Colson Whitehead has established himself as one of the most versatile and innovative writers in contemporary literature.
From the secret lives of elevators to international poker tournaments, Whitehead takes on the marginal, the strange, and the surreal. His newest novel, The Underground Railroad, reimagines pre-Civil War America, exploring an alternate reality in which the underground railroad is no mere metaphor, but an actual subterranean train system delivering slaves to freedom. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won both the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.
Join Kore Press & Tucson Museum of Art on the evening of Thursday, October 11, 2018 for a free community celebration of the groundbreaking *Letters to the Future* anthology and exhibition. The museum and community gallery will be open to the public from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.
The Tucson launch party features readings by visiting artists Dawn Lundy Martin, Erica Hunt, Ruth Ellen Kocher, and giovanni singleton, book signing, and gallery viewing. 30 Americans and the Letters to the Future exhibitions will be accessible.
The micro exhibition of audio, visual, and textual works from the book is in the museum’s community gallery, and is in dialog with the featured exhibition, “30 Americans,” on view in the main galleries. The launch event is a feature of the UA Humanities Festival that runs the month of October.
Admission to this event is free.
This event is in partnership with Tucson Museum Of Art, The Dunbar Pavilion, Tucson Humanities Festival, Africana Studies, Institute for LGBT Studies, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
*Letters to the Future: Black Women / Radical Writing*, collects temporal, spatial, formal, and linguistically innovative literature from Black women from the United States, England, Canada, and the Caribbean, celebrating work that challenges readers to participate in meaning-making.
About the speakers:
Dawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual video artist. She is the author of four books of poems and three chapbooks, including most recently, Life in a Box is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2015) and Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press, 2017). She is currently at work on a memoir. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and other magazines. Martin is also a co-founder of the Black Took Collective, an experimental performance art/poetry group of three, and a member of HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?,a global arts collective. She has been awarded the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and a 2016 Investing in Professional Artists Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments. Martin is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and Co-director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.
Erica Hunt is a poet, essayist, and author of Local History (Roof Books, 1993) and Arcade (Kelsey St. Press, 1996), Piece Logic (Carolina Wren Press, 2002), Time Slips Right Before Your Eyes (Belladonna*, 2015), & A Day and Its Approximates (Chax Press, 2013). Her poems and non-fiction have appeared in BOMB, Boundary 2, Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetics Journal, Tripwire, Recluse, In the American Tree and Conjunctions. Essays on poetics, feminism, and politics have been collected in Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women and The Politics of Poetic Form, The World, and other anthologies. Hunt has received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Fund for Poetry, and the Djerassi Foundation and is a past fellow of Duke University/University of Capetown Program in Public Policy. Past writer in residence in the Contemporary Poetics/Creative Writing program at the University of Pennsylvania, and at Bard College’s MFA program, Hunt has taught at Wesleyan University and was a repeat faculty member at Cave Canem Retreat, a workshop for Black writers from 2004 to 2015.
Ruth Ellen Kocher is the author of Third Voice (Tupelo Press, 2016),Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014), Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014), domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), Dorset Prize winner and the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award, One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press, 2003) Green Rose Prize winner, When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press, 2002), andDesdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press 1999) Naomi Long Madgett Prize winner. Her poems appear in Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets, Black Nature, From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great, An Anthology for Creative Writers: The Garden of Forking Paths, IOU: New Writing On Money, New Bones: Contemporary Black Writing in America. She has been awarded fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Yaddo. She is a Contributing Editor at Poets & Writers Magazine and and Professor of English at the University of Colorado where she teaches Poetry, Poetics, and Literature.
giovanni singleton is a native of Richmond, Virginia, a former debutant, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. Her debut poetry collection, Ascension(Counterpath Press), informed by the music and life of Alice Coltrane, received the 81st California Book Award Gold Medal. She has received fellowships from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshop, Napa Valley Writers Conference, and Cave Canem. singleton regularly consults and gives presentations on writing, editing, graphic design, and publishing at high schools, colleges, and conferences. Her work has appeared in What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, Best American Experimental Writing, Inquiring Mind, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology, and elsewhere, and has also been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute’s American Jazz Museum, San Francisco’s first Visual Poetry and Performance Festival, and on the building of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has taught poetry at the de Young Museum, CalArts, Naropa University, and Sonoma State University. She was the 2015-16 Visiting Assistant Professor in the creative writing programs at New Mexico State University and currently coordinates the Lunch Poems reading series at UC Berkeley.