Join Red Emma’s for a lively conversation between poet and abolitionist H.R. Webster and Baltimore-based multidisciplinary artist Stephanie Barber on the world-making potential of art in the fight for abolitionist futures. Webster will also talk about her work with incarcerated poet Demetrius A. Buckley, and will read from his chapbook Here is Home, which recently won the Cave Canem's Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize.
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H.R. Webster’s debut poetry collection What Follows is out this month from Black Lawrence Press. In What Follows, the poet writes: “It’s the end of the world and we can’t stop saying the word tender.” Tenderness runs through the book, even as Webster demonstrates brutality and strength in the face of life’s experiences. These poems explore the vastness of the human experience, from sexual powerplays and the crimes commited against fellows to the mundanity and beauty of factory work. There is very little that escapes H.R.’s glance and raw lyricism.
Stephanie Barber’s play Trial in the Woods was originally commissioned by Baltimore Annex theater. One part crime procedural and one part fable, Trial in the Woods was recently brought out in print by Plays Inverse, and offers a bold retelling of ethics, the efficacy of punitive justice, and our (human, American) criminal justice system. It's also very, very funny.
H.R. Webster has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her work has appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Poetry Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, 32Poems, Muzzle, and Ecotone.
Stephanie Barber is a multidisciplinary artist whose work has been focused on an expanded poetics that results in the creation of movies, books, installations and songs. This work sits between cinema and literature, science and spirituality, philosophy and comedy and results in a corpus that moves beyond allegiance to media and works hard at defying classification. Barber teaches at MICA in Baltimore and her most recent release, the full-length play Trial in the Woods was published by Plays Inverse Press in 2021.
Demetrius A. Buckley is a poet and creative writer. His work has been published in The Michigan Quarterly Review, RHINO, Mangoprism, Filter, The Arkana Journal and Apogee. He's working on a memoir: “First 48: The Fall of Winter Kings” and is the 2021 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize winner for his poetry collection “Here is Home.” He is serving a 20- year sentence for a second degree murder at Michigan Reformatory (RMI).
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