The Gramma Reading Series

The Gramma Reading Series is focused on presenting accessible and interdisciplinary events, featuring local and national writers, performers, and artists of all disciplines.

Performers from the Reading Series will also host artist lectures in the Frye Museum’s Studio as a series of ancillary events, programmed by Gramma and the Frye.

Reading Series #2

Tyehimba Jess
Kaveh Akbar
Anastacia Renée
Moonshine: A Cabaret performed by
Au Collective and directed by Imana Gunawan

Hosted by Kim Selling of The Stranger

October 6th, 2018
7pm Erickson Theater

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Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and Olio. Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.”

Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004–2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000–2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He presented his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference and won a 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2018. Jess is a Professor of English at College of Staten Island.

Jess' fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex, and Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry.

Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, The Nation, Tin House, Best American Poetry, The New Republic, The Guardian, Ploughshares, PBS NewsHour, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, The Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is just out with Alice James in the US and Penguin in the UK, and his chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently teaches at Purdue University and in the low residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson.

Kaveh founded and edits Divedapper, a home for dialogues with the most vital voices in American poetry. With Sarah Kay and Claire Schwartz, he writes a weekly column for the Paris Review called "Poetry RX." Previously, he ran The Quirk, a for-charity print literary journal. He has also served as Poetry Editor for BOOTH and Book Reviews Editor for the Southeast Review. Along with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, francine j. harris, and Jonathan Farmer, he starred on All Up in Your Ears, a monthly poetry podcast.

Anastacia-Renée is the Seattle Civic Poet and former 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House. She has received writing fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, and Mineral School, as well as a writing residency from Ragdale. Her theatrical mixed-media project, 9 Ounces: A One Woman Show, is a multivalent play unapologetically downward dogging its way through class, race, culture, oppression, depression, survival and epiphany. Anastacia-Renée is the author of five books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.) (Gramma Press), 26 (Dancing Girl Press), Kiss Me Doll Face (Gramma Press), and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbooks, Argus Press). Her cross-genre writing has appeared in the anthologies Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism; Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution; and Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks. She has been published in The Fight and Fiddle, Ms. Magazine, Bayou, Berkeley Poetry Review, Split this Rock, Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review, Duende, Synaethesia, Banqueted, Torch, and many more. She teaches poetry and creative writing at Hugo House and Seattle University and lives as a superhero in Seattle with her wife and dog.

Au Collective is a community of dancers, choreographers, and artists from varied disciplines that develop relatable and engaging dance art.

Moonshine is a cabaret directed by Imana Gunawan.

Imana Gunawan, a Texas-born Indonesian, is a storyteller, multimedia journalist, dance artist, and creative director. Through her journalism and dance work, Imana believes in empowering those historically pushed aside. She is a member of Au Collective - a movement based non profit centering people of color, queer people, and femmes. As a journalist, Imana specializes in breaking news/digital reporting, with a soft spot for audio production. Imana currently works as news domain expert for Dataminr and is part of On the Boards Ambassador Writer's Corps. Since graduation from University of Washington's journalism and dance programs in 2015, she has been commissioned and produced by American Dance Guild in NYC, Velocity's Next Fest, Washington Ensemble Theater, and BOOST Dance Festival, among others. Imana enjoys facilitating community conversations for artists of color and has curated panels for Artist of Color Expo & Symposium and Womxn's Creative Industries Meetup.

Kim Selling is an always-nude fat queer femme based in Seattle. She can be found complaining about music for The Stranger, yelling about poetry for Gramma Press, posting a million selfies on her popular Instagram tag #horribleinternetfatgirls, and selling piles of glittering vintage for bunny ranch madams, crop top goths, and lizard queens alike on the World Wide Web.

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