The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, and the English Department in CUNY, in collaboration with The Languages and Literatures Department of the University of the West Indies, Blue Moon Publishing / Blouse and Skirt Books, Brooklyn Public Library, and Wesleyan University Press, Presents
National Book Award Finalist Fred Moten
With Poets Tara Betts and Mel Cooke
2015 Poetry Month Celebration
April 25, 2015
3 p.m. to 6 p. m.
Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Download a PDF version of the program:
Program_CBL 2015 Poetry Month Handout final doc
About the Participants
Tara Betts is the author of Arc & Hue (Aquarius Press/Willow Books, 2009) and the chapbook/libretto The Greatest! An Homage to Muhammad Ali. Betts recently received her Ph.D. in English/creative writing at Binghamton University. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Ninth Letter, Crab Orchard Review, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, Villanelles, both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies, The Break Beat Poets, Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, and Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. She recently completed the manuscript for her second poetry collection, Break the Habit, and is working on other projects.
Mel Cooke’s poetry sits at the nexus between word artistry and documenting and interpreting the contemporary Jamaican experience. He has performed at several festivals and concerts throughout Jamaica, Canada, and the United Kingdom; and produced two collections of poetry 11/9 (Blouse & Skirt Books, 2008) and Seh Sup’m: Live from Kingston.
Cooke’s work has been anthologized in Jubilation! Poems Celebrating 50 Years of Jamaican Independence (Peepal Tree Press, 2012); So Much Things to Say: 100 Poets from the First Ten Years of Calabash International Literary Festival (Akashic Books, 2010); Caribbean Quarterly; Susumba’s Book Bag; and the Jamaica Journal. Cooke’s first collection of poems, 11/9, which surrounds the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. and subsequent events, and engages with race, capitalism, migration, terrorism, the media and politics, was adapted into an award-winning dramatic production by Jamaica Youth Theatre. Cooke has also participated in the 2005 International Dub Poetry Festival in Toronto, Canada. A 2007–2008 fellow of the Calabash Literary Foundation. Cooke is a journalist, academic, poet, and a fellow of the Calabash Writers Workshop.
Fred Moten examines Black studies through the lenses of performance, poetry, and critical theory. He is the author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (Minnesota, 2003), Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2008), The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2013), and consent not to be a single being (forthcoming from Duke), among others. His most recent book, The Little Edges, was published by Wesleyan University Press in December 2015, and The Feel Trio was shortlisted for the 2014 National Book Award. His essays and poems have appeared in publications like the South Atlantic Quarterly, Experimental Sound and Radio, and Hambone, as well as several anthologies and collections. He has spoken and performed for audiences around the globe.
Moten is currently an English professor at University of California, Riverside, and teaches at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He is also a member of the writing faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College.
Saretta Morgan spent four years in Germany with the U.S. Military before earning a BA from Columbia University. She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the New York Writer’s Institute, and the Ashbery Home School. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is currently an MFA candidate at Pratt Institute and a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative.