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Queer Poets of Color: Nepantla Anthology Anniversary

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Artbook @ MoMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue

Queens, NY 11101

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Marking the one-year anniversary of Nepantla Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books, 2018), the first major literary anthology of its kind, Wendy’s Subway and Nepantla editor Christopher Soto present an event that considers forms of mentorship, kinship, and lineage. The anthology gathers queer poets of color throughout U.S. history and their contemporaries today. Contributors to the anthology Amber Atiya, Denice Frohman, t’ai freedom ford, and Donika Kelly, share work by a queer poet of color they consider a literary mentor or interlocutor, followed by a reading of their own writing. Readings are followed by a conversation with editor Christopher Soto.

Queer Poets of Color: Nepantla Anthology Anniversary is organized with Wendy’s Subway as part of The Quick and the Dead, a yearlong, multi-phase project that highlights the life, work, and legacy of a deceased writer by bridging their work to that of contemporary practitioners. In its inaugural year, the program focuses on the life and work of poet, educator, and activist, Audre Lorde (1934-1992). Beginning with a six-month reading and discussion group in all 2018 facilitated by OlaRonke Akinmowo of The Free Black Women’s Library, the Quick and the Dead continues through public programming in Spring 2019. The Quick and the Dead seeks to mobilize the creative and pedagogical potential of focused engagement with a single author through sustained reflection across a variety of public events and opportunities for cross-disciplinary encounters.


- Readers -

Amber Atiya is a poet, performer, and visual artist from Flatbush, Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, The Boston Review, PEN America, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook the fierce bums of doo-wop (Argos Books, 2014) and a co-founder of Sari-Sari Women of Color Arts Coup. She thinks of her creative practice as homeopathic, both a transcript of illness and a remedy, an attempt to startle the eye out of its desensitized state towards the possibility of emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness.

t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher and Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in The African American Review, Apogee, Bomb Magazine, Calyx, Drunken Boat, Electric Literature, Gulf Coast, Kweli, Tin House, Obsidian, Poetry and others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. Winner of the 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize, her first poetry collection, how to get over is available from Red Hen Press. Her second poetry collection, & more black, is from Augury Books. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn where she is an editor at No, Dear Magazine.

Denice Frohman is a poet and performer from New York City. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and former Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion. Her poems have appeared in Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism, and elsewhere. She’s featured on hundreds of stages from The Apollo to the Nuyorican Poets Café, and co-organizes #PoetsforPuertoRico.

Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook AVIARIUM (500 Places, 2017) and the full-length collection BESTIARY (Graywolf, 2016). She is a winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was long-listed for the National Book Award. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, Donika holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University. She is an Assistant Professor at Baruch College, where she teaches creative writing.

- Moderator -

Christopher Soto (b. 1991, Los Angeles) is a poet based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of the chapbook Sad Girl Poems (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016) and the editor of Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books, 2018). He co-founded the Undocupoets Campaign and worked with Amazon Literary Partnerships to establish grants for undocumented writers. He is a recipient of the 2017 Split This Rock “Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism” and the 2016 Poets & Writers “Barnes & Nobles Writer for Writers Award.” His poems, reviews, interviews, and articles can be found at Lambda Literary, The Nation, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tin House, and more. He is currently working˜ on a full-length poetry manuscript about police violence and mass incarceration. He received his MFA in poetry from NYU, where he was a Goldwater Hospital Writing Workshop Fellow.

- Partners -

Lambda Literary nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers, elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve our legacies, and affirm the value of our stories and our lives.

Nightboat Books, a nonprofit organization, seeks to develop audiences for writers whose work resists convention and transcends boundaries, by publishing books rich with poignancy, intelligence and risk.

Queer Poets of Color: Nepantla Anthology Anniversary is co-sponsored by Lambda Literary and Nightboat Books. The Quick and the Dead is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered y the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) and Humanities New York with Support from the National Endowment from the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Artbook @ MoMA PS1

22-25 Jackson Avenue

Queens, NY 11101

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