The Center for Black Poetry and Poetics will soon bring together a variety of writers, artists, and musicians to converse with one another for its “Black Study of Intimacy, Part Two” in April.
This is CAAPP’s fourth series of such programming under the title “Study Black” and continues the focus on intimacy from last semester’s show. The series will take place with a mix of in-person and visual events between April 4-7, with virtual events broadcast on CAAPP’s Crowdcast page as in previous years.
stephan triplet, CAAPP’s acting deputy director, said organizers tried to pick a theme for this year’s series that was relevant to the times.
“In the past, we did studies for blacks that were intensive for a week or spread throughout the semester. [This year] we decided to just do one week of programming,” Triplett said. “We thought of themes that would be useful, that’s why this year we planned this theme of intimacy while we sail, what does it mean to be intimate at a time when we often can’t interact in the same room? ”
Not only did they want to create something that students would be interested in, but Triplett said CAAPP also wanted to create something that people not affiliated with the University could get involved with.
“We try to respond directly to the moment and our feelings in the moment,” Triplett said. “We’ll be talking about what we think would be good programming not only for colleges, but also for the public in Pittsburgh, what is something that would be helpful to students, instructors and people in the Pittsburgh community.”
The event will not only feature writers, but also illustrators and musicians. Triplett said that CAAPP wanted to have a big draw this year.
“With this series in particular, I think there is something for everyone,” Triplett said. “We’re bringing in a lot of poets, but there are also non-fiction writers and fiction writers, right? We have cartoonists and a graphic novelist, this time around the musicians. It’s just a great mix of different disciplines.”
The first panel will be “Black Sound as Liberation Technology”. k henderson, MFA in Poetry and CAAPP Graduate Assistant Student, curated this panel. will have Anais Duplan, Camae Ayewa — also known as the musician blackberry mother – Y Taylor Johnson in a conversation about his job.
Henderson said they hope the panel will be more informal and intimate than a traditional panel.
“We’re bringing together three really brilliant artists who I think are involved in black avant-garde work, through sound, among other things,” Henderson said. “I’m thinking less about the panel and more like, sitting at the kitchen table, chatting, reacting to each other’s work.”
The three panelists create work that speaks to the black experience, according to Henderson, and examines both the past and the future of the community.
“Anaïs and Camae have a specific and explicit interest in Afrofuturism where each of their works questions the future, what is blackness in the present and what can it be,” said Henderson. “Taylor’s work is really informed by the sound of go-go, and the go-go culture in DC, and I look forward to hearing more about what their relationship is to go-go and the relationship between poetry and music for them.”
yona harvey, associate professor of English, will be in charge of the second event, “Drawing from home”. The event will feature ebony flowers, rina yuyang Y walking marcel, who will also act as moderator. All three are involved in illustration in some way and will talk about their artwork.
In addition to this panel, Flowers will host a comic book creation workshop and there will be a complementary hands-on workshop from the Center for Creativity.
Assistant teacher Diana Khoi Nguyen will curate the final panel, titled “Time Travel Artifacts.” will have Iron Martin of Tongo, kao kali yang Y win chang. Martin and Chang are poets, while Yang is a non-fiction writer. Chang will also act as a participating moderator.
The panel focuses on three writers whose work is heavily influenced by their personal and family histories, and will discuss work already published and current work in progress. Unlike the previous two panels, this event is planned to be in person, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.
Nguyen said he chose these three participants because of the similar themes in their work and how their discussion can represent an intersection between the African-American experience and other communities.
“They all move through time, the present moment and also past moments, past decades and past generations,” Nguyen said. “CAAPP is also interested in how African-American poetics intersect with other diasporas and communities.”
Nguyen said attendees should come with their eyes open and not feel intimidated if they’re not familiar with the featured creators.
“I always expect people to come to these events ready to go,” Nguyen said. “I think it’s also better when you don’t even know too much about the people who are going to be there. Because at that moment you let yourself be carried away by what is about to happen.”