Humanitini: Poetry Animating LGBTQ+ History, Places, and Spaces

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This Humanitini will explore how contemporary poets are documenting, articulating, and complicating LGBTQ+ identity and experience.

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How are contemporary poets documenting, articulating, and complicating LGBTQ+ identity and experiences? How do these poets and audiences come together in the context of rapidly disappearing LGBTQ+-centered spaces? How are contemporary poets relating to LGBTQ+ poetic forbearers, histories, and places and spaces in DC?

Join Taylor Johnson, Kim Roberts, Malik Thompson, and Regie Cabico, four poets who are deeply connected to DC as writers, historians, and organizers, in a conversation facilitated by public humanist Tyler French around these questions. Panelists will explore how the city and its histories of LGBTQ+ life fuel their poetry, reflecting on how their work enters public life and how that has changed over time, both in terms of poetic styles and forms and also the places and spaces in which they share their work. Attendees will also be invited to join into the conversation with their own questions.

DC is home to rich histories of both LGBTQ+ life and poetry, the intersections of which have continued to animate public space, community organizing, and artistic production and performance. LGBTQ+ poets are often at the center of these movements, exploring the intersections of identity and place, documenting and paying witness to personal and communal experience, and fueling contemporary visionings of future articulations of LGBTQ+ life in the District.

ASL Interpretation and live captioning will be provided. The event will be hosted virtually over Zoom.

Learn more about the panelists and facilitator:


Kim Roberts is the editor of the anthology By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of our Nation’s Capital (University of Virginia Press, 2020), which was selected to represent Washington, DC in the Route 1 Reads program, a multi-state initiative of the Centers for the Book, and the author of A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston (University of Virginia Press, 2018), and five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017).

Taylor Johnson is an artist from Washington, DC. They are the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their work appears in The Paris Review, The Baffler, Scalawag, and elsewhere. Johnson is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a recipient of the 2017 Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers from Lambda Literary.

Malik Thompson is a Black queer man proud to be from D.C. A bookseller, anime fanatic, and workshop facilitator, Malik has worked with Split This Rock, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Moonlit DC as a workshop facilitator. He also organized the Poets In Protest poetry series at the Black queer owned bookstore Loyalty Bookstores. Malik’s work can be found inside of Split This Rock’s Poetry Database as well as the mixed media journal Voicemail Poems. A Tin House Workshop attendee, you can find Malik's thoughts on literature via his Instagram account @negroliterati.

Regie Cabico is the first Asian American and queer poet to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam. He has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, TEDx Talk and NPR's Snap Judgement. He received a New York Innovative Theater Award for his work with the New York Neo-Futurists' Production of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. He produces Capturing Fire Festival and Press. He has been on faculty at Kundiman, Banff Spoken Word Arts & NYU’s Asian Pacific Studies Artist in Residence. Cabico is a founding Board Member of Split This Rock and a 2019 Le Maison Baldwin Fellowship Recipient.


Tyler French (he/him/his) is a writer and public humanist living in Washington, D.C. His first full-length book of poetry, He Told Me was published by Capturing Fire Press in 2019. He has writing in Impossible Archetype, Assaracus, Beech Street Review, Bending Genres Journal, Stoked Words, an anthology of queer poetry, and The Quarry, Split This Rock’s Social Justice Poetry Database. He is a co-creator and baker for Queer Cookies, a poetry series, bake sale, and poetry/cookbook celebrating LGBTQ+ poets. See more of Tyler’s work at and on Instagram @thfrench.

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