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The Poetry Center presents Frank B. Wilderson III reading from the manuscript to his forthcoming book, provisionally titled Afro-Pessimism (due early 2020 from Liveright Publishing/W.W. Norton). His reading is followed by a conversation with the audience. This event, the first of two, inaugurates The Poetry Center's Black Study Series, a new annual program supported by an anonymous donor and, in this instance, the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Poetry Center presents Gwendolyn Brooks, reading at Wheeler Hall, the University of California, Berkeley, at an event co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley English Department and The Poetry Center. Brooks reads poems published at the time in magazines and newspapers, selections from Winnie (Third World Press, 1991), A Street in Bronzeville (Harper & Bros., 1945), In Montgomery, and Other Poems (Third World Press, 2003), Children Coming Home (David Co., 1991), The Bean Eaters (Harper & Bros., 1960), The Near-Johannesburg Boy (David Co., 1987), and Gottschalk and the Grand Tarantelle (David Co., 1988), commenting throughout on her work. Black studies scholar and UC Berkeley professor Barbara Christian contributes at the close of the recording. Note: This recording is audio only. Photo of Gwendolyn Brooks, April 21, 1997, by Jewelle Gomez.
The Poetry Center presents June Jordan reading her essay "Requiem for the Champ" (written in response to boxer Mike Tyson having been convicted of sexual assault) followed by a selection of poems from Things That I Do in the Dark: Selected Poems, 1954–1977 (Random House, 1977), Passion (Beacon Press, 1980), Haruko: Love Poems (Serpent's Tail., 1993), Living Room: New Poems (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1985), Kissing God Goodbye (Anchor Books, 1997), and Directed by Desire: The Complete Poems of June Jordan (Copper Canyon Press, 2005).
The Poetry Center Presents Pat Parker and Audre Lorde reading at the Women's Building in San Francisco. Pat Parker reads from Jonestown & other madness: poetry (Firebrand Books, 1985), Movement in Black (Crossing Press, 1978), and The Complete Works of Pat Parker (A Midsummer Night's Press, 2016). Audre Lorde reads from Our Dead Behind Us (W.W. Norton & Company, 1986). Parker and Lorde trade reading in four alternate "sets."