A.L. Nielsen, reading from Tray (Make Now Books)
Duriel E. Harris, reading from No Dictionary of a Living Tongue (Nightboat)
Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.
2337 N Milwaukee Ave
A.L. Nielsen was the first winner of the Larry Neal Award for poetry, and has since received the Josephine Miles Award, the Darwin Turner Award, the Gertrude Stein Award, the Kayden prize and others. His books of poetry are Heat Strings, Evacuation Routes, Stepping Razor, VEXT, Mixage, Mantic Semantic, A Brand New Beggar and Tray. He currently serves as the Kelly Professor of American Literature at Penn State University, having taught in the past at Howard University, San Jose State, UCLA, Loyola Marymount, and Central China Normal University. His works of scholarship include Reading Race, Writing between the Lines, C.L.R. James: A Critical Introduction, Black Chant and Integral Music. With Lauri Ramey he has edited two anthologies of innovative poetry by Black American writers. His edition of Lorenzo Thomas’s Don’t Deny My Name received an American Book Award, and he is currently working with Laura Vrana on The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas.
Duriel E. Harris is a poet, performer, and sound artist. She is author of three print volumes of poetry, including her most recent, No Dictionary of a Living Tongue (Nightboat, 2017), Drag (2003) and Amnesiac: Poems (2010). Multi-genre works include her one-woman theatrical performance Thingification, as well as Speleology (2011), a video collaboration with artist Scott Rankin. Recent and upcoming appearances include performances at the Lake Forest College Allan L. Carr Theatre, the Chicago Jazz Festival (with Douglas Ewart & Inventions), the Greenhouse Theater (Chicago), the Naropa Capitalocene, The Votive Poetics Workshop (New Zealand), and Festival Internacional de Poesía de La Habana (Cuba).
Cofounder of the avant garde poetry/performance trio The Black Took Collective, Harris has been a MacDowell and Millay Colony fellow and has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including BAX, Mandorla, The &Now Awards, Of Poetry & Protest, Ploughshares, Troubling the Line, and The Best of Fence; and her compositions have been translated into Polish, German, and Spanish. Harris earned degrees in Literature from Yale University and NYU, and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago Program for Writers.
The 2018 Offen Poet, Harris is an associate professor of English in the graduate creative writing program at Illinois State University and the Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.