1:00 PM

Poets & Writers Festival - Panel, Reading and Workshop

The Great Hall (S2-19, 2nd Floor of the Winnet Building)

Panel, Reading and Workshop on the Poetry of Protest featuring sam sax, Philly poet laureate Yolanda Wisher, Dr. Irène Mathieu and the College's own Michelle Myers

What are today’s poets writing about at a time when many citizens feel their lives and livelihoods are endangered by politics and inequalities in law enforcement, hiring practices, and wage parity? How have grass roots movements like Black Lives Matter reinvigorated and inspired the spoken word? How do voices get heard above the screaming matches of today’s America, and how do those voices transform pain and rage into art? Join us for a reading, a Q&A, and a book-signing. Afterwards, the poets will talk to students about craft in breakaway sessions.

Sam Sax is the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017) winner of The National Poetry Series selected by Terrance Hayes. His second book, Bury It, will be out from Wesleyan University Press in 2018. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, & The Michener Center where he served as the Editor-in-chief of Bat City Review. He’s the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion and author of four chapbooks.

Yolanda Wisher is a multi-disciplinary poet and educator. Currently the 3rd Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia, Wisher is a Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, Pew Fellow, Catalyst Initiative Grantee, Leeway Art & Change Grantee, and a Cave Canem Fellow. Wisher holds an M.A. in English/Creative Writing-Poetry from Temple University and is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, 2013).

Irène Mathieu is a pediatrician, writer, and public health researcher who has lived and worked in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, and elsewhere. She is the 2016 winner of the Bob Kaufman Book Prize and author of the poetry chapbook the galaxy of origins and the book orogeny (Trembling Pillow Press, 2017). Irène has been a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Callaloo fellow, and a Fulbright scholar. She holds a BA in International Relations from the College of William & Mary and an MD from Vanderbilt University.

Michelle Myers is an award-winning spoken word poet, community activist, and educator. As a founding member of the Asian American female spoken word poetry group Yellow Rage, Michelle has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. She is recipient of a grant from the Leeway Foundation and has performed nation-wide, drawing from her personal experiences as a biracial Korean American woman. She writes poetry that challenges mainstream misconceptions of Asianness and explores the intersections of race, culture, gender, community, and self.