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Friday, September 20 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Spelling: Poetry as spell-casting

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Every day, those of us who are pushed to the margin experience relentless attacks by those in power. Climate catastrophe looms. Brutal capitalism, systemic racism, and the extractive economy are destroying our communities, shredding any safety nets, and leaving the world wrecked. The patriarchy tightens its grip, threatening the self-determination and agency of women, trans and genderqueer folks, and queer people.

And in response, there is a great rising up. People are converging, coming together across communities, across differences, across the silos of academia, organizing, the arts and literature to resist and build.

And, more than ever, people are turning to the convergence of poetry and magic. It’s no coincidence; people are longing for new ways of relating to each other and the world--and magic, poetry, and poets offer as much. As Kenji Liu writes in the introduction to “Incantations: The SCOTUS Decision in Trump v. Hawaii :: 585 U.S. ___ (2018)” in UnMargins: “In addition to protesting, building complex communities of resistance and vision, and self-care practices, writers also have language, one of the original magicks. We too can summon our own enchantments, incantations, protections, charms, curses, hexes, blessings, auguries, banishments, and more.”

This panel features poets writing from communities under attack: people of color, queer people, and immigrants. We will discuss poetry as spell-casting and as a transformative act. We write from the margins—not toward the center—but towards a new configuration of society. We remember, recover, and write into the ways our ancestors survived and thrived: through magic, intuitive ways of knowing, and a relationship to the natural world radically different from today’s capitalist, racist, and extractive economies.

We will conclude the panel by creating a collective, convergence spell/poem with the audience.

avatar for Tamiko Beyer

Tamiko Beyer

Tamiko Beyer is the author of two poetry collections from Alice James Books, Last Days (forthcoming), We Come Elemental, and two chapbooks. Her work has been published in Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, Georgia Review, Literary Hub, the Rumpus, Hyphen, Dusie, and elsewhere... Read More →

Destiny Hemphill

Destiny Hemphill is a poet and healer based in Durham, NC. She is a 2017 Callaloo Fellow and a 2016 Amiri Baraka Scholar at Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program. Her chapbook Oracle: a Cosmology (Honeysuckle Press, 2018) was a finalist for the inaugural Honeysuckle Press Chapbook... Read More →
avatar for Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez holds a B.A. in English Literature and is a VONA Voices Alumna. She performs and teaches poetry workshops in the Washington DC area, having done so in New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. She is the author of Coconut Curls... Read More →
avatar for Lisbeth White

Lisbeth White

Lisbeth White is a poet, editor and Expressive Arts Therapist whose writing explores the healing of displacement and trauma as a woman of color through connection with ancestral and energetic relationships to the natural world. She is an alumna of VONA/Voices, Tin House, Callaloo... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm PDT