FULL – Friends and Lovers Feminist Reading Group

It is not uncommon for poets to be categorized into “schools,” “generations,” or “movements,” each organized around a particular “genius” or two surrounded by rings of increasingly peripheral, “minor” poets, one “movement” responding to the last in art’s own linear and easy-to-anthologize narrative of progress and discovery. Against the pristine manageability of “schools,” we will see what we can learn when we think instead in terms of little groups of friends and lovers, poets and artists who fed each other and stole from each other and loved and fought and mourned and remembered and had fun together. We will think of poems as part of ongoing conversations, we will consider how poems are made possible because poets survived, and how that survival was made possible through the material conditions of existing in relation to others. The people you talk to every day, the people you talk to even when they aren’t there, the people you pay or attempt to pay rent with – they are there already in the poem, always, necessary and alive. In this reading group we will celebrate that relationality, knowing we are a part of it too, the constellation of our lives making us who we are. We will be a little gossipy, elevating the anecdotal, the backstory. We won’t make all that big a difference between art-making and life-making. We will read some Romantics, poets of Kitchen Table Press, we will consider how incarceration fits into this framework of relationality, we will think about translation and letters and imaginary interlocutors, and we won’t forget that this relationality extends beyond just friends and lovers to include humans and non-humans, the animate and inanimate, the living and the dead. These meetings will be facilitated by Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, Laura Henriksen, and Meagan Washington.

This feminist reading group is now full. To be added to the waitlist, email Laura at lh@poetryproject.org

Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves

Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves (New Yorker, b. 1980) is a Pushcart-nominated poet concerned with postcolonial ethnobotany, the limits of language, and archive as medium. Greaves has most recently been published in the collections Letters to the Future: Black Women / Radical Writing (Kore Press), and Creature/Verdure (Pinsapo Journal), as well as in her chapbook Close Reading As Forestry (Belladonna*). Publications in The Brooklyn Rail and from Ugly Duckling Presse are forthcoming. Formerly a Monday Night Reading Series curator at The Poetry Project, she will be an artist-in-residence with The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation on Captiva Island, Florida in early 2020 and serves as Site Director of Wendy’s Subway in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Laura Henriksen

Laura Henriksen‘s work can be found in The Brooklyn Rail, LitHub, No, Dear, and other places. She is the author of Agata (IMP, 2017) Fluid Arrangements, a collaborative chapbook with Beka Goedde, (Planthouse Gallery, 2018) and Canadian Girlfriends (THERETHEN, 2019). She works as the Director of Learning & Community Engagement at The Poetry Project.

Photo: Cynthia Jasmin

Meagan Washington

Meagan Washington is a poet and Houston native. She received her BA in English from the University of Houston and a MFA from Hunter College. As a NYC transport, Meagan teaches composition and writing about literature at Hunter College.