Out like a lion...the Spring season checks out.
After months of planning (the side of things that you don’t get to see here at CNW),we executed various events, writing groups, creative workshops and, you know, that little ol’ conference known as WAM!.
Whew! I feel a little winded just thinking about all the great things that go on around the Center. And now that the Spring season has come to a close, I’m finally getting a chance to reflect on all the moments that made it a success.
Here are just a few of my fav’s:
When I read that Seven Stories Press was putting out a new volume called Live Through This: The Art of Self-Destruction I thought I couldn’t get more excited. That is until the editor, Sabrina Chapadjiev, came to CNW to give a creative workshop (geared towards folks interested in all genres of art) called Rage to the Page. Talking about self-destruction isn’t easy but Chapadjiev, a dynamic and supportive leader, shared and encouraged ways to channel self-destructive behaviors into positive energies and creative work through facilitating real conversations around experiences that many of us shared.
Just a week later I (along with a roomful of poetry afficionados!) was swimming in the soulful words of mz. hattie gossett. This legendary poet awed the crowd with her breathless immigrant suite, hitting on what it means to belong, the injustices that people face as immigrants, people of color, children, and women face everyday in this country.
Nadejda Marques put us all in a revolutionary (and reflective mood) as she told her story to a packed house at the Central Square Library. Marques talked about fleeing from Brazil after her father, a member of a student group that resisted the dictatorship there, was murdered by the government in 1973. As political refugees in the 1970s and 1980s, Marques and her mother saw social, political, and economic upheaval and injustice all over Latin America. This powerful reading brought together those in the present with those that are no longer with us, reminding us why we fight for personal and political freedoms. Check her (and her new memoir) at: www.bornsubversive.com
The next evening we were slammed by the fierce and fiery poetics of Joyce Jellison at Mouthful, our monthly open mic. Joined by old friends and new voices, Jellison waxed poetic on race, class, and love. Her new book, Black Apple, hits the streets next week and I just can’t wait!
Finally, our inspiring season culminated with a meaningful evening with Nora Pierce, a Native American writer who shared with us insights into the politics of place, the complex nature of identity, and a compelling and intense story of a young girl negotiating her way through mental illness, alcoholism, poverty, and displacement.
If you missed any of these events, never fear, dear reader, you’ll soon be able to catch Nadejda Marques and Nora Pierce on our website. And, of course, we are planning another politically charged, critically engaging, and just plain fabulous Fall season. I’ll be back with updates on what we’re working on! See you at the Center!