Description: Poetry frequently offers glimpses of Black and queer joy in times of societal turmoil and uncertainty. As Black creators become increasingly essential to local and national movements for change, participants in this workshop will encounter the bop poetry form created by Afaa Michael Weaver at the Cave Canem Foundation Retreat in 1997. Attendees will be guided through formal analyses of notable bop poems before conducting their own session-exclusive experiments so as to render both grief and joy in their respective complexities.
Mia S. Willis is a Black performance poet from Charlotte, North Carolina. Their work has been featured in Homology Lit, The New Southern Fugitives, Narrative Northeast, Recenter Press Poetry Journal, Slamfind, and others. In 2019, Mia was named the first two-time Capturing Fire Slam Champion, a Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry, the Young Artist Fellow at Chashama’s ChaNorth residency, a collaborator in Forward Together’s Transgender Day of Resilience Art Project, and a performing artist on RADAR Productions’ Sister Spit 2020 Tour. Their debut poetry collection, monster house., was the 2018 winner of the Cave Canem Foundation’s Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize and is available with Jai-Alai Books. Connect with Mia on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (@poetinthehat).