An extraordinary week dedicated to social activism and radical artmaking. The week includes workshops by writers and artists whose work focuses on social and political issues, including the environment, climate change, racial justice, violence against women, LGBTQ rights, and immigration, all through the lens of creative action. Evening events include a keynote address, special guest lecture, faculty readings and artist talks, student readings and open studios.
Mahogany L. Browne
SUNDAY, JULY 12 7PM
Stanley Kunitz Common Room
Writer, organizer, vocalist, spoken word poet, and educator Mahogany L. Browne is the author of poetry and fiction. Her YA poetry book Black Girl Magic celebrates a black girlhood that is “free, unforgettable, and luminous” (School Library Journal), while her children’s book Woke Baby is for all the littlest progressives who grow up to change the world. Her poetry collections include Kissing Caskets (YesYes Books, 2017) and the NAACP-nominated chapbook Redbone (Willow Books, 2016). She has co-edited the anthology The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 3: Black Girl Magic, and is at work on the YA anthology WOKE: A Young Poets Guide To Justice (2020), co-edited with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood.
Using her personal experiences with addiction, racism, sexism and oppression to inspire her own brand of shameless authentic work, Browne’s spoken word performances create a platform for women and girls to feel empowered and heard. She has a MFA in Writing and Activism from Pratt Institute, where she founded the Women Writers of Color Reading Room and became the director of the Black Lives Matter program. Browne is one of the founders of the socially active literary collective #BlackPoetsSpeakOut.
Browne is the publisher of Penmanship Books, curator of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Friday Night Slam, founder of the Women Writers of Color Reading Room, and the director of Black Lives Matter at Pratt Institute, and artistic director at Urban Word NYC (a non-profit youth literary organization). Her work has appeared in Poetry, Bustle, BET, Academy of American Poets, and other venues. She has also released five LPs. She is the recipient of literary fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, and Rauschenberg. Mahogany L. Browne is the current Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College’s MFA Program.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 7:30PM
Stanley Kunitz Common Room
Linda Villarosa runs the journalism program at The City College of New York in Harlem and is an assistant professor of Media Communication Arts. She is also a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.
In August, Villarosa was part of the team that created the Times’ 1619 Project, which examines the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans. Her essay discusses enduring medical myths that began in slavery. In April 2018, her story, “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death-Crisis,” ran on the cover of the Magazine. It looks at the effects of race, racism and health-care inequality on infant and maternal mortality and was nominated for a National Magazine Award.
Villarosa's cover story “America’s Hidden HIV Epidemic,” about HIV/AIDS among black gay and bisexual men in the South, ran as a New York Times Magazine cover story in June 2017. That article was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award and was honored by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists’ Association for excellence in journalism.
Formerly, Villarosa was the health editor of the New York Times and executive editor of Essence Magazine. She has written dozens of articles for the Times, including three award-winning stories published on the newspaper’s front page. She is the chair of the board of the Feminist Press at CUNY and has written or co-written a number of books. She is the author of Body & Soul: The Black Women’s Guide to Physical Health and Emotional Well-Being and is currently working on a new book, Under the Skin: Race, Inequality and the Health of a Nation, to be published by Doubleday.
A graduate of the University of Colorado and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Villarosa spent a year at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a journalism fellow. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner, two children, cat and dog.
Keynote and Guest Lecture are free for students attending a workshop this week.
Tickets for the general public will be available at the door.
RYAN AMADOR +JAMES LECESNE
THE FUTURE PERFECT PROJECT: A WRITING & PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP FOR LGBTQ TEENS & YOUNG ADULTS
MAHOGANY L. BROWNE
NATURE & THE SOCIO-POLITICAL BODY
WHERE THE PERSONAL MEETS THE POLITICAL (& ALWAYS HAS): A GENERATIVE WORKSHOP
DISMANTLING THE TRADITION: ON FORM & POWER
WITNESS, EXPRESS & REPRESENT: A PROSE WORKSHOP
PROVINCETOWN BOOTCAMP: A PLAYWRITING WORKSHOP
VISUAL ARTS FACULTY
JESS T. DUGAN
THE INTIMATE PORTRAIT: A PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP