I'll be on two panels on 14th and 15th April, presenting new poems with a wonderful group of poets and activists from the across the world.
THURSDAY APRIL 14, 2015: 4.00-5.30University of CA Washington Center Auditorium (UCDC), 1608 Rhode Island Ave, DC
The Names We Carry: Poetry Inspired by Radical India
Vidhu Aggarwal, Minal Hajratwala, Tanuja Jagernauth, Ellen Kombiyil, Shikha Malaviya, Leeya Mehta
University of California Washington Center (UCDC) Auditorium [Map]
The Names We Carry is a companion reading to the workshop Revolt: Writing Poetry Inspired by Radical India, reflecting the many names, labels, and categories we use/discard/attach to ourselves and others, throughout our lives. In this reading, poets connected to India and the Indian diaspora will share poems exploring issues of exile, imperialism, identity, caste/color discrimination, sexuality, and more. Participants from the Revolt workshop will also be asked to share select work generated with prompts meant to explore these same themes. More specifically, through this reading, we want the audience to think more deeply about what the function of activist poetry is, how it not only informs and explores, but is also a call to action. In order to engage the audience and illustrate how powerful activist poetry is, we will encourage audience participation during the reading as well, asking them to fill in words and missing phrases, to help them create and think about the different kinds of dialogues we constantly must create and reinvent in order to highlight different causes.
FRIDAY APRIL 15, 2015: 11.30-1pmCharles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 17th and M Streets, DC 20016
Physical Bodies and Poetic Bones
Diana Smith Bolton, Marlena Chertock, Leeya Mehta, Sarah Sansolo, Tyler Vile
Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives Room 101 [Map]
This panel will discuss body image and bodily integrity through the lens of female experience. Poetry carves a space that is inclusive and experimental, while still acknowledging and respecting poetic tradition and heritage. As poets, we contain multitudes beyond the straight, white, male experience. This panel will attempt to address the complex realities of the female body and identification (or rejection) of it as lived through poetry. Further, there are social and political implications for individuals whose bodies do not conform to the dominant media standard, such as through disability, racial identity, and gender identity. In recognition of emerging social justice for LGBT individuals and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this panel will explore how poets can channel the physical body into their poems to explore the physical and non-physical. This panel includes group discussion, poetry readings, and take-home workshop materials.