“To Turn The World Around”: For Audre Lorde and Pat Parker (Online)

“The enormity of our task, to turn the world around. It feels like turning my life around, inside out. If I can look directly at my life and my death without flinching I know there is nothing they can ever do to me again.”
—Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals

Join us for a poetry reading and moderated discussion with Indira Allegra, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Mecca Jamilah Sullivan. This event will honor the legacies of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker, and their relationship as a form of access intimacy. How can we recuperate their disabled poetics within the intersectional contexts of their Blackness, queerness, and feminism?

The event will begin with live readings by Indira Allegra and Alexis Pauline Gumbs, followed by a discussion moderated by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan.

This program is part of the Poetry Coalition’s annual nationwide programming series.

Indira Allegra is deeply informed by interiority, animism and the ritual, relational and performative aspects of weaving. Allegra’s performances and installations explore the poetics of sites and objects, revealing what they might be memorials to. Their work has been featured in Artforum, BBC Radio 4, and Art Journal, as well as in exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design, the Arts Incubator in Chicago, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Center for Craft Creativity and Design, and the Museum of the African Diaspora, among others. Allegra’s writing has been featured in TEXTILE: Cloth and Culture, American Craft Magazine, Cream City Review, Foglifter, and HYSTERIA Magazine, among others. Their awards include a United States Artists Fellowship, a Burke Prize, a Gerbode Choreographer Award, and an Art Matters Artist2Artist Fellowship.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all life. She is/they are the author of several books, most recently Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals. Gumbs is the co-founder of the Mobile Homecoming Trust, an intergenerational experiential living library of Black LBGTQ brilliance.

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is the author of Big Girl and Blue Talk and Love, winner of a Judith A. Markowitz Award from Lambda Literary. Sullivan is an associate professor of English at Georgetown University. A native of Harlem, she lives in Washington, DC.

The Poetry Foundation’s events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This reading will include live captioning and ASL interpretation. If you require any other accessibility measures, please contact us by emailing [email protected].