The 39th Radical Poetry Reading featuring performances from Samuel R. Delany, Tara Middleton, Linda Norton, Cynthia Dewi Oka, and Thomas Devaney.
In this talk
Samuel R. Delany
In 2016, Samuel R. Delany was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. He is the author of Babel-17, Nova, Dhalgren, Dark Reflections, Atlantis: Three Tales, the Return to Nevèrÿon series, an autobiography, The Motion of Light in Water, and the paired essays Times Square Red / Times Square Blue. Dark Reflections won the Stonewall Book Award for 2008, and in 2015 he won the Nicolas Guillén Award for Philosophical Literature, in 1997 the Kessler Award for LGBTQ Studies, and only this year, the Anisfield-Wolf Award. He has won Nebula Awards from the Science Fiction Writers of America, and two Hugo Awards from the World Science Fiction Convention. In 2013, he was made a Grand Master of Science Fiction, following in the steps of Asimov, Heinlein, and Le Guin.
Vocalist, violinist, and lyricist Tara Middleton is the vocalist for the world renowned Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen. She also leads her own ensemble Jupiter Blue. She has studied under several prominent musicians, including Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, Booker Rowe, Gerald Price, Dr. George Allen, and Patty Wackenhut. In the 1990s, Tara co-founded The Foundations Singers, an African folksong oriented a cappella trio that garnered wide acclaim throughout the tri-state folk music community. Since then, she has performed and recorded as a featured vocalist with several ensembles, incorporating a broad range of songbooks and styles, including straight-ahead jazz, Portuguese Brazilian, Afro-Cuban/Caribbean, and Operatic avant-garde. She was nominated for a 2019 Pew Fellowship.
Visual artist and writer Linda Norton is the author of Wite Out: Love and Work (2020), a memoir with poems, and its prequel, The Public Gardens: Poems and History (2011; introduction by Fanny Howe), a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. John Keene calls Wite Out a “masterpiece” and Norman Fischer calls it “a gorgeous, courageous book.” In a recent review in the East Bay Express, D. Scot Miller calls Wite Out “a must for anyone trying to understand the nuanced aggression of systemic oppression and how it affects the afflictor and afflicted in equal measure.” Norton teaches at IT Sligo in Ireland. She was a 2020 columnist-in-residence at SFMoMA’s Open Space, where you can read her five essays and see her collages and photographs.
Cynthia Dewi Oka
Poet Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Fire Is Not a Country, forthcoming in fall 2021 from Northwestern University Press (NUP), Salvage: Poems (NUP 2017), and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water (Thread Makes Blanket 2016). The recipient of the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize and the Leeway Transformation Award, her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, POETRY, Academy of American Poets, The Rumpus, PANK, Guernica, and elsewhere. She has taught creative writing at Bryn Mawr College and is a 2021-2022 Amy Clampitt Resident. She is the creator of Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop for immigrant poets based in Philadelphia, and is originally from Bali, Indonesia.
Poet and documentary filmmaker Thomas Devaney was featured in Best American Poetry 2019 and his film Bicentennial City was completed in 2020. The essay film is a portrait of struggle and stories from the 1976 Bicentennial in Philadelphia. Devaney is the author of You Are the Battery (Black Square Editions 2019) and Getting to Philadelphia (Hanging Loose 2019). Other books include the solo-opera Calamity Jane and The Picture that Remains in collaboration with the photographer Will Brown. He is a Pew Fellow in the Arts and the Engagement Manager for the Lindy Institute for Urban Strategy at Drexel University.