collected in The Butterfly’s Burden, published in a bilingual edition by Bloodaxe Books in the UK and by Copper Canyon Press in the US. The US edition was short-listed for PEN America’s poetry in translation award in 2009. He was a field member of Doctors Without Borders in 2002 and 2005. His new translation of Darwish's work is titled If I Were Another: Poems by Mahmoud Darwish (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009).
Toni Asante Lightfoot is a poet, teacher, performer, and activist. Born and raised in Washington, DC, she started hosting poetry readings in 1993 at Soul Brothers Pizza and moved to It's Your Mug in early 1994, where it hosted Saul Williams, Willie Perdomo, Miguel Algarin, The Darkroom Collective from Boston, Rhoma Spencer of Trinidad & Tobago and some of the best poets in DC. She is living in exile in Chicago, Illinois. She first left DC in 2000 to be artistic director of The Haven, an artistic retreat and bed & breakfast in Trinidad & Tobago. From there she joined the Blackout Arts Collective of Boston and became their artistic director in 2002. After realizing Boston what not her cup of tea, she packed up a truck and headed west to the Third Coast. Chicago has been a home sometimes cold, sometimes hot, but full of opportunism. Lightfoot is now the Director of TEACH Program at Young Chicago Authors. Her life is filled with a new understanding of language since being married to Setondji from The Republic of Benin and becoming a mother to the lovely Leontyn. www.myspace.com/toniasantelightfoot
Martha Collins is the author of the book-length poem Blue Front (Graywolf, 2006), which focuses on a lynching her father witnessed when he was a child; it won an Anisfield-Wolf Award and was chosen as one of “25 Books to Remember from 2006” by the New York Public Library. Collins has also published four collections of poems, two collections of co-translations of Vietnamese poetry, and two chapbooks of poems. Other awards include fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute, and the Witter Bynner Foundation. Collins founded the Creative Writing Program at UMass-Boston, and for ten years was Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College. She is currently editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press. www.marthacollinspoet.com
Sinan Antoon was born in Iraq and moved to the US after the 1991 Gulf War. His poems, essays and translations have been widely published in Arabic and English (The Nation, Ploughshares, Bomb, World Literature Today, Banipal). His novel I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (City Lights) has been translated to five languages. The Baghdad Blues (poems) was published by Harbor Mountain Press. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence is forthcoming from Archipelago Books in 2010. Antoon returned to Iraq in 2003 to co-direct the documentary film "About Baghdad," about the lives of Iraqis in a post-Saddam occupied Iraq. He served as senior editor of the Arab Studies Journal and currently serves as contributing editor for Banipal: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature and as a member of the editorial committee of the Middle East Report. He is assistant professor at New York University.
Chris Abani's poetry collections are Hands Washing Water (Copper Canyon, 2006), Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne's Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001). His prose includes Song For Night (Akashic, 2007), The Virgin of Flames (Penguin, 2007), Becoming Abigail (Akashic, 2006), GraceLand (FSG, 2004), and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985). He is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside, and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize, and a Guggenheim Award. Library Journal says of Hands Washing Water, “Abani enters the wound with a boldness that avoids nothing. Highly recommended.” www.chrisabani.com