F162. Black Bodies Matter

Room 515 A, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
10:30 am to 11:45 am


The Black Lives Matter movement is a recent response to a larger history of violence against Black bodies in the US and abroad. What roles does poetry play in this response, and how do poets negotiate the lenses of race, gender, sexuality, and class in their responses? Can poets write about racialized violence without reinscribing it on others? A diverse group of poets gather to read their work and discuss their approaches to writing about brutality against Black bodies.



Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is the author of two books of poetry, Quiver (Writers' League of Texas Award) and Roam (Crab Orchard Award), and a book of criticism, The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry. A recipient of a Gracie Award, an NEA Fellowship, and a Mellon Fellowship, she writes in Austin, Texas.

Patricia Smith's books include Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2013 Lenore Marshall Prize), and Blood Dazzler (finalist for the National Book Award). A 2014 Guggenheim fellow and two-time Pushcart winner, she teaches at CUNY/College of Staten Island and in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

Justin Phillip Reed is the author of the chapbook, A History of Flamboyance. His work appears or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Vinyl, The Offing, joINT., Boston Review, and elsewhere. He is a junio writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis.

Adriana E. Ramírez is a 2015 PEN/Fusion Award-winning nonfiction writer and performance poet based in Pittsburgh. A VONA alum, Ramírez teaches in the English department at the University of Pittsburgh, helps run the Steel City Poetry Slam, and cofounded Aster(ix) Journal.

Jonah Mixon-Webster is a text/sound poet and PhD student in English studies/creative writing at Illinois State University. A Callaloo Fellow, his work has been featured in Spoon River Poetry Review, Muzzle, Kinfolks, and LA Review of Books' Radio Poemerica.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center