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MacDowell and Urban Word Present An Evening Of Afro-Latinx Poetry

MacDowell and Urban Word Present An Evening Of Afro-Latinx Poetry

On Saturday, February 29, The MacDowell Colony joins Urban Word NYC to present MacDowell Fellow and award-winning poet John Murillo with two emerging teen poets from Urban Word NYC, Jennifer Martinez and James Lherisson, in a reading and discussion to celebrate Afro-Latinx poets at MacDowell NYC in Chelsea.

The event, the second in MacDowell's year-long salon series "Spark & Illumination" and the 2020 installment of Urban Word's "Page Meets Stage: The Crossover," is supported by the popular New York City poetry series "Page Meets Stage" and will be hosted by poet Mahogany L. Browne and MacDowell Fellow, board member, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri. "The Crossover" is a reading series that pairs teen poets with esteemed literary figures and is hosted by organizations committed to creating spaces for communities underrepresented in American letters. The MacDowell Colony, founded in 1907 to nurture creators of every discipline, has supported poets at every stage of their careers by providing them with time and space to make work.

"There are certainly parallels between Urban Word and MacDowell. Each provides critical support to writers at crucial points in their development, and each, in its way, provides a touchstone, a home for said writers," says John Murillo. "I wrote and edited numerous poems in my forthcoming second collection, Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry, at MacDowell, and I couldn't imagine the collection coming together the way it did without a MacDowell Fellowship."

"MacDowell embraces the eclectic landscape of artists who are making new work across seven creative disciplines and we are thrilled to partner with Urban Word, which supports 25,000 emerging teen authors across New York City each year," says Executive Director Philip Himberg. "Many of these young poets will be future MacDowell Fellows, and MacDowell has a unique responsibility and opportunity to provide a platform to these dynamic young voices of our democracy."

The event is free, but tickets are limited. Previous organizations that have collaborated with Urban Word to create "The Crossover" include Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and Apicha Community Health Center.

The next event in the 2020 MacDowell NYC Salon Series takes place on March 12 when MacDowell presents "The Afro-Cubanism of Aruán Ortiz: From Contemporary Chamber Music to Avant-Garde Jazz." This evening of acoustic performances co-curated by MacDowell Colony board member and Fellow Tania León along with board member and WQXR personality Terrance McKnight offers a multilayered look into the Latin American/American musical influences and connections of composer Aruán Ortiz.

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