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MPAC and Dodge Poetry Program Present Free Virtual Poetry & Protest Reading

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MPAC and Dodge Poetry Program Present Free Virtual Poetry & Protest Reading

Mayo Performing Arts Center in collaboration with the Dodge Poetry Program presents a free virtual Arts in the Community event, "I am deliberate and afraid/ of nothing: Poetry & Protest," featuring Pulitzer Prize winning writer Tyehimba Jess, Tuesday, June 30 at 8 pm.

It can be viewed:
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Also performing are Marina Carreira, J.C. Todd, Vincent Toro and Rashad Wright.

This event was originally scheduled to take place on March 19 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of recent current events, the poetry becomes all the more relevant and powerful. The poets speak to issues of people of color, disenfranchisement, as well as hope.

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and Olio. Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author's Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the "Best Poetry Books of 2005."

Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000-2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He presented his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference and won a 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. Jess is a Professor of English at College of Staten Island. Jess' fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex, and Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry.

J. C. Todd's recent work explores the traumatic effects of war on women, both civilians and combatants. She is author of Beyond Repair, forthcoming in 2020 from Able Muse Press, What Space This Body, and The Damages of Morning, a 2019 Eric Hoffer Award finalist. Winner of the Rita Dove Prize in Poetry and a fellow of the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the Bemis Center, her work has been published in American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.

Vincent Toro is the author of STEREO.ISLAND.MOSAIC., which was awarded the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award and the Sawtooth Poetry Prize. Recipient of a 2020 Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Vincent's work has been published in dozens of magazines and journals, including Washington Square, BOAAT, Rattle, Vinyl, The Acentos Review, Glass Poetry, The Buenos Aires Review, Chiricu Journal of Latino/a Literatures, and Best American Experimental Writing 2015. His second collection, TERTULIA, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House in June 2020.

Rashad Wright is the poet laureate of Jersey City, New Jersey. He is a graduate of New Jersey City University, receiving his BA in English: Creative Writing. Rashad's poetry has been heard from both local and national stages via slam poetry. He is the only person to be titled the "Grandslam Champion of Jersey City Slam" twice. He has competed in Slams in Oakland, San Diego, Spokane, and Denver, once ranking 25th in the country. He has coached Jersey City Slam, the UACHS Poetry Club, and 6th Borough Slam whom placed 10th in the world at Brave New Voices 2019. He currently is the host of ManaMic, Jersey City's biggest open mic series and has published a fusion of memoir and poetry titled Romeo's Whiskey.

Marina Carreira is a queer Luso-American writer and multimedia artist from Newark, NJ. She is the author of "Save the Bathwater" (Get Fresh Books, 2018) and "I Sing to That Bird Knowing It Won't Sing Back" (Finishing Line Press, 2017). She has work featured in Queen Mob's Teahouse, Paterson Literary Review, The Acentos Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Green Mountain Review, Hinchas de Poesia, wildness journal, and Harpoon Review. Marina has exhibited her visual art in group exhibitions and festivals at ArtFront Galleries, West Orange Arts Council, Hahne & Co., Gallery 211, and Living Incubator Performance Space {LIPS} in the Gateway Project Spaces in Newark, NJ. She is founding member of "Brick City Collective", a Newark-based multicultural, multimedia group working for social change through the arts. She lives in Union, NJ with her partner and kids.

Note: This event contains adult language

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