EVENT: FOUR GROUNDBREAKING QUEER POETS
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH | MIAMI BOOK FAIR | ROOM 6100 (BLDG 6, 1ST FLOOR) | 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Featuring Steph Burt, Chen Chen, t’ai freedom ford and Danez Smith
Harvard professor and literary critic Steph Burt explores Stephanie poems about Stephen’s female self, asking who we are, how we become ourselves, and why we make art in Advice from the Lights. Chen Chen’s debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Future Possibilities, investigates inherited forms of love and family from Asian American, immigrant, and queer perspectives. how to get over by t’ai freedom ford is part instruction manual, part prayer, part testimony rendering with utter realness the trajectory of getting over anything. Danez Smith imagines an afterlife for black men where suspicion, violence, and the dangers experienced in body and blood are replaced by safety, love, and longevity. Free & open to the public.
STEPHEN BURT is a poet, literary critic, and professor. His essay collection Close Calls with Nonsense (Graywolf Press, 2009) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other works include The Art of the Sonnet (Harvard University Press, 2010), Something Understood: Essays and Poetry for Helen Vendler (University of Virginia Press, 2009), The Forms of Youth: Adolescence and 20th Century Poetry (Columbia University Press, 2007), Parallel Play: Poems (Graywolf, 2006), Randall Jarrell on W. H. Auden (University Press, 2005), Randall Jarrell and His Age (Columbia University Press, 2002), and Popular Music (Center for Literary Publishing, 1999). His latest collection of poems, Belmont, was published by Graywolf Press in 2013. Burt grew up around Washington, DC and received an A.B from Harvard in 1994 and a Ph.D. in English from Yale in 2000. He taught at Macalester College for several years before becoming a Professor of English at Harvard University. He lives in the suburbs of Boston with his spouse, Jessie Bennett, and their two children.
CHEN CHEN was born in Xiamen, China, and grew up in Massachusetts. His work has appeared in two chapbooks and in such publications as Poetry, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. The recipient of the 2016 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, he has been awarded fellowships from Kundiman, the Saltonstall Foundation, and Lambda Literary. He earned his BA at Hampshire College and his MFA at Syracuse University. He lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he is pursuing a PhD at Texas Tech University.
t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher, Cave Canem Fellow, and Pushcart Prize nominee. In 2014, she was the winner of The Feminist Wire’s inaugural poetry contest judged by Evie Shocklee. She is a 2015 Center for Fiction Fellow and a 2015-16 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow sponsored by The Poetry Project. t’ai lives in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally at: shesaidword.com
DANEZ SMITH is a Black, queer, poz writer, and internationally touring performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017). Danez is also the author of two chapbooks, hands on your knees (2013, Penmanship Books) and black movie (2015, Button Poetry), winner of the Button Poetry Prize. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Danez’s work has been featured widely, including on The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Blavity, PBS NewsHour, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. They are a 2-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, 3-time Rustbelt Poetry Slam Champion, and a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective. Danez is represented by Beotis Creative.
**Danez was just short-listed for the National Book Award.