"Live Feed from the Black Unconscious" tonight at Hallwalls
One of the highlights of last October's & Now Festival of Innovative Writing & the Literary Arts in Buffalo, was this performance by the Black Took Collective, a three person multimedia ensemble co-founded in 1999 by poets Duriel E. Harris, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Ronaldo V. Wilson at Cave Canem--the celebrated retreat for African-American poets & writers founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady. Their manifesto "Call for Dissonance—Black Took Collective" first appeared in FENCE, Fall/Winter 2002 and was reprinted last year in A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years, Volume One (University Press of New England, 2009).
Black Took Collective has performed regularly over the past decade, even as Harris, Martin, and Wilson have pursued separate careers in different cities. Tonight at 8, they will reunite for "Live Feed from the Black Unconscious," described as a multimedia performance written in "hybrid experimental forms, embracing radical poetics and critical theories of race, gender, and sexuality" at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave. (near Tupper). The event is co-sponsored by the University at Buffalo's Poetics Program and it is free and open to the public.
As is the case with most performance ensembles, Black Took Collective is more than the sum of its individual talents, but those individuals are in themselves quite impressive:
Duriel E. Harris is the author of Drag (Elixir Press, 2003), which was named best poetry collections of 2003 by Black Issues Book Review, and Amnesiac: Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2009). Formerly a visiting scholar at the University of California at Santa Barbara's Center for Black Studies Research, she was named as one of three "Chicago poets for the 21st century" by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She currently teaches at St. Lawrence University and is the editor of Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora.
Dawn Lundy Martin is the author of A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press, 2007) which was selected by Carl Phillips for the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize as well as the chapbook, The Morning Hour, selected by C.D. Wright in 2003 for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural National Chapbook Fellowship. She is the co-editor of a collection of essays on third wave feminism titled, The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism (Anchor Books, 2004) and is co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation, a national grantmaking organization that focuses on philanthropic and other social justice activism led by young women and trans youth. She is an assistant professor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, and also on the faculty of the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College.
Ronaldo Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009). A National Research Council Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow, he is completing his thesis, Black Bodies Black Field(s): 20th Century and Contemporary Poetics of the Black Body in African American Poetry and Visual Culture. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in English at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.