B/reading Ground seeks to create a communal and generative literary space for avid writers and readers to explore the healing and transformational power of language. Guided by a Black feminist framework and womanist values, B/reading Ground is open to writers of all cultural backgrounds and genders and strives to foster open dialogue around writing as a creative art practice; to present both established and emerging writers to curious and critical audiences; and to allow space for writing and self-examination as a way of rounding the circle.
Encouraging expression that is born from passion, that is non-reactionary and unapologetic and that is revolutionary in its truth and clarity, B/reading Ground workshop sessions feature an invited author who will present their original work (poetry/prose/writing for theater/or genre defying); introduce a brief text, set of images, or object from an artist or culture-worker they find inspirational; and lead the circle in a writing exercise that will support others in their own creative production.
Imagined as both a literary and literal feast, B/reading Ground is a potluck brunch inviting all who attend to bring a breakfast or brunch item to share. And also bring your journals, notebooks, pens and pencils for the writing exercise.
B/Reading Ground typically follows this format:
Noon-12:30 pm Eating and Sharing
12:30 pm Opening Space
12:45-1:15 pm Reading by Featured Writer followed by Q and A
1:30-2:15 pm Writing Workshop
2:30 pm Adjourn
Occurring every on the Third Sunday of every other month, January’s B/reading Ground Reading and Writing Workshop will reference Rootwork’s current exhibition The Leaving: An Exhibition of Taking and Leaving Behind with artwork by Andrea Sanchez and wilkl feature acclaimed poet, Tara Betts.
Please come and bring someone you love. And if you haven’t seen the current exhibition, don’t miss this last opportunity to view it.
Rootwork Gallery. 645 W. 18th Street. Pilsen.
About our Featured Author:
Dr. Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit (Trio House Press, 2016) and Arc & Hue (Willow Books, 2009). Tara is also Poetry Editor for Blackberry: a magazine and a Contributing Editor for Radius. Tara’s poetry and prose has appeared in various journals and anthologies. Tara has long been an influential educator in Chicago.where co-founded GirlSpeak, a weekly writing/leadership workshop for young women and in 2009 was named one’s of Essence Magazine’s “favorite poets.” After winning Guild Complex’s Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award, she represented Chicago twice at the National Poetry Slam.
In addition to having her work featured in POETRY magazine, Essence, the Steppenwolf Theater production “Words on Fire,” The Black Scholar, Obsidian, Callaloo, RHINO, Crab Orchard Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Meridians among others, Tara has appeared in poetry readings, series and festivals throughout the country includings the Dodge Poetry Festival, Yari Yari Ntoaso (Accra, Ghana), The Hip Hop Theater Festival, AWP, Split This Rock Festival, and the National Black Writers Conference and has performed her work in Cuba, London, New York, the West Coast and throughout the Midwest at venues such as Arie Crown Theater, The New School, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Studio Museum of Harlem, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metro, Cornelia Street Café, Bowery Poetry Club, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Schomburg Center, Yerba Buena Cultural Center, the Field Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, and Yale University.
Tara’s writings have also been anthologized in The Break Beat Poets (Haymarket Press, 2015), Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (AK Press, 2015), DISMANTLE: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA Writers Workshop (Thread Makes Blanket, 2014), The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2014), Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books (Minor Arcana Press, 2014), Near Kin: A Collection of Words and Art Inspired by Octavia Estelle Butler (Sybaritic Press, 2014), Saul Williams’ chorus: a literary mixtape (MTV Books, 2012), VILLANELLES (Everyman Publishing, 2012), A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (University of Akron Press, 2012). Her work also appears in Gathering Ground (University of Michigan Press), Bum Rush the Page (Three Rivers Press), Power Lines (Tia Chucha Press), Poetry Slam (Manic D Press), Black Writing from Chicago (Southern Illinois University Press), ROLE CALL (Third World Press), These Hands I Know (Sarabande), Best Black Women’s Erotica 2 (Cleis Press), and Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism (Parker Publishing).