The mission of Torch Literary Arts is to promote the work of Black women and girls by publishing contemporary creative writing by experienced and emerging writers alike, to archive contributor's literary work for posterity and educational purposes, and provide resources and opportunities for the advancement of Black women and girls through literary arts.
Thursday, March 29, Shayla Lawson joins Hafizah Geter and Cortney Lamar Charleston for a reading at Berl's in Brooklyn.
Cortney Lamar Charleston is the author of Telepathologies, selected by D.A. Powell for the 2016 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. He was awarded a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and he has also received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation Literary Festival and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His poems have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, River Styx and elsewhere. He serves as a poetry editor at The Rumpus.
Born in Zaria, Nigeria, Hafizah Geter serves on the board of VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, and co-curates the reading series EMPIRE with Ricardo Maldonado. She is a 2017-2018 92Y Women in Power Fellow. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Narrative Magazine, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and West Branch, among others. She is on the poetry committee for the Brooklyn Book Festival and is currently an editor for Little A from Amazon Publishing.
Shayla will be leading a discussion/workshop on Maggie Nelson’s Bluets (2009). This lecture is part of the Critical Studies MA Program lecture series, which seeks out diverse writers and thinkers to involve the community in critically engaging topics.
Free and open to the public
Join Amenta Abioto, D.J. Max, Jane Smith (of DNVN), & The Oceanographers for the launch of I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean.
Writing at the Crossroads: Exploring the Interface Between Music and Literature. (John Edgar, Rob Spillman, Cyrus Cassells, Melissa Stephenson, Shayla Lawson)
Songs and stories, symphonies and poems, the echo of a nearly forgotten tune on the edge of a memory— music often animates, in subtle and direct ways, the written word. Here, authors from across genres discuss dealing with the difficult connections at play between the page and ear, when music is a not-so-silent character in their work.
In the years following the success of Claudia Rankine's Citizen, what work is answering the call toward more dynamic, vulnerable, and demanding literary activism? During this Delve seminar, we work creating the new 'American lyric': Thief in the Interior by Phillip B. Williams and Of Being Dispersed by Simone White.
Sara Larsen is a poet living in Oakland. Her new book Merry Hell has been recently released by Atelos. Her previous book is All Revolutions Will Be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014). Sara has performed her work widely, including at The Poetry Project, the Berkeley Art Museum, Grace Cathedral, and LitQuake. Over the course of two years, she and David Brazil published more than 60 issues of the seminal literary zine Try Magazine.
Shayla Lawson is (and / or, at times, has been) an amateur acrobat, an architect, a Dutch housewife, & dog mother to one irascible hound. She has written for Tin House, ESPN, Salon, The Offing, Guernica, and is the author of the forthcoming I Think I'm Ready to See Frank Ocean.
Sara Sutter is a poet based in Portland, OR. She's the author of the chapbooks O to Be Dragon & Sirenomelia, and she's slowly and semi-diligently at work on two more manuscripts. Sara helps curate the series P.U.R.R. - Poets United to Read, Rouse, & Resist.
$5 suggested donation for the readers (no one turned away)
poems online at www.flim.com/spareroom
Tight. Moving. Aural. Physical. Breath. Beat. Lost. Loose. Breathless. Minutes? Months? Meters? Monsters? Monograms? Macaroons? 15 m = ? Four ways. Samiya Bashir dreamcasts Portland poets Shayla Lawson and Dao Strom, plus special guest Ronaldo V. Wilson and collaborating artist Roland Dahwen Wu, as together they guide poetry through space. Four ways. Solve for the poem. What? See for yourself.
The non-traditional texts of writers Claudia Rankine and Maggie Nelson have garnered critical and commercial success that has brought new audiences to the world of contemporary poetry. But are these works poetry? What defines the ways in which we define genre, exhibit our observations, champion our individual lyric?
In this class, students will erase the battle line drawn between the poetry and prose. We will commandeer creative license in order to deconstruct the notion of form. Using the texts of contemporary poets Nelson, Rankine, and others, participantswill find the spaces in which hybridity can open their own work to conquer uncharted narratives. The class will include an in-depth study of contemporary form through the examination of class texts, independent writing, and inquiry-based workshops.
Pickathon welcomes spoken word! We are thrilled to present Spoken Live, a new program showcasing the work of intrepid writers, poets, and performance artists in Portland and beyond. The format is simple – six artists on the Woods Stage – but the work is extraordinary. Curated by Shayla Lawson, this remarkable roster includes Stephanie Adams Santos, Trevino L. Brings Plenty, Anis Mojgani, Coleman Stevenson, and Julia Tillinghast.
Guest performance by The Oceanographers.
Writing our Way Out of Trauma through Poetic Form:
Writing is the landscape through which poets explore the human body. The fluidity of a text often mirrors our relationship to memory—the recollection of the sensory discovering harmony with the fluidity of a poem’s language and syntax. But what happens when a disruption in our fundamental experience of being alters the ways in which we experience the world?
In spaces of distress, poetry often makes courageous leaps in formal reinvention. As opposed to dwelling heavily on the subject of physical disruption, this class will examine ways to champion artists who have discovered or reimagined poetic form to discuss human form with vulnerability and authenticity. Class time will be devoted to in-class writing, sharing work and discussing readings.