Open Door: Ari Banias, Joss Barton, Alex Jane Cope, & KOKUMO

Join us for an Open Door reading with Ari Banias, Joss Barton, Alex Jane Cope, and KOKUMO, The Queen of Queer Soul. The Open Door series highlights creative relationships in Chicago, including mentorship and collaboration.

This is a hybrid event, which will be offered in-person and via livestream.

Ari Banias is the author of A Symmetry, winner of the 2022 Publishing Triangle Award for Trans & Gender Variant Literature, and Anybody. Banias’s poems have appeared in Bæst, Georgia Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Triple Canopy, Verse, Washington Square, and The Yale Review. His work has been supported by fellowships and residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, MacDowell, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, among others. He lives in Chicago.

Joss Barton is a writer, journalist, and spoken word performance artist exploring and documenting queer and trans* life, love, and liberation. Barton’s work blends femme-fever dreams over the soundtrack of the American nightmare. Combining prose poetry, non-fiction confessional essays, drag artistry, and spoken word stage performances, Joss examines the myriad states of queer trans womanhoods from historical, political, and pop cultural identities of death, desires, dreams, and disco. Joss Barton’s performance will include special lighting design by Dazzler.

Alex Jane Cope is a poet and translator originally from West Michigan and currently based in Chicago; they previously lived in and around Paris, where they organized a multilingual queer and feminist reading series. Cope ran the Suppertime Writing Workshop through the PO Box Collective, which brought people together monthly for a free meal, a discussion of a few short texts, and accompanying writing prompts. Their work has appeared in publications by The Rumpus, Voicemail Poems, Asphalte Magazine, Pilot Press London, and Hooligan Magazine.

KOKUMO is The Queen Of Queer Soul! And the CEO & Founder Of Born Worthy Records! The world’s first record company dedicated to black, non-cis women, and those who support us!

In-Person Attendance

All guests over the age of two must wear a mask inside the Poetry Foundation building. Guests over the age of five must show proof of vaccination and booster up to the level to which they are eligible for their age group. Guests over the age of 18 must show ID alongside their proof of vaccination. If you cannot meet these requirements, you will not be granted entry to the event. Please note that some performers may choose to perform without a mask. Guests are encouraged to register in advance.

Livestream Attendance

The livestream link will be shared with registered guests on the day of the event. In order to receive the livestream details, please register in advance here.

Poetry Foundation’s events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This event will include CART captioning and ASL interpretation. For more information about accessibility at the Poetry Foundation, please visit our Accessibility Guide.