“Conversations that Challenge: Poetry, Race, and Racism”
Topping off our day’s events is a reading by poet Rickey Laurentiis, winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Opening voice is poet Antoinette Brim. Connecticut poet Kate Rushin and writer/performer David Mills will join them after the reading for a discussion with the audience about how poetry can address the topics of race and racism.
About the poets:
Rickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press). He is a recipient of a 2014 fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, a 2013 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship.
Antoinette Brim is the author of two collections of poetry. She is a Cave Canem Foundation fellow, a recipient of the Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee.
David Mills is a writer and actor. For three years, he lived in Langston Hughes’ landmark home where he was inspired to create a one-person dramatic rendition of Hughes’ poems and short stories. He is the author of two collections of poetry: The Dream Detective, and The Sudden Country. Mills was commissioned to write a play for Julliard, the narration for Deborah Willis’ exhibition, “Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers” and for I Giullari Di Piazza’s folkdance piece, “Tarantella.”
Kate Rushin is the author of The Black Back-Ups. She has held fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and The Cave Canem Foundation. Her poems appear in Raising Lily Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace and Sunken Garden Poetry. “My Lord What a Morning,” inspired by the contralto, Marion Anderson, was commissioned by The Arts and Ideas/ CT Freedom Trail Poetry Project. She has led workshops for CT Humanities, The Hartford History Center/ Hartford Public Library and The Mark Twain House.