Full-program video [note: recording is incomplete]: Jasmine Gibson with Juliana Spahr: February 7, 2019
What if the image doesn't end with a happy ending
But instead is like the truth
Living without redemption
A hungry ghost, wandering seeking its head
Which is something much more
—Jasmine Gibson, from The Felt #1
For the opening event in our Spring 2019 In Common Writers Series, poet Jasmine Gibson returns to The Poetry Center, reading her poetry then joining in conversation with poet, editor and scholar Juliana Spahr. The following night, both writers read from their work at world-renowned Moe's Books, on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. Supported by a grant from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, this event is free and open to the public.
Jasmine Gibson is a Philly jawn based in Harlem. She spends her time thinking about sexy things like psychosis, desire, and freedom. She is the author of Don't Let Them See Me Like This (Nightboat Books, 2018), as well as the earlier chapbook, Drapetomania (Commune Editions, 2015, free download here), and coauthor, with Madison Van Oort, of the chapbook Time Theft: A Love Story (The Elephants, 2018, another free download, here). She has also written for Mask Magazine, LIES Vol II: Journal of Materialist Feminism, Queen Mobs, NON, and The Capilano Review.
"...Don’t Let Them See Me Like This is ardent and unrestrained. Learning to write outside the finishing schools of sanctioned vers libre, Gibson’s poetry enacts an emphatic opposition to the racial oppression that grounds the United States. It does by placing her incendiary desire at the centre of the work...."
—from "Something Beyond Dead," staff review at Entropy
"...For me, the collection’s incessant flitting between anger and sensuality destabilized what it means to undertake a radical politics, moving us away from a hardened antagonism and into something more receptive: an attention to the sensuality of black bodies, and all the ways they can be in the world."
—Ismail Muhammad, from "A Year in Reading," at The Millions
Juliana Spahr's latest book is Du Bois's Telegram: Literary Resistance and State Containment (Harvard University Press, 2018). She is author of eight volumes of poetry, including That Winter the Wolf Came (Commune Editions, 2015) and Well Then There Now (David R. Godine, 2011). Together with Joshua Clover and Jasper Bernes, Spahr is editor of Commune Editions. With David Buuck she wrote the novel An Army of Lovers (City Lights Books, 2013) and with Stephanie Young edited A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011). She is Professor of English at Mills College, in Oakland.
In Common Writers Series
Jasmine Gibson and Juliana Spahr
reading from their work
Friday FEB 8
7:00 pm @ Moe’s Books
2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, free and open to the public
supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund
In Common Writers Series Thanks to a generous grant from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, The Poetry Center will present six double-programs (twelve events in all) during 2018–19, featuring a series of remarkable writers from across the US, paired in conversation and performance with, for the most, local area writers with whom they share strong affinities. Each featured guest writer appears at The Poetry Center—we're doing outreach in particular to students and faculty in SF State's College of Ethnic Studies—reading and in conversation with their paired guest writer and the audience. Then, moving off-campus, both writers read their work at one of the Bay Area's local bookstores. We want to recognize our bookstores as crucial cultural centers and, paradoxically maybe, among the most long-lived and durable cultural sites in this violently gentrified region. Details on our six 2018-19 programs and featured artists here.