Tara Betts will discuss Refuse to Disappear. She will be joined in conversation by Destiny O. Birdsong.
About the book: “In the spirit of magic, potions, and inventory, this book calls of the language of both science and witchery to call roll on black women. Betts says their names in a litany of circumstances and survival.… the voice carries solemn reality, Molly all that’s been lost and imprisoned with the alchemy of showing up.”—Cindy Arrieu-King, author of Continuity and Futureless Languages
About the author: Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. In addition to working as an editor, a teaching artist, and a mentor for other writers, she has taught at several universities. She is the Inaugural Poet for the People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago and founder of the nonprofit Whirlwind Learning Center.
About the interlocutor: Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, essayist, and fiction writer whose work has appeared in the Paris Review Daily, Poets & Writers, Catapult, The Best American Poetry 2021, and elsewhere. Her critical work has appeared in African American Review and The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature. Birdsong has won the Academy of American Poets Prize and has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Pink Door, MacDowell, The Ragdale Foundation, and Tin House, where she was a 2018 Summer Workshop Scholar. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, was published by Tin House Books in October 2020, and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection. Her debut novel, Nobody’s Magic, was published by Grand Central in February 2022. She earned her BA in English and history from Fisk University, and her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt. In 2022, she was selected as the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s inaugural Writer-in-Residence at Rutgers University-Newark.