Monday, Feb. 27 @ 7 p.m. — Ophir Room, Reid Castle
Join us for an evening of art and activism when Jive Poetic, Mahogany Browne, and Tongo Eisen-Martin, three poets from the #BlackPoetsSpeakOut movement, read and discuss work responding to recent police killings across America. The event is free and open to the public. Scroll down for biographies.
Jive Poetic (top left photo) has performed his work in venues ranging from the Australian House of Parliament to the Tom Thumb Theater in Kent, England. He was one of two poets selected by the U.S. Embassy to represent American slam poetry during an international cultural exchange program in Warsaw, Poland. Jive Poetic has collected grand slam championship titles from Pensacola, Florida to Munich, Germany. In 2003, he was a member of the Nuyorican Poet’s Café National Slam team, ranking 2nd in the nation as a team, and 10th as an individual. In 2004, he was a member of the Providence Rhode Island Slam Team; in 2005 he was a member of the NYC Louder Arts Slam Team; in 2006 he was a member of the Brooklyn National Slam Team. In 2011 he served on the advisement panel at the Australian National Slam Summit. He was featured on season four of TVONE’s LEXUS VERSES AND FLOW. He is the co-founder of The SOUNDBITES POETRY FESTIVAL, the only performance poetry festival in New York City, and currently hosts the open slam at Nuyorican Poet’s Café. When he is not on tour or hosting, Jive Poetic teaches performance poetry and hip – hop workshops to at risk youth in New York City and surrounding tri-state area. Recently, Jive released his third poetry album, PERPENDICTIVE. He received his B.A. in Media Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is currently an MFA candidate in The Pratt Institute’s creative writing and activism program.
Mahogany L. Browne (top right photo) is an alumna of Cave Canem, Poets House, and Serenbe Focus. She is the author of several books including Redbone (nominated for NAACP Outstanding Literary Works), and Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line, recommended by Small Press Distribution and About.com “Best Poetry Books of 2010.” Mahogany bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee. She has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. Her journalism has been published in the magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada’s The Word and UK’s MOBO. Her poetry has been published in literary journals including Pluck, Manhattanville Review, Muzzle, Union Station Mag, Literary Bohemian, Bestiary, Joint and The Feminist Wire. She is the co-editor of forthcoming anthology The Break Beat Poets: Black Girl Magic and and chapbook collection, Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books). She is an Urban Word NYC Artistic Director (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room, Director of BLM@Pratt Programming and she facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Browne is also the publisher of Penmanship Books, the Nuyorican Poets Café Poetry Program Director and Friday Night Slam curator and a recent graduate from Pratt Institute MFA Writing & Activism program.
Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen–Martin (bottom photo) is a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. He has taught in detention centers from New York’s Rikers Island to California county jails. He designed curricula for oppressed people’s education projects from San Francisco to South Africa. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. He recently lived and organized around issues of human rights and self-determination in Jackson, MS.