Illumination – Eleventh Annual Dark Tower Reading

The season of illumination is almost here. Join us for the Eleventh Annual Dark Tower Reading at the March 15th Sunday Salon, featuring a phenomenal lineup of poets and writers of color. You won’t want to miss this tradition of insightful and compelling literary voices at the mic. Ru Freeman, author and curator extraordinaire, will emcee this celebration of light. Join us at Von Bar, 3 Bleecker St. at 3pm. Dancing shoes required with DJ DubSix at the turntable!

Benjamin Garcia is a Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Educator in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He had the honor of being the 2017 Latinx Scholar at the Frost Place, 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow. His first collection, THROWN IN THE THROAT (Milkweed Editions, Fall 2020), was selected for the 2019 National Poetry Series by Kazim Ali. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in: The Missouri Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, and Best New Poets 2018. Find him on twitter: @bengarciapoet

Cleyvis Natera is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College and a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from New York University. She is a 2019-2020 PEN America Writing For Justice Fellow. She is a recipient of the 2019 Carol Houck Smith Returning Contributor Award in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a fiction fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Cleyvis received merit based writing scholarships to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the VONA Voices Foundation. Cleyvis is hard at work on her first novel, “Neruda on the Park.”

Nicole Shawan Junior is a black, queer & justice-involved counter-storyteller. Her writing appears in Lambda Literary’s anthology EmergeGay MagZoraThe Feminist WireColor BloqFor Harriet, and more. A Bread Loaf & Hurston/Wright alum, Nicole’s received literary residencies and fellowships from various arts organizations including Hedgebrook, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Lambda Literary, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Nicole’s completing Cracked Concrete: A Memoir of Crackheads, Cousins & Crime. She’s the creator of both the Roots. Wounds. Words. Writing Workshop & COUNTERpult – a Brooklyn-based reading series that centers the narratives of QT/BIPoC storytellers. Learn more about Nicole at www.NicoleShawanJunior.com. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @NicoleShawanJunior and on Twitter @NicoleShawan.

Irvin Weathersby is a Brooklyn-based writer and professor of literature and creative writing from New Orleans. He has published three biographies in Notable Black American Men, Book II and written for Esquire, The Atlantic, EBONY, Killens Review, and other outlets. In 2019, he was named the Bernard O’Keefe Scholar in Nonfiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He has earned degrees in English, Education, and Creative Writing from Morehouse College, Morgan State University, and the New School. Before joining the faculty at Queensborough Community College, he was the education coordinator at a reentry program in the South Bronx and Harlem.

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