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Living Writers: Duriel E. Harris, Bakar Wilson, Elizabeth Owuor, and Fahima Ife
November 10, 2022 @ 5:20 pm - 6:55 pm | Humanities Lecture Hall
Duriel E. Harris, Bakar Wilson, Elizabeth Owuor, and Fahima Ife, a reading and conversation to celebrate the launch of “Genre Queer/ Gender Queer Playground,” Obsidian: Litrature and Arts in the African Diaspora, guest edited by Ronaldo V. Wilson (moderator).
Conversations: Power Forged, the Fall Living Writers theme, features poets, novelists, academics, curators, and artists in conversation with one another, in person, across genre and media to open up a space between them, and all of us, within dialogue, collaboration, politics, intimacy and difference which poet and activist Audre Lorde describes as that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged. Between legacies, institutions, families, embodiments and homes; across race, gender, sexuality, and class, guests will explore just how. The Fall 2022 series is co-sponsored by the Center for Racial Justice.
Duriel E. Harris is a writer, performer, artist, and scholar. She is author of three critically acclaimed volumes of poetry, including No Dictionary of a Living Tongue (Nightboat, 2017), Drag (2003), and Amnesiac: Poems (2010). Multi-genre works include the one-woman theatrical performance Thingification, the video collaboration Speleology (2011), and the sound+image project “Blood Labyrinth.” Cofounder of The Black Took Collective, Harris is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Illinois State University and Editor in Chief of the award-winning publishing platform Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.
Bakar Wilson’s poetry has appeared in The Vanderbilt Review, The Lumberyard Radio Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology, and The Ostrich Review, among others. He has performed his work at the Bowery Poetry Club, Poetry Project, The Studio Museum of Harlem, and the 2022 Whitney Biennial. A native of Memphis, TN, Bakar received his BA in English from Vanderbilt University and his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He is an Adjunct Lecturer of English and Creative Writing at Borough of Manhattan Community College at CUNY.
Elizabeth Owuor is a writer, vinyl collector, DJ, and freelance journalist who interrogates the archives of Black music history, blending intimate narrative with the collective history of her people. Her nonfiction utilizes rare blues and soul music to examine cultural inheritance, Black creative labor, and the ways in which Blackness is constructed and consumed in the U.S. and Europe. She has spun her sounds of Black resistance on vinyl all around the globe and is co-founder of Black Rhythm Happening, an evening dedicated to unearthing gems from the sonic vaults. A Tin House alumna, her journalism has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Germany’s Deutsche Welle. To keep the lights on, she works as a copywriter in Silicon Valley. She pursued her Bachelors in Journalism from Emerson College and received a Master’s in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. Her writing has been supported by fellowships from MacDowell, Hedgebrook, and the California Arts Council.
fahima ife (they/she, any or no pronoun) is a poet, professor, and editor based in Northern California and New Orleans. She is associate professor of Black Studies in the department of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at University of California Santa Cruz. In her creative/critical work and in the classes she teaches, fahima considers 20th and 21st century experimental black aesthetics, ecological poetry and poetics, performance art, intimacy, and pleasure. fahima mostly produces poems, lyrical essays, and hybrid experimental works. She is author of Maroon Choreography (Duke University Press, 2021), the forthcoming poetry collection, Arrhythmia (press TBA, 2023), and other works. She is at work on poems, a music of our sensing here. She is a contributing editor at Tilted House press, and with Ian U Lockaby, co-edits the forthcoming journal LUCIUS.
Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD, poet, interdisciplinary artist, and academic, is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man, winner of the Cave Canem Prize; Poems of the Black Object, winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry; Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other, finalist for a Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry; and Lucy 72. His latest books are Carmelina: Figures and Virgil Kills: Stories. The recipient of numerous fellowships, including Cave Canem, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Ford Foundation, Kundiman, MacDowell, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Yaddo, Wilson is Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at U.C. Santa Cruz, serving on the core faculty of the Creative Critical PhD Program; principal faculty member of CRES (Critical Race and Ethnic Studies); and affiliate faculty member of DANM (Digital Arts and New Media).