Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012
Public/Poets and Protest/Space: A Discussion with Four Occupy Poets
Campus Center 911
This discussion will feature 4 poets, all of who are prominent within the Occupy Movement. They are as follows:
Travis Holloway is a Goldwater Fellow in Poetry at NYU and a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at SUNY-Stony Brook. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Germany in 2010-11 for a dissertation entitled “How to Perform a Democracy” and, upon his return to the United States, organizer of the first “Poetry Assembly” at Occupy Wall Street. His primary interests include democracy, poetics, and the relationship between public art and social media. His recent work has appeared in The Nation, Guernica, and Symposium, on C-SPAN, and in the co-authored book, Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed America (OR Books, 2011).
Paul McLean is an artist accomplished in new media and traditional fine art, a pioneer in dimensional production and integrated exhibit practice. He has exhibited in one-man and collective shows extensively since 1986, and is currently represented by SLAG Contemporary Gallery in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NYC). His research interests include media philosophy, specifically pertaining to time and systems; individual and collective expression; and the convergence of 4D methodologies among military, political, business and social sectors. McLean holds a B.A. in English with a Fine Art concentration from the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN), two Masters degrees from Claremont Graduate University (MFA in Digital Media, Masters of Arts & Cultural Management) and is currently a doctoral candidate at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He is a contributing writer the Brooklyn Rail and other publications and has been blogging since 1999. McLean has been a co-organizer of Occupy with Art since September 2011, and is a founding member of the Occupational Art School Node #1 in Bushwick. He creates moving images for projection, art environments and the web; net.art, web and print graphics; paintings and drawings; poems, commentary fiction and non-fiction. McLean lives and works in Bushwick.
Letta Neely is a Black dyke artist, feminist, and mother. She is originally from Indianapolis, IN where she survived the busing experiments of the 80’s. In the mid 90’s, she lived in New York City where she was a member of the Black Star Express Collective and taught poetry to youth in the five boroughs. She currently resides in Boston with her wife, niece, and daughter. Letta explores the various textures, technologies and intersections of race, sex, sexuality, class, gender, economics and liberation in her daily living. Hence, her work focuses most intently on the connections and intersections of queerness, blackness, and awareness.
Letta is also teacher, poet, playwright and freelance writer whose books Juba and Here were finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards. In addition, Here was a Triangle Award finalist. She has been New York Fellowship for the Arts recipient (1995), a finalist for both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Poetry Fellowship (2002) and the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Award (1999). Ms. Neely is a two time winner of the OutWrite National Poetry Slam (1996, 1998) and in 2001 she was named the Best Local Author by Boston Phoenix readers. Her work has been included in various anthologies, literary journals and magazines such as: Through the Cracks; Sinister Wisdom; Common Lives, Lesbian Lives; Rag Shock; African Voices, Rap Pages, Catch the Fire ,Does Your Mama Know, The World in Us, Best Lesbian Erotica 1999, and, Roll Call—a Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature & Art. Her play Hamartia Blues which was produced by the Theatre Offensive in 2002 has been nominated for two IRNE awards. A second play, Last Rites, received a staged reading with the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, CA and a world premiere production with The Theater Offensive at the Boston Center for the Arts. In 2011, Neely was awarded a fall residency with the Garderev Center and was a finalist for the Brother Thomas Fellowship. Currently, she is a recipient of the 2012 Winter Creation Fund Award from the National Performance Network and along with The Theater Offensive, a grant recipient from NEFA’s Expeditions program.
Letta has performed or lectured in many venues across the United States. She is an earthling and considers the honoring of that connection fundamental. Closest to her heart, she is honored to have worked with and learned from young people in elementary, middle and high schools, prisons and juvenile detention centers across the country.
April Penn is a Boston-area poet who frequents the Cantab Poetry Lounge and has been involved in Occupy Boston protests. She is a member of the Boston Feminists for Liberation and considers herself a poetry blogging fiend with plans to write 365 poems a year for the rest of her life. She originally hails from Hammond, Louisiana and Baltimore, Maryland but loves Boston best of all! She has been published in Amethyst Arsenic, Snake Oil Cure, and Spoonful.
Sponsored by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies and the Department of Political Science, UMass Amherst