O | Sessions is a series that creates a space unapologetically focused on illuminating Black presence and Black creative expression and imagination across the diaspora. Developed in response to audience requests for deeper engagement with artists presenting in #ObsidianVoices, O | Sessions increases writers’ and readers’ access to creative writing and related arts education and conversation. Unveiled on World Listening Day 2021, the first iteration of O | Sessions is centered around Black Listening.
Presented in collaboration with the Poetry Foundation, O | Sessions 1.0 Black Listening – A Performance Master Class (O|S.1 Black Listening) will be held online on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 & 17, 2022, from 2 to 5pm CST.
O|S.1 Black Listening invites attendees to explore the art of deep listening as a primary yet overlooked method of composing, revising, performing, and invigorating one’s work. O|S.1 Black Listening will feature the following award-winning poets and performance artists as instructors: avery r. young, Rosamond S. King, Douglas Kearney, and Duriel E. Harris.
A group of 18-24 attendees will be selected to participate in this iteration of the cycle.
Session attendees will have the opportunity to workshop an existing work in small group settings, the opportunity to have a 1:1 touch base with one of the instructors after the session, and will be featured in a culminating event to be held in Spring 2023. Attendees will receive a $300 USD stipend for their participation, a book bundle of faculty works, a 1-year subscription to Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, and a copy of Obsidian vol. 45.2 “What Tell Freedom Now” featuring the folio “See What I’m Saying Is,” which showcases work from each of the teaching artists, introducing attendees to the work before the inaugural Black Listening session.
Applications are open to beginning, emerging, and established artists who self-identify as Black and/or a part of the African Diaspora. International applicants are welcome, just note that sessions will be held in CST (GMT-5).
Accommodations for the performance master class are provided upon request.