KEARNEY, RANKINE & COLE

February 16, 2014
DOUGLAS KEARNEY
CLAUDIA RANKINE
NORMA COLE
present Femshi (Feminist NeoBenshi)
hosted by former SPT Director Dana Teen Lomax
Artists’ Television Access
992 Valencia Street, SF

Douglas Kearney’s third full-length collection of poems, Patter, will be published in March 2014 by Pasadena’s own Red Hen Press. Red Hen also published his first full-length collection of poems, Fear, Some, in 2006. His second manuscript, The Black Automaton, was chosen by Catherine Wagner for the National Poetry Series and published by Fence Books in 2009. It was also a finalist for the Pen Center USA Award in 2010. His chapbook-as-broadsides-as-LP, Quantum Spit, was released by Corollary Press in 2010. His newest chapbook, SkinMag (A5/Deadly Chaps) is now available. He has received a Whiting Writers Award, a Coat Hanger award and fellowships at Idyllwild and Cave Canem. His poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry, Callaloo, jubilat, Pleiades, Fence, Ploughshares, nocturnes, Ninth Letter, miPOesias, The Iowa Review, Washington Square, and Tidal Basin Review. He has been commissioned to compose ekphrastic poetry by the Weisman Museum in the Twin Cities, the Studio Museum in Harlem, FOCA and SFMOMA. He has led workshops on ekphrastic poetry in a range of museums and classrooms. Performances of Kearney’s libretti have been featured in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and the UK. He has been invited to speak on poetics internationally, including New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Malmo, Sweden. Born in Brooklyn, and raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts where he earned his MFA in Writing (04).

Whether writing about intimacy or alienation, Claudia Rankine’s voice is one of unflinching and unrelenting candor, and her poetry is some of the most innovative and thoughtful to emerge in recent years. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and educated at Williams College and Columbia University, Rankine is the author of four collections of poetry, including the award-winning Nothing in Nature is Private. In The End of the Alphabet and Plot, she welds the cerebral and the spiritual, the sensual and the grotesque. Her latest book, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely—a multi-genre project that blends poetry, essays, and image—is an experimental and deeply personal exploration of the condition of fragmented selfhood in contemporary America. Of this book, poet Robert Creeley said: “Claudia Rankine here manages an extraordinary melding of means to effect the most articulate and moving testament to the bleak times we live in I’ve yet seen. It’s master work in every sense, and altogether her own.”

Rankine is also the author of a play, Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue, which is performed on a bus ride through the Bronx. The New York Times calls it an “engrossing urban adventure, which does not conform to the standard formula for theater but does make the bustle outside the bus throb with history, mystery and meaning, as the best live performances do.” She is also the founder of the OPEN LETTERPROJECT: Race and the Creative Imagination, and co-produces a video series, “The Situation,” alongside John Lucas.

Rankine co-edited the anthology American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, and her work is included in several anthologies, including Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry. Her work has been published in numerous journals including Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. She lives and teaches in California.

Norma Cole is a poet, painter, and translator. She was born in Toronto, Canada, and attended the University of Toronto for her BA in Modern Languages and MA in French. Her translation works include Danielle Collobert’s Journals (1989), Anne Portugal’s Nude (2001), and Fouad Gabriel Naffah’s The Spirit God and the Properities Of Nitrogen (2004). She has also edited and translated Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France (2000),an anthology of poetry and poetics by contemporary French writers.

Cole has authored various books of poetry, including Natural Light (2009), Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 (2009), Spinoza in Her Youth (2002), The Vulgar Tongue (2000), and Desire & Its Double (1998). In a review of her 1996 collection Contrafact, Erin Moule of Lemon Hound noted that Cole’s “meanings unfurl and gesture, resonate, play emphatic and contrapuntal gamings with language’s fluency.”

Cole’s experimental work SCOUT, a text and image work, was released in 2005. From 2004 to 2006, Cole was the lead artist for Collective Memory, an installation, performance, and publication for “Poetry and its Arts: Bay area Interactions 1954-2004” commissioned by the California Historical Society in San Francisco, California.

Cole’s various awards include a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Award, Gertrude Stein Awards, the Robert D. Richardson Non-Fiction Award, and awards from the Fund for Poetry.

Cole has served on the faculty of the MFA program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She has lived in San Francisco since 1977 and teaches at the University of San Francisco.

Dana Teen Lomax is a mom and poet. The author of several books—DISCLOSURE (Black Radish Books, 2011), Ubu Edition #43 (UBU Editions, 2010), Rx (Dusie Press, 2010), CURREN¢Y (Palm Press, 2006), ROOM (A+Bend Press, 1999), and co-editor of LETTERS TO POETS: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT POETICS, POLITICS, AND COMMUNITY (Saturnalia Books, 2008)—her poetry and critical work has received California Arts Council, Marin Arts Council, San Francisco Foundation, and other awards. She served as the Director of Small Press Traffic and is proud to be the editor of KINDERGARDE. Dana currently teaches at San Francisco State University and with California Poets in the Schools. She lives in northern California with her super-cool family.

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