J. Mae Barizo Craft Talk—Why Words Matter

Slonim Living Room / Stone Room

Open to the public

/ Wednesday


How do we as writers reckon with the violence and injustice inherent in our society? Exploring the artistic landscape of writers such as James Baldwin, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Claudia Rankine, and others, we will discuss a model of how one can balance strong ethical convictions with work that represents racial tensions, dislocation and cruelty. How do writers come to terms with the world we live in? Studying how writers translate violence and inequality in their work, we’ll address methods of erasure, decolonization, and the fragmentation of memory. Audre Lorde wrote: “Poetry is how we name the nameless. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change.”

J. Mae Barizo is the author of The Cumulus Effect. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Bennington College, the Jerome Foundation, and Poets House. Recent collaborative work includes projects with artists such as Salman Rushdie, Mark Morris, and the American String Quartet. She lives in New York City.