Wed, April 21, 2021 6:00 P.M.
Presented by Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library in collaboration with Paul Robeson House & Museum.
One of the many hallmarks of Jericho Brown's collection, The Tradition, is the original poetic form Brown invented called the duplex. The form is a combination of three different already existing forms: the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues poem. As a Black artist, finding alternate paths to explain or exclaim your humanity is a necessity.
This conversation, facilitated by poet Kirwyn Sutherland, will invite Black artists to reflect on how to use the tools at their disposal to create new forms, spaces, and events that fulfill their needs and in some cases the needs of their respective communities.
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Author of the poetry collection Jump Ship (AK Press), Kirwyn Sutherland is a poet, spoken word artist, and writer based in the Philadelphia region. He seeks to break the molds in performance poetry and expand the range of topics discussed via the arts. The Youth Chairperson of The Collective Open Mic, he is also a co-founder of The Mission Statement Poetry Collective formed with Philadelphia poets Warren Longmire, Christopher K.P. Brown, Lauren Yates and Mydera Speak Me Free. This collective serves to provide a place for poets of color to grow artistically and affect the community at large through the art created as well as other programming.
Andrea Walls is a poet because a bunch of poets got in her head when she was young. She collects stones along the path set down by Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Gwendolyn Brooks, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Etheridge Knight, Mari Evans, Carolyn Rodgers, Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Ntozake Shange, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Henry Dumas, Paule Marshall, Gayl Jones, Wanda Coleman, Jayne Cortez, and many, many more. She became a photographer because she was given a camera at the moment she needed one. She knows resources matter. Her photographs want to be poems, too. She is pleased that her writing and visual art have been supported by organizations she admires, including The Leeway Foundation, VONA/Voices Workshops for Writers of Color, The Colored Girls Museum, Hedgebrook Residency for Women Authoring Change, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, The Studio Museum of Harlem and the Women’s Mobile Museum Collective. Her work has been published in venues open to alternative styles and points of view, including Kweli, Callaloo, Solstice Literary Magazine, New Delta Review, and The Fourth River. She hopes you will find places that honor the work you do.
Alex Smith is a sci-fi writer (ROSARIUM PUBLISHING; Resistance: Battle of Philadlphia web-series: Black Vans comic book), artist, musician (art-punk bands Solarized, Rainbow Crimes), activist (Metropolarity queer sci-fi collective) and culture/arts critic (Pitchfork, The Key, Bandcamp, Philly Gay News). He is a recipient of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and soon to be published author of the sci-fi/cyberpunk/super-hero/afrofuturist short story collection ARKDUST, forthcoming from Rosarium Publishing. @Alexoteric on Instagram and Twitter.