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Blueprints for Healing: Toni Morrison and the Balm of Black Women Writing led by Yolanda Wisher and Trapeta B. Mayson
Sat, February 22, 2020 2:00 P.M.
As a novelist, essayist, and author of children’s books, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison (1931-2019) unapologetically wrote the Black experience into a tradition of American letters that often rendered it invisible or caricatured. As a book editor and professor, she nurtured the careers and stories of other Black writers. Her eleven novels reconstruct and reimagine cultural memory in the face of slavery, violence, poverty, and migration. With lyrical beauty and cinematic vision, Morrison’s work unearths and alchemizes the epic stories buried beneath personal and generational trauma.
This four-session course will explore counternarratives of trauma and healing in Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved as well as three novels by Black women writers influenced by Morrison’s life and work: The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara, Corregidora by Gayl Jones, and Meridian by Alice Walker. These groundbreaking novels uniquely underscore the political and spiritual struggles of Black women in search of freedom throughout different time periods in U.S. history. Alongside spirited and weighty discussion of the books and related film and video excerpts, students will delve into their own narratives through poetry and letter writing.
Yolanda Wisher, Philadelphia Poet Laureate Emerita, is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (Philadelphia Mural Arts, 2013). Wisher was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. She founded and directed a Germantown neighborhood poetry festival, worked as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts, and has spearheaded numerous community-driven programs. She is part of the first cohort of artists with studios at the Cherry Street Pier, where she recently launched the School of Guerrilla Poetics, a training ground for folks interested in nurturing and mobilizing communities through poetry.
Trapeta B. Mayson's work sheds light on and honors the immigrant experience as well as amplifies the stories of everyday people. She is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship in Literature, Leeway Transformation Award, Leeway Art and Change Grant and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grants. Her work was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize and she is a Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow and a 2019 Aspen Words Emerging Writer’s Fellow with the Aspen Institute. She is the author of She Was Once Herself and Mocha Melodies. Currently working in the social services field, she is also a member of several local organizations where she uses the arts to mobilize, build community and create change.
Tuition for this course is $200. Rosenbach members receive a 10% discount on tuition. If you have questions about discounted tuition please call (215) 732-1600 x 138 or email email@example.com.
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