Living Poetry at the Library: Douglas Kearney and Harmony Holiday

Photo by Rafael Hernandez

Douglas Kearney and Harmony Holiday, are coming to the Hudson Area Library on Tuesday, August 1 at 7pm. Join us in the library’s community room for an evening of breathtaking and incisive multi-media performance.

Living Poetry at the Library is an unusual collaboration between four local arts-and-education organizations: the New York State Writers Institute, Fence, the Hudson Area Library, and the Poetry Home School.

Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer and librettist whose work defies labels and expands boundaries by bridging themes such as politics, African-American culture and hip-hop music while employing nontraditional layouts he calls “performative typography.” The Los Angeles Times said Kearney is “using a multicultural voice inflected with the concerns of what it means to be a young black man at this time and at this place.” Kearney’s book Mess and Mess and (2015) was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publishers Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” He was the guest editor for 2015’s Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Kearney received his BA from Howard University and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. He lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley and teaches at CalArts.

Harmony Holiday is the author of three groundbreaking books of poetry that push at the elasticity of language and memory, poems and prose. Publishers Weekly described her debut volume Negro League Baseball (2011) as “chaotic and mesmerizing, with sex, violence, music, history and semantics moving at breakneck speed.” Holiday is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2013. She earned a BA in rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA at Columbia University. She is a choreographer who has taught dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She lives in Los Angeles and is the founder of Mythscience, an arts collective devoted to cross-disciplinary work and to creating an Afrosonics archive of jazz and everyday diaspora poetics.

The New York State Writers Institute and its affiliate, the University at Albany-based literary press Fence—publisher of Holiday and Kearney—are cosponsoring the poetry event along with the Hudson Area Library and Poetry Home School, an annual poetry conference which takes Hudson, NY as its home.

This program is free and open to the public and will be taking place in the community room which is wheelchair accessible.

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