Wednesday, June 19 at 7 PM
Recorded live at the WordTemple Poetry Series in February of this year, WordTemple host and series curator Katherine Hastings airs the performances of Kevin Simmonds (pic) and Mary Mackey.
Simmonds—poet, musician, filmmaker, writer—is the editor of Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof, a collection of narrative poems by Carrie Allen McCray. Ota Benga, “a strong yet gentle man from the deep Congo forest,” was brought to America in 1904 to be exhibited in the St. Louis Fair and then in 1906 at the Museum of Natural History. Finally, he was exhibited in a cage with an ape at the Bronx Zoo. On this program, you will hear about Ota Benga’s life and how he came to live with the poet’s family in Lynchburg, Virginia. You will hear not just the powerful poetry of Carrie Allen McCray, but songs composed and sung by Kevin Simmonds, and more.
Mackey (pic) reads from her latest collection, Sugar Zone, winner of the 2012 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. The culmination of many trips to Brazil, the poems in Sugar Zone are works of the jungle, the Amazon and more. Combining Portuguese and English, she creates poems that use Portuguese as incantation to invoke the lyrical space that lies at the conjunction between these two languages.