21 April 2018, 3:30-5p, “Poetry of Praise: Reclaiming Religion and Spirituality for the Resistance (Reading)” at Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives “Memorial Hall” (1201 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036). Presenters: Ayari Aguayo-Ceribo, Kazim Ali, Rose Berger, Sunu P. Chandy, Temim Fruchter, Letta Neely, Marie Varghese. Part of Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018.
In this reading and workshop, poets will share writing from varied religious, spiritual, and cultural backgrounds to reclaim religion and find sustenance, healing, and holiness in faith practices and communities. In this time where religion is being used to institute regressive policies, we amplify the good that is inspired by religion, discuss how spiritual practices are vital to many of us who identify as part of the resistance, and highlight how religious practice has historically served this purpose. This session explores the connections between poetry and prayer, between faith and sharing our truths, liberation theology, and the idea of Infinite Sustenance. Together, we will consider how we all harbor holiness, how the Divine and faith enter our work and our poetry, how queer identities find spaces within religious communities, and how racism impacts faith communities. For the workshop, we will share writing prompts and exercises with participants and interact with them and their writing as guides.