Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for a poetry reading with Javier Zamora on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (1738 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006), courtesy of the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required. This event is free and open to the public.
Zamora will be presenting his own bilingual, debut collection, Unaccompanied. It is poetry that delves into race, borderland politics, and immigration on a journey throughout El Salvador and Mexico, rife with civil war. Zamora himself was born in El Salvador and moved to the United States when he was only nine–over 4,000 miles–to reunite with his parents. In a 2014 interview for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works Blog, Zamora stated, “I think in the United States we forget that writing and carrying that banner of ‘being a poet’ is tied into a long history of people that have literally risked [their lives] and died to write those words”.
He is also the author of the chapbook Nueve Anos Inmigrantes/Nine Immigrant Years, which won the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts Contest, as well as a winner of 2017 Narrative Prize.
The Piper Writers Studio will also be presenting a class with Javier Zamora, Engagement in Poetry/Engaged poetry from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287). To learn about Javier Zamora’s class, you can find more information about it on the website.
Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Burton Barr Central Library for a talk with poet Danez Smith on Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Pulliam Auditorium at Burton Barr Central Library (1221 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004). RSVPs are encouraged, but not required. The event is open and free to the public.
Danez Smith is a Black, Queer writer & performer from St. Paul, MN who is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the poetry book [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Smith has been the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The poet’s work has been featured widely, appearing on platforms such as Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Smith is also a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Smith’s third collection, Homie, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020.
For more information about Smith, visit their website. For further information on the event, see the Facebook page.
The Phoenix Poetry Series showcases some of the best poets in our community. The newest installment of the series will spotlight Rashaad Thomas and Joel Salcido at Fillmore Coffee Co. (600 North 4th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85004) on Friday, October 27. The event begins at 6pm, and the reading will begin promptly at 6:30pm.
Rashaad Thomas and Joel Salcido make up two thirds of the Gutta’ Collective, which “is a Phoenix-based group committed to sharing a Black and Brown narrative through art and poetry, to giving a voice to the silent, isolated, and marginalized.”
Rashaad Thomas is a husband, father, USAF Veteran, poet, VONA/Voices of Our Nation Art Foundation Alum, and MacDowell Colony Fellow Winter ‘17. His work can be found in a number of publications, most notably in the book Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong, Columbia Poetry Review, The Rumpus, Heart Journal Online, and others. He is Arizona State University’s Performance in the Borderland’s “Local Opener” Curator in collaboration with the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Reading and Lecture Series. He is also a contributor to My Click Urban.
Joel Salcido was born a Los Angeles cockroach and smuggled to the Westside of Phoenix, where he translates the poetry of the barrio pigeons into Surrealist prophecies. He is blessed with a beautiful wife and sons, as well as a cadre of talentedly mad brothers, friends, co-conspirators and fellow hood radicals. He writes poetry and prose and is working towards a masters of arts while building a boat out of editor’s rejection letters to float back to the moon. He is also a member of ARTRATs and Chronic Illness.