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Don’t You Hear This Hammer Ring? Poetry & Social Justice
Thursday, February 15 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Poetry has always played a crucial role in movements for social justice, animating our language, finding words for our outrage, and restoring our souls for the struggle. At a time when our risk of burnout is enormous, when we are told every day that the truth is the untruth, we need the transformative power of poetry in our movements for social justice.
Come hear two poet-activists discuss this tradition and poetry’s living work, and read from their recent collections. Sarah Browning is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock, the preeminent national organization of socially engaged poets, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Simone John is the author of Testify, which employs documentary poetics to uplift stories of black people whose lives have been shattered by state-sanctioned violence.
Sarah Browning is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock: Poetry of Provocation & Witness and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Author of two collections of poems, Killing Summer and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden, and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology, she is the recipient of artist fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Adirondack Center for Writing. She has been guest editor or co-edited special issues of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, and POETRY magazine. She previously worked supporting socially engaged women artists with WomenArts and developing creative writing workshops with low-income women and youth with Amherst Writers & Artists. She has been a community organizer in Boston public housing and a grassroots political organizer on a host of social and political issues.
Simone John is a poet, educator, and facilitator based in Boston, MA. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College with an emphasis on documentary poetics. Her poetry has appeared or been reviewed in Wildness, The Boston Globe, Public Pool, PBS Newshour, Bustle, and more. She is a contributing editor at Gramma Poetry and chief creative officer at Hive Soul Yoga. Simone has facilitated workshops and retreats at colleges and organizations across New England. Areas of expertise include: professional development for teaching artists and youth workers; mindfulness and life design for millennials and creatives of color; and incorporating racial equity into organizational change processes. Testify is her first full-length book of poems. Find her online at simonejohn.com and on twitter @simoneivory.
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This program is free and open to all.