A Garden of Black Joy with Keno Evol

Live Panel: Thursday, October 8, 7:00 PM

WBCA invites you to join a panel discussion with writers from around the world included in the anthology A Garden of Black Joy. Writers will frame conversation around if writing about joy feels different in this COVID/George Floyd/Breonna Taylor moment.

This brilliant book of global poetry curated by Keno Evol will touch your soul. Evol’s essay “If We Want Human Beings Alive in the Future, We Might Want to Listen to Poets” will transport us into the world of the marvelous!

Books can be purchased through www.BlackTableArts.com. This collection is a project of Black Table Arts, “an emerging arts organization that conjures other worlds through black art by connecting communities and cultivating volume in black life. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Black Table Arts puts black joy on legs and walks it into the living room of the future. It grows community through public programming such as the Black Lines Matter writing classroom at the Loft Literary Center and the Because Black Life Conference.”

Join us for an evening of poetry and discussion from the writers included.  Special thanks to In Black Ink, Wise Ink & Button Poetry. Cover Artwork by  Leslie Barlow – curator of DISQUIETUDE

Writers and Poets:

Lisa Marie Brimmer (she/her) is a queer, black, transracial adoptee activist, performance artist, and writer. She has been published in literary magazines such as Ishmael Reed’s Konch Magazine, Gazillion Voices, On the Commons Magazine, and Burn Something Zine, and has been included in multiple anthologies. She is co-editor of Minnesota Historical Society Press’s Queer Voices of Minnesota (2019). Brimmer is a two-time Givens Foundation for African American Literature fellow and has received a Many Voices Fellowship for playwriting at the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis. Brimmer is graduate fellow at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she received her master’s degree in English literature (2018). Her work has been presented in panels at Split This Rock! in Washington, DC (2018), and the Center for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas (MESEA) in Graz, Austria 2018.

Valérie Déus is a poet and film curator. Her work has been featured in the Brooklyn Rail, Midway, Aforementioned Productions, the St. Paul Almanac, and most recently in the BeZine. Her chapbook, Skull-Filled Sun, is available on Amazon. She is the host of Project 35, a local low-fi radio show featuring poetry and music. She curates Film North’s Cinema Lounge and is the shorts programmer for the Provincetown International Film Festival.

Lester Batiste is a savage writer in living color who is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine, as well as a master’s of education from the University of Pennsylvania. Lester lives in North Minneapolis, Minnesota, and teaches English classes at an independent high school. When he is not teaching, Lester enjoys writing in multiple genres from poetry to creative nonfiction, playing sports, and watching television.

Keno Evol is a poet, educator and independent scholar based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Black Table Arts home to the Because Black Life Conference taking place annually at the Universities across Minnesota. Black Table Arts is a Minnesota based art organization that asks black communities what futures do they want to create and how much imagination is needed to get us there? Black Table Arts was named by actress and comedian Issa Rae as a long term initiative to support.

Keno Evol is editor of A Garden Of Black Joy: Global Poetry From The Edges of Liberation And Living. At his core he is a facilitator of empathy and imagination. His work hones in on the literary arts and the black radical tradition as curriculum for the future.  Evol has received the Verve Grant, the Beyond the Pure fellowship, The Emerging Writers Grant and The Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship for his work.

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