Soul Sister Revue w/ Ada Limón, Douglas Kearney, Destiny Birdsong & More

Join Soul Sister Revue for its summer event as we ask the question “What does Soul mean to you?” Readers include Ada Limón (The Carrying), Douglas Kearney (Sho), Destiny O. Birdsong (Negotiations), Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta (Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere), and Shayla Lawz (“speculation, n.”). The event is free, but registration is required.

Ada Limón is the author of five poetry collections, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry, she serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer, and librettist who has published seven books that bridge thematic concerns such as politics, African-American culture, masks, the Trickster figure, and contemporary music. His most recent collection, Sho, aims to hit crooked licks with straight-seeming sticks. Kearney is also the author of Buck Studies, which was awarded the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, and the silver medal for the California Book Award in Poetry. Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and, was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection; and Patter examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood. He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, was named a Notable New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America, and has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem and The Rauschenberg Foundation. His work has appeared in Poetry, Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Indiana Review, and anthologies, including Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, Best American Poetry, Best American Experimental Writing, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family a little west of Minneapolis, MN and teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.

Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, essayist, and fiction writer who lives and writes in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work has either appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Catapult, The BreakBeat Poets Presents: Black Girl Magic, and elsewhere. Her critical work recently appeared in African American Review and The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature. Destiny has won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Poetry Contest, Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry, and the Richard G. Peterson Poetry Prize from Crab Orchard Review (2019). She has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Pink Door, MacDowell, The Ragdale Foundation, and Tin House, where she was a 2018 Summer Workshop Scholar. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in October 2020, and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award for [a] Poetry Collection. Her debut novel is forthcoming from Grand Central in February 2022.

Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is a newly promoted full-professor at the City University of New York-BCC. Her first book of poetry, Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere, is a 2020 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize finalist and available from Get Fresh Books. Select work can be found in Best American Poetry, The Baffler, Acentos Journal, Kweli Journal, Gathering of the Tribes Magazine, Paterson Literary Review, MiPoesias, Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader, and the forthcoming anthologies, The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry, and Speculative Fiction for Dreams: A Latinx Anthology. She is a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet, a Macondo Fellow, and the editor of the Routledge anthology, Latina Outsiders Remaking Latina Identity. Dr. Acosta is the queer, biracial, Afro-Latinx daughter of Colombian and Cuban immigrants. 

​Shay Lawz is a writer and interdisciplinary artist from Jersey City, NJ. She works at the intersection of text, sound, and performance and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Jack Jones Literary Arts, The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP), and The Digital Studies Center at Rutgers-Camden. Her writing appears in Catapult, The Poetry Project, and McSweeney’s Quarterly, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY where she teaches in the department of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. Her debut poetry collection speculation, n. was chosen by Ilya Kaminsky for the Autumn House Poetry Prize and will be published fall 2021.