Poetry Under Fata Morgana

On Thursday, September 17, 2015 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM, Madison Square Park Conservancy will host Poetry Under Fata Morgana, a free, public poetry event showcasing leading voices in spoken word poetry and performance, organized by artist Teresita Fernández and poet Emanuel Xavier. Poetry Under Fata Morgana is conceived to take place under the golden canopies of Fernández’s Fata Morgana, the artist’s shimmering outdoor exhibition currently on view in Madison Square Park. Invited poets include Emanuel Xavier, Sandra María Esteves, Bonafide Rojas, Machete Movement, and True. The program coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15, 2015) and situates a broad range of Latino experience and literary production within the context of contemporary American poetry.

With both Fata Morgana and Poetry Under Fata Morgana, Fernández wishes to increase visibility of Latino communities in New York City by amplifying the rich diversity and complexity of what it means to be “Latino” as an important aspect of American culture. Fernández emphasizes Fata Morgana’s unique platform as a democratic public space used for communal gathering, contemplation, and free expression. With these collaborative programs, Fernández hopes to expand our assumptions about who exactly constitutes “the public,” the makeup of which is as mutable and fluid as the reflections captured by her sculpture.

Participating poets:

Emanuel Xavier
An Equality Forum LGBT History Month Icon and former homeless youth, Emanuel Xavier is author of four poetry collections, Nefarious, Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA, Pier QueenIf Jesus Were Gay & other poemsand a novel, Christ Like. He has been featured in The New York Times and on Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry and CNN. Emanuel was a speaker at the United Nations as part of the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA and has performed across the United States and internationally in Buenos Aires, Ghent, London, and Paris. He is recipient of a NYC Council Citation and has been a finalist for Lambda Literary Awards and International Latino Book Awards. In 2015, he was a featured TEDx Bushwick speaker and was filmed for a Galicia, Spain-based documentary project on international poets that includes writers from Iceland, Montreal, Jordan, and Palestine. His work has been translated into Spanish, Romanian, Serbian, and Japanese.

Sandra María Esteves
Poet, visual artist, and Bronx native Sandra María Esteves, known as the Godmother of Nuyorican Poetry, has published several poetry collections, including Bluestown Mockingbird Mambo and Yerba Buena, her first book, which was selected as Best Small Press by the Library Journal. One of the first Dominican Boricua Nuyorican women to publish a recognized volume of poetry in the United States, Esteves’s many awards include a Pregones Theater/NEA Master Artist Award, the Con Tinta Award from Acentos/AWP, Poet Honoree from Universes Poetic Theater Ensemble Company, Arts Review Honoree from the Bronx Council on the Arts, The Edgar Allan Poe Literary Award from the Bronx Historical Society, and a Poetry Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. A teaching artist for over thirty-five years, she has taught creative writing workshops for the New York City Board of Education, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, the Bronx Council on the Arts, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Caribbean Cultural Center, and El Museo del Barrio. Esteves has presented her work at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center, the Public Theater, and at major universities and educational institutions across the country.

Bonafide Rojas
Bonafide Rojas is the author of Renovatio, When The City Sleeps, and Pelo Bueno. He was born and raised in the Bronx and is the founder of Grand Concourse Press. He has appeared on Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry and in the poetry documentary Spitting Ink, and has been published in numerous anthologies and journals. He has performed nationally and internationally at colleges and a variety of performance venues. Rojas is a co-bandleader of experimental rock band The Mona Passage.

Machete Movement
Machete Movement, founded in 2009 by El David and Katalina Rodriguez, is a collection of artists, poets, writers, and musicians that combines Afro-Latino roots drumming with Yoruba chants, along with spoken word. Machete Movement’s mission is to create, record, perform, and preserve music that fuses roots music from Africa, the Caribbean, and other Latino cultures with contemporary sounds, spoken word, and hip hop. Following this mission, Machete Movement preserves the cultural arts of their ancestors through music, words, and art, and acts as the voice of the immigrants, their sons and daughters, and all those struggling for their place in equality.

Educator, performer, author, and consummate artist, True was born and raised in Queens, New York. A founding member of award-winning New York poetry collective El Grito de Poetas, True's mission is to tell the world the stories of the desolate and unwanted, no matter how vivid and full of pain, so that they will never be forgotten. As founder/director of The Climbing Ivy Project, True is creating a worldwide network of young women leaders that will bring awareness to the plight of women across the globe. True has published two books: Where Do I Begin? and Climbing Ivy, a collection of poems and short stories dedicated to the women who have inspired her. Her newest endeavor, a play titled In Defense of Glitter and Rainbows, is currently in production.

Event details:

Poetry Under Fata Morgana
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Madison Square Park
23rd Street and Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010

This event is free and open to the public.

6:00PM – Program begins
7:30PM – Program concludes

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