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Ashley M. Jones, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Monica Sok, and Yaccaira Salvatierra
March 26 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Ashley M. Jones reads from her new poetry collection dark // thing. Also featuring readings by Tongo Eisen-Martin, Monica Sok, and Yaccaira Salvatierra.
dark // thing is a multi-faceted work that explores the darkness/otherness by which the world sees Black people. Ashley M. Jones stares directly into the face of the racism that allows people to be seen as dark things, as objects that can be killed/enslaved/oppressed/devalued. This work, full as it is of slashes of all kinds, ultimately separates darkness from thingness, affirming and celebrating humanity.
Ashley M. Jones received an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University. Her debut poetry collection, Magic City Gospel, was published by Hub City Press in January 2017, and it won the silver medal in poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in many journals and anthologies, including the Academy of American Poets, Tupelo Quarterly, Prelude, Steel Toe Review, Fjords Review, Quiet Lunch, Poets Respond to Race Anthology, and The Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a 2015 B-Metro Magazine Fusion Award. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is a board member of the Alabama Writers’ Conclave , co-coordinator of the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series, founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival, and a faculty member in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
Tongo Eisen-Martin was born in San Francisco and earned his MA at Columbia University. He is the author of someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press, 2015), nominated for a California Book Award; and Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights, 2017), which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize. Eisen-Martin is also an educator and organizer whose work centers on issues of mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of Black people, and human rights. He has taught at detention centers around the country and at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. He lives in San Francisco.
Monica Sok is a Cambodian American poet and the daughter of former refugees. She is the author of Year Zero, winner of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her work has been recognized with a “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize. Other honors include fellowships from Hedgebrook, The Elizabeth George Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Kundiman, The Jerome Foundation, Montalvo Arts Center, MacDowell Colony, Saltonstall Foundation, and others. Currently, Sok is a 2018-2020 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a Poet-in-Residence at Banteay Srei in Oakland. Her debut poetry collection is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.
Yaccaira Salvatierra is a native Californian having lived in various cities from the San Diego/Tijuana border to the magical town of Arcata. She is inspired by people’s stories and a city’s movement. Her BA is in Latin American and Latino Studies from UC Santa Cruz and she has an MA in Education from San José State University where she is currently working on an MFA in poetry. She is a teacher and lives with her two sons in San José.