Mother Earth Poetry Vibe Featuring Kirwyn Sutherland
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It's summer, and the issues in our society are hotter than the temperatures outside! We need the Poetic Arts. Join us for a poetry/spoken word open mic of justice, conscious thought, spirituality, fam, real life—whatever advances the village! In the tradition of Emma Goldman’s Mother Earth magazine, come drop some progressive “fiyah” on us, or contribute just with your presence and energy! By the way: it’s a non-erotic poetry, non-“love jones” type of venue, so we ask that you not go there. (And, almost needless to say, leave the misogyny, homophobia and other unnecessary ish outside!) Challenging times call for challenging poetry—thus, it's time for Kirwyn Sutherland! From the poet: “During my college years, I experienced instances of racism for the first time. As the anger from these events built up, I began to question my purpose at school, in the workforce, and ultimately as an American citizen. The search for an identity triggered an exhaustive study of African American literature. I read everything I could get my hands on, being most impacted by authors such as Frantz Fanon, Ralph Ellison, W.E.B DuBois, and the speeches of Malcolm X. In combination with these writings, viewing Def Poetry Jam showed me a way to release anger and shout out a new identity. My first poems were no-holds barred rants tackling subjects from slavery to lynchings to dealing with micro-aggressions. My goal through writing was to introduce black pain, suffering, and triumph in my own voice. X: A Mixtape was a self-published chapbook of collected poems that was released on March 2013. These poems reflected the process of self-discovery within the context of African American History. All of the proceeds received from the sale of the chapbook went to develop the Delores Sutherland Book Scholarship, which provided a $500 to a college freshman for textbooks. From X: A Mixtape, the poem “Template,” about “white flight”, was published in the Philadelphia literary magazine APIARY for their Summer 2013 issue. As a result of this relationship, I procured feature performances at The Fuze Open Mic and Sounds in the Gallery Open Mic in Philadelphia, representing APIARY. My approach to writing has evolved into experimenting with traditional forms to create new forms that best convey the intention and meaning of the subject matter I choose. The first product of this came in the form of a reworking of my chapbook. X: A Mixtape Remastered was published through the Philadelphia based company, 2 Pens and Lint. The content of the book included edits of some poems from the initial work as well as new poems. I received great feedback from the poetry community including the book being used for instruction in a Temple University Creative Writing class. Currently, I am working on my next project which will be entitled Kid B: An Ecological Study. The book will study the effects of a crumbling urban ecology on the lives of young black men and women. Additionally, I am the Youth Chairperson of The Collective Open Mic, working to bridge the gap between the youth and adult poetry scenes. A collective where poets can come together, read, critique, share work and discuss issues was necessary for me to create. In response to this need, The Mission Statement Poetry Collective was formed with Philadelphia poets Warren Longmire, Christopher K.P. Brown, Lauren Yates and Mydera Speak Me Free. This collective will serve to provide a place for poets of color to grow artistically and affect the community at large through the art created as well as other programming.” Twitter @KirwynSutherlan Holdin’ it down for the evening is Analysis--poet & spoken word artist, organizer, minister, activist, educator, consultant… Y’all know what’s up! Twitter @AnalysisThePoet MIC LIST OPENS AT 7:00pm! (Mature language and themes may be involved; not suggested for younger children.)