In Our Own Words

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Join us on Wednesday, June 26th for the opening of "In Our Own Words".  Curated by Author, Writer and Artist, Keisha-Gaye Anderson, this experience brings together a diverse group of immigrant poets and writers to share work that centers the multi-faceted immigrant narrative and reflects the wider world through their unique lenses vs. imposed narratives of the dominant culture. The event is set against the backdrop of an art exhibition, Co-Curated by Larry Weekes and Rey Naldo, that showcases works that echo this theme and bring light to underrepresented, and often unexplored, perspectives of the immigrant experience.

On Wednesday, July 31st join us for In Our Own Words: An Artist Talk

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Several dynamic artists will discuss their vision, artistic philosophy, and the ways their works explore the vastness of the immigrant experience at In Our Own Words: An Artist Talk. The exhibition, up through August 31st, showcases works in a broad range of mediums, which aim to bring multi-faceted immigrant perspectives to the foreground while challenging narratives imposed by the dominant culture. Artists will discuss their processes and inspiration for highlighting these particular aspects of immigrant life.

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Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a Jamaican-born poet, creative writer, visual artist, educator and media strategist living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of the poetry collections Gathering the Waters (Jamii Publishing 2014), Everything Is Necessary (Willow Books 2019), and A Spell for Living (Agape Editions 2019), which received the Editors’ Choice recognition for Agape’s 2017 Numinous Orisons, Luminous Origin Literary Award. A Spell for Livingis a multimedia e-book, that includes music and Keisha’s original art work. She is a past participant of the VONA Voices and Callaloo writing workshops, and was short-listed for the Small Axe Literary Competition. In 2018, Keisha was named a Brooklyn Public Library Artist in Residence. Her art has been featured in exhibitions throughout the greater New York City area. Keisha is a graduate of the Syracuse University Newhouse School and holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from The City College, CUNY. 

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Poet, storyteller, and essayist Roberto Carlos Garcia is a self-described “sancocho […] of provisions from the Harlem Renaissance, the Spanish Poets of 1929, the Black Arts Movement, the Nuyorican School, and the Modernists.” Garcia is rigorously interrogative of himself and the world around him, conveying “nakedness of emotion, intent, and experience,” and he writes extensively about the Afro-Latinx and Afro-diasporic experience. His second poetry collection, black / Maybe, is available from Willow Books.  Roberto’s first collection, Melancolía, is available from Červená Barva Press. 

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Mercy Tullis-Bukhari is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer who is Bronx-bred Afro-Latinx, Honduran and Garifuna, of Jamaican descent. Mercy is a Callaloo Fellow, and obtained her MFA in Creative Writing from The College of New Rochelle. She was named one of the “8 Authors Being Afro-Latina Stories to the Forefront” by Remezcla magazine and was a Pushcart Prize nominee in 2016. She is also an English Language Arts high school teacher in the Southeast Section of The Bronx. Mercy is currently completing her first novel, having her third book of poetry edited, and lives in New Rochelle, NY with her two children. 

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Born in Trinidad and raised in Queens, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a poet and workshop facilitator. A recipient of the 2015 Barnes and Noble Writers For Writers Award, she is the founder and curator of Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series. Cheryl earned her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast: The University of Southern Maine. She is the author of four collections of poetry: Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, Convincing the Body and "Arrival."  A poetry judge for NYFA and The Astraea Foundation, she has taught poetry workshops for The New York Public Library, Cave Canem, Poets & Writers, Poets House, The Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center, and Urban Word NYC. Her poetry has been commissioned by Jacob's Pillow, The Joyce Theater, and the National Endowment for the Arts for Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company. A VONA fellow, her work has been published in Callaloo, So Much Things To Say:100 Calabash Poets, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Pluck!, Adrienne, Poetry and Prairie Schooner.

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Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of Powder Necklace, which Publishers Weekly called "a winning debut." Named among 39 of the most promising African writers under 39, her short fiction was included in the anthology Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara.  Her work has also appeared in Everyday People: The Color of Life—a Short Story Anthology, African WritingLos Angeles Review of BooksSunday Salon, and the short story collection Woman's Work. Forthcoming from Brew-Hammond are a children’s picture book, and short stories in the anthologies Accra Noir and New Daughters of Africa.

Brew-Hammond was a 2018 Pa Gya! Literary Festival Guest Author, a 2018 Aké Art and Book Festival Guest Author, a 2018 Hobart Festival of Women Writers Guest Author, a 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, a 2016 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, a 2015 Rhode Island Writers Colony Writer-in-Residence, and in both 2015 and 2014 she was shortlisted for a Miles Morland Writing Scholarship. In April 2015, she was the opening speaker at TEDxAccra. Every month, Brew-Hammond co-leads a writing fellowship at Manhattan's Center for Faith and Work.

Also noted for her personal style, Brew-Hammond's fashion sense has been captured by New York Magazine, Essence Magazine, Paper Magazine, and the New York Times, among many other outlets. Recently, she co-founded the made-in-Ghana coat line Exit 14 which was featured on Vogue.com. Currently, Brew-Hammond is at work on a new novel.




Exhibition Co-Curated by Larry Weekes and Rey Naldo.

Participating Artists

Pamella Allen

Doba Afolabi

Kennis Baptiste

Chandelle Carter

Odette Chavez

Francks Deceus

Adriana Garcia

Lisa Harris

Julia Justo

Watson Mere

Donovan Nelson

Claudia Reyes

Ava Tomlison