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Featured Speakers: Tony Bolden, jessica Care Moore, Thomas Sayers Ellis

Friday, 2:00–3:15 p.m.
JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom V, Third Floor

Anthony BoldenTony Bolden teaches courses on African American literature, music, and cultural studies at The University of Kansas. He is the author of Afro-Blue: Improvisations in African American Poetry and Culture (Univ of Illinois Press, 2004) and a collection of essays entitled The Funk Era and Beyond: New Perspectives on Black Popular Culture (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2008).

Last year, he served as guest editor for a special issue of American Studies entitled "The Funk Issue," a collection articles, poetry, and visual art that focus on funk music. He is currently working on his manuscript, tentatively entitled "Blue Funk: The Kinetic Aesthetic in Black Expressive Culture."

jessica Care mooreJessica Care Moore is an African American poet born in Detroit, on October 28, 1971. Moore first won acclaim as the first poet to ever win the nationally televised Showtime at the Apollo competition 5 times in a row. That same year, she would be filmed for the documentary SlamNation. The film followed her and the 1996 Nuyorican Poetry Slam Team as they competed at the 1996 National Poetry Slam.

In the book Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz wrote of Moore’s time in the poetry slam, noting "Her razor-sharp verse confronted and addressed the difficulties of being a black woman and a black poet in a culture that seemed to support neither."

Thomas Sayers EllisThomas Sayers Ellis co-founded The Dark Room Collective (in Cambridge, Massachusetts); and received his M.F.A. from Brown University. He is the author of The Maverick Room (2005), which won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award, and a recipient of a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers’ Award.

His poems and photographs have appeared in numerous journals and  anthologies, including Callaloo, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001 and 2010), Grand Street, The Baffler, Jubilat, Tin House, Poetry, and The Nation. He is also an Assistant Professor of Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, a faculty member of the Lesley University low-residency M.F.A Program and a Caven Canem faculty member.

He lives in Brooklyn, NY and is currently working on The Go-Go Book: People in the Pocket in Washington, D.C. A new collection of poetry, Skin, Inc., has just appeared from Graywolf Press. 


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