Black SWANA Lit: Mizna Reading + DJ

Join us for our Twin Cities launch event, Black SWANA Lit: Mizna Reading + DJ, on April 27, 2023 at 7:30pm. DOORS OPEN AT 7PM.

Rescheduled from our February launch party, this event will feature readings from guest editor Safia Elhillo, Romaissaa Benzizoune, Marlin M. Jenkins, Vanessa Taylor, and Sagirah Shahid and music from DJ Jacques.

Mizna: The Black SWANA Issue, guest-edited by Safia Elhillo and produced by an all-Black takeover team, explores the infinitely varied and kaleidoscopic nature of the Black SWANA experience. The issue is available for to order now here.


Romaissaa Benzizoune is a writer and editor from New York City and from-from Morocco. Her work has appeared in outlets including McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, Observer, and the New York Times. She also writes a Substack column called One Thing and is occasionally funny on Twitter @romaissaa_b.

Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press), which received the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award; Girls That Never Die (One World/Random House); and the novel-in-verse Home Is Not a Country (Make Me A World/Random House). With Fatimah Asghar, she is coeditor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books). Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, Safia received the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and was listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30.” Her fellowships include a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, Cave Canem, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.

Marlin M. Jenkins is the author of the chapbook Capable Monsters (Bull City Press). They live, write, and teach in Minnesota

Sagirah Shahid is a Black American Muslim poet from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Vanessa Taylor is a writer with specific interests in surveillance, Afrofuturism, and the revolutionary potential of fiction. She is the curator of NAZAR, an independent journalism project on surveillance, and she founded the Drinking Gourd, a Black Muslim literary magazine. Although now based in Philadelphia, Minnesota will always be home.