Tucson will host launch events for Letters to the Future beginning on Thursday, October 11, 6pm, at Tucson Museum of Art, with readings by Dawn Lundy Martin, Erica Hunt, Ruth Ellen Kocher and giovanni singleton. The book launch coincides with a multi-media micro-exhibition of work from the book in TMA’s community gallery and the exhibit of “30 Americans” in the Museum.
Letters to the Future Salon: Friday, Oct 12, 4:30-6pm in The Dunbar Pavilion Auditorium. All four visiting writers in conversation with Dr Stephanie Troutman.
Letters to the Future writing workshop with Erica Hunt, information & registration coming soon.
In partnership with Tucson Museum of Art, University of Arizona Poetry Center, The College of Humanities/The Tucson Humanities Festival, The Dunbar Pavilion, UA Africana Studies, UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Institute for LGBTQ Studies.
Visiting artists for Letters to the Future launch events:
Dawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual video artist. She is the author of four books of poems and three chapbooks, including most recently, Life in a Box is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2015) and Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press, 2017). She is currently at work on a memoir. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and other magazines. Martin is also a co-founder of the Black Took Collective, an experimental performance art/poetry group of three, and a member of HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?,a global arts collective. She has been awarded the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and a 2016 Investing in Professional Artists Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments. Martin is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and Co-director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.
Erica Hunt is a poet, essayist, and author of Local History (Roof Books, 1993) and Arcade (Kelsey St. Press, 1996), Piece Logic (Carolina Wren Press, 2002), Time Slips Right Before Your Eyes (Belladonna*, 2015), & A Day and Its Approximates (Chax Press, 2013). Her poems and non-fiction have appeared in BOMB, Boundary 2, Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetics Journal, Tripwire, Recluse, In the American Tree and Conjunctions. Essays on poetics, feminism, and politics have been widely anthologized. Hunt has received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Fund for Poetry, and the Djerassi Foundation and is a past fellow of Duke University/University of Capetown Program in Public Policy. Past writer in residence in the Contemporary Poetics/Creative Writing program at the University of Pennsylvania, and at Bard College’s MFA program, Hunt has taught at Wesleyan University and was a repeat faculty member at Cave Canem Retreat, a workshop for Black writers from 2004 to 2015.
Ruth Ellen Kocher is the author of Third Voice (Tupelo Press, 2016), Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014), Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014), domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), Dorset Prize winner and the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award, One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press, 2003) Green Rose Prize winner, When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press, 2002), and Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press 1999) Naomi Long Madgett Prize winner. Her poems appear have been widely anthologized. She has been awarded fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Yaddo. She is a Contributing Editor at Poets & Writers Magazine and and Professor of English at the University of Colorado where she teaches Poetry, Poetics, and Literature. She is the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UC Boulder.
giovanni singleton is a native of Richmond, Virginia, a former debutant, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. Her debut poetry collection, Ascension (Counterpath Press), informed by the music and life of Alice Coltrane, received the 81st California Book Award Gold Medal. She has received fellowships from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshop, Napa Valley Writers Conference, and Cave Canem. singleton regularly consults and gives presentations on writing, editing, graphic design, and publishing. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and has been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute’s American Jazz Museum, San Francisco’s first Visual Poetry and Performance Festival, and on the building of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has taught poetry at the de Young Museum, CalArts, Naropa University, and Sonoma State University. She was the 2015-16 Visiting Assistant Professor in the creative writing programs at New Mexico State University.
Letters to the Future: Black Women / Radical Writing will begin to ship to customers on Friday Sept 21. Place your order here.
Edited by Erica Hunt and Dawn Lundy Martin
A collection of poems, essays, elder conversations, and visual works, Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN / Radical WRITING, celebrates temporal, spatial, formal, and linguistically innovative literature. The anthology collects late-modern and contemporary work by Black women from the United States, England, Canada, and the Caribbean—work that challenges readers to participate in meaning making. Because one contextual framework for the collection is “art as a form of epistemology,” the writing in the anthology is the kind of work driven by the writer’s desire to radically present, uncovering what she knows and does not know, as well as critically addressing the future.
Erica Hunt, in her introduction to the collection, says, “The future is a slippery project. What can it hold? We asked writers to write about it, imagining the future as the present conjugated—conjoining the past, the present with some other time. . . .”
Letters to the Future somehow manages to collect the uncollectible range and effect of what it is to bear the world and lay it bare. Hunt and Martin give us an unprecedented sample of black women writing on and over the edge of what language is supposed to do. Commune and experiment, violence and care, transgression and groove sit together with hyperkinetic ease, here, where kitchen table becomes chronal engine. If you wonder (at) where we’re going, turn the page—Fred Moten
For more information about Letters to the Future, and to place your order, see here.