Featuring Readings by: Adam Falkner Mahogany L. Browne, Idris Goodwin, José Olivarez, Aziza Barnes, Nate Marshall & Special Guests
Adam Falkner is an artist, educator and consultant. His work has appeared in a range of literary and academic journals, and has also been featured on HBO, NBC, NPR, BET, Upworthy, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Chief Operating Officer of Urban Word NYC, a nationally acclaimed youth literary arts organization. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam has toured the United States as a guest artist, speaker and consultant, and was the featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. He teaches at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he is an Arthur Zankel Fellow and PhD candidate in the English and Education program.
Mahogany L. Browne is a Cave Canem and Poets House alumna and the author of several books including Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line, recommended by Small Press Distribution & About.com Best Poetry Books of 2010. She has released five LPs including the live album Sheroshima. As co-founder of the Off Broadway poetry production, Jam On It, and co-producer of NYC’s 1st Performance Poetry Festival: SoundBites Poetry Festival, Mahogany bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee. Browne has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. Her journalism work has been published in magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada’s The Word and UK’s MOBO. Her poetry has been published in literary journals Pluck, Manhattanville Review, Muzzle, Union Station Mag, Literary Bohemian, Bestiary, Joint & The Feminist Wire. She is anticipating the release of several poetry collections in 2015: Smudge (Button Poetry), Redbone (Willow Books) & the anthology The Break Beat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket). She is an Urban Word NYC mentor, as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Brown is also the publisher of Penmanship Books, the Nuyorican Poets Café Poetry Program Director and Friday Night Slam curator and currently an MFA Candidate for Writing & Activism at Pratt Institute.
IDRIS GOODWIN is a playwright, rapper and essayist. His plays include HOW WE GOT ON, REMIX 38 (Actors Theater of Louisville); AND IN THIS CORNER: CASSIUS CLAY(StageOne Family Theater), THIS IS MODERN ART (Steppenwolf), BLACKADEMICS (MPAACT, Crowded Fire), BARS AND MEASURES ( B Street Theatre, NNPN RWP), and THE RAID (Jackalope Theatre). Goodwin is one of the six playwrights featured in HANDS UP an anthology commissioned by The New Black Fest. HANDS UP has been presented across the country. His latest play The REALNESS will have a world premiere in 2016 at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. He is the recipient of Oregon Shakespeare’s American History Cycle Commission and InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Award. Goodwin has been a writer in residence at The Eugene O'Neil Playwrights Center, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor Program, The Lark Playwriting Center and New Harmony Project. An accomplished Hip Hop poet, his albums include BREAK BEAT POEMS and RHYMING WHILE BLACK. Goodwin was featured on HBO, Sesame Street and Discovery Channel. He is the author of the pushcart nominated essay collection THESE ARE THE BREAKS (Write Bloody, 2011). Idris is the co host and contributor to CRITICAL KARAOKE, a radio show and podcast about music and culture. Idris teaches performance writing and Hip Hop aesthetics at Colorado College.
José Olivarez is a Chicano poet and educator. Born on the south side of Chicago and raised in Calumet City, IL, he is a graduate of Harvard University and a teaching artist for Young Chicago Authors. He has taught writing workshops and performed at schools, universities, and poetry slams across the country. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Specter Magazine, The Acentos Review, The Harvard Voice, and Chicago Public Radio. José can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @jayohessee.
Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, she currently lives in Bedstuy, New York. Her first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize and published from Button Poetry. You can find her work in PANK, pluck!, Muzzle, Callaloo, Union Station, and other journals. She is a poetry & non-fiction editor at Kinfolks Quarterly, a Callaloo fellow and graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is a member of The Dance Cartel & the divine fabrics collective. She loves a good suit & anything to do with Motown.
Nate Marshall is from the South Side of Chicago. His first book, Wild Hundreds (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. He is a coeditor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015). His rap album, Grown, is due out in 2015 with his group Daily Lyrical Product. He is a visiting assistant professor at Wabash College. He earned his MFA at the University of Michigan, where he served as a Zell postgraduate fellow. He is a founding member of the poetry collective Dark Noise. A Cave Canem fellow, his work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Indiana Review, The New Republic and elsewhere. He was the star of the award winning full-length documentary Louder Than a Bomb and has been featured on the HBO original series Brave New Voices. Marshall received the 2014 Hurston/Wright Founding Members Award for College Writers and the 2013 Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award. In 2015, he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.