a new Small Press Author Reading Series in partnership with and curated by F. Douglas Brown, featuring poets whose work examines how to create better societal or personal structures
F. DOUGLAS BROWN is the author of two poetry collections, ICON (Writ Large Press, 2018), and Zero to Three (University of Georgia, 2014), winner of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize selected by US Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith. Brown, an educator for over 25 years, currently teaches English and African American Poetry at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, and is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow. He is the co-founder and co-curator of un::fade::able – The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. When he is not teaching, writing or with his children (Isaiah, Olivia, and Simone), he is busy DJing in the greater Los Angeles area.
What does it mean to build or make or create when the world is either endangering one’s freedom, one’s livelihood, or one’s opportunity to be more? What does it mean to live under the demands that society and personal structures have established for far too long? In these complex times, we need guidance to answer these complex questions and unpack the ideas of struggle, erasure, mixed/ re-mixed by joy and celebration.
THE FRIDAY FRAMEWORK connects three BIPOC poets whose work serves both as a springboard for greater understanding of the self while also providing an example of how one fearlessly counters the duress their work addresses or may have been created under.
This is liberation in its finest hour.
*This month we are hosting a Writing Prompt & Book Giveaway to keep this conversation going. Check it out, submit your work!
February 5, 2021
5:30pm Pacific | 6:30pm Mountain
7:30pm Central | 8:30pm Eastern
Lauren K. Alleyne hails from the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction have been widely published in journals and anthologies, including The Atlantic, Ms. Muse, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Interviewing the Caribbean, Crab Orchard Review, among many others. She is author of Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014) and Honeyfish (New Issues (US) & Peepal Tree (UK), 2019).
Honeyfish is about being a Black immigrant woman in the world and constantly navigating those identities internally and externally in a variety of landscapes and timescapes. It’s a search for belonging; it’s a search for home.
Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. She is also the Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby & Black Girl Magic (Macmillan), Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books) & Dear Twitter (Penmanship Books). She is also the founder of the Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign) & as an Arts for Justice grantee, is completing her first book of essays on mass incarceration, investigating its impact on women and children. She lives in Brooklyn, NY
Chlorine Sky is about an African-American teen dealing with fractured friendships, first romances, and her own empowering coming-of-age. Publication for the first book is planned for spring 2021.
Tongo Eisen-Martin was born in San Francisco and earned his MA at Columbia University. He is the author of someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press, 2015), nominated for a California Book Award; and Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights, 2017), which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize. In their citation, the judges for the Griffin Prize wrote that Eisen-Martin’s work “moves between trenchant political critique and dreamlike association, demonstrating how, in the right hands, one mode might energize the other—keeping alternative orders of meaning alive in the face of radical injustice … His poems are places where discourses and vernaculars collide and recombine into new configurations capable of expressing outrage and sorrow and love.”
“[T]he poems of [Eisen-Martin’s] astonishing book Heaven Is All Goodbyes come together and read in a way that’s similar to his speech … he paints tragic pictures of death, oppressive systems and cigarettes dragged in order to breathe. … The voices enter and exit without explanation and are part of what makes his poems at once urgent protests and jazz-like puzzles.”—San Francisco Chronicle