emerge/ncy [maps]: poetry reading with Safia Elhillo, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Craig Santos Perez: Feb 23

Appearing from left to right: Safia Elhillo, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Craig Santos Perez.
Appearing from left to right: Safia Elhillo, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Craig Santos Perez. 

emerge/ncy: [maps] poetry reading

featuring Safia Elhillo, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Craig Santos Perez

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 

4:00-5:30pm PST

This event took place on the ARC YouTube Channel. Watch the video recording here.

This event was funded by Engaging the Senses Foundation, and co-sponsored by the departments of English, Ethnic Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies, the Program in Critical Theory, and the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture.

During spring 2021, ARC celebrated poetry and explored the theme of emerge/ncy: voices to carry with us in times of crisis, with group readings every month, and short flash readings released online. This semester-long festival of poetry was generously funded by Engaging the Senses Foundation, and was part of ARC’s Poetry & the Senses initiative.

Our first reading was based around the sub-theme of maps: three extraordinary poets that are guideposts, lighting the way, and breaking new territory. On Tuesday, February 23, from 4-5pm PST we welcomed Safia Elhillo, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Craig Santos Perez. Each poet read individually, and then the three were in short conversation. This event was free and open to the public, live-streamed and live captioned.

Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award, Girls That Never Die (One World/Random House, 2021), and the novel in verse Home is not a Country (Make Me A World/Random House, 2021). With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019). Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, Safia received the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and was listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30.” Her work has been translated into several languages and her commissions include Under Armour, Cuyana, and the Bavarian State Ballet. In 2018, she was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Safia is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and lives in Oakland. More here

Hieu Minh Nguyen is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and Not Here (Coffee House Press, 2018). Winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, both of his collections of poetry were also finalists for a Minnesota Book Award and a Lambda Literary Award. In 2019 Hieu was awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. He is also 2018 Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, 2018 McKnight Writing Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, the recipient of the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant, and an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He is a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine. His work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, the New York Times, Best American Poetry, the Academy of American Poets, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He lives in Oakland and is a graduate from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. More here

Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamoru author from the Pacific island of Guåhan (Guam). Craig is the author of two spoken word poetry albums, Undercurrent (2011) and Crosscurrent (2017), and five books of poetry: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008), from unincorporated territory [saina] (2010), from unincorporated territory [guma’] (2014), from unincorporated territory [lukao] (2017), and Habitat Threshold (2020).  He is the co-founder of Ala Press (the only publisher in the US dedicated to Pacific literature) and the co-editor of five anthologies of Pacific literature and eco-literature. He received his Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and he is currently a professor of English at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. More here

This event was part of the Arts Research Center’s Poetry & the Senses program, a two-year initiative (Jan 2020 – Dec 2021) that explores the relevance and urgency of lyrical making and storytelling in times of political crisis, and the value of engaging the senses as an act of care, mindfulness, and resistance. Funded by the Engaging the Senses Foundation.