May 9th 2023

Join us for an in-person event celebrating the release of SIDE NOTES FROM THE ARCHIVIST by Anastacia-Reneé. For this event, Anastacia-Reneé will be in conversation with Chicago’s Poet Laureate avery r. young. 

Please note: Pre-registration for this event is required. By pre-registering, you are verifying that you are fully vaccinated and will wear a mask throughout the entirety of the event.


The award-winning, genre-crossing writer demonstrates her power as a funkadelic and formidable feminist voice in this rich and beautiful collection of verse and image—a multi-part retrospective that traverses time, space, and reality to illuminate the expansiveness of Black femme lives.

Side Notes from the Archivist is a preservation of Black culture viewed through a feminist lens. The Archivist leads readers through poems that epitomize youthful renditions of a Black girl coming of age in Philadelphia’s pre-funk ’80s; episodic adventures of “the Black Girl” whose life is depicted through the white gaze; and selections of verse evincing affection for self and testimony to the magnificence within Black femme culture at-large.

Every poem in Side Notes elevates and honestly illustrates the buoyancy of Blackness and the calamity of Black lives on earth. In her uniquely embracing and experimental style, Anastacia-Reneé documents these truths as celebrations of diverse subjects, from Solid Gold to halal hotdogs; as homages and reflections on iconic images, from Marsha P. Johnson to Aunt Jemima; and as critiques of systemic oppression forcing some to countdown their last heartbeat.

From internet “Fame” to the toxicity of the white gaze, Side Notes from the Archivist cements Anastacia-Reneé role as a leading light in the womanist movement—an artist whose work is in conversation with advocates of Black culture and thought such as Audre Lorde, Amiri Baraka, and Nikki Giovanni.

Anastacia-Reneé. is an award-winning cross-genre writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, TEDX speaker and podcaster. Renee is the author of (v.), (Black Ocean Press), Forget It (Black Radish Press) and Answer(Me), (Winged City Chapbook Press). She has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Mineral School, Hypatia in the Woods and The New Orleans Writers Residency. Anastacia-Renee’s work has been anthologized in, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American PoetrySpirited Stone, Lessons from Kubotas GardenSeismic, Seattle City of Literature, and her poetry, fiction and non-fiction has been in  FoglifterCascadia MagazinePinwheelThe Fight and the Fiddle, Glow, The A-Line, Ms. MagazineSpark, Obsidian Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, Crab Creek Review, Alta, Catapult and many more.

The recipient of the Meier and New Leader of Chicago awards in 2022, interdisciplinary artist avery r. young is also an award-winning teaching artist who has been an Arts and Public Life Artist-In-Residence at the University of Chicago. In the foreword of his most recent book neckbone: visual verses (Northwestern University Press), Theaster Gates called him “one of our greatest living street poets…one of the most important thinkers on the Black experience,” Black Grooves referred to his album tubman. (FPE Records) as “brilliant” and “supremely funky.” Young’s poems and essays have been published in Cecil McDonald’s In The Company of BlackThe BreakBeat PoetsThe Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn BrooksAIMPrintTeaching Black, and other anthologies. His album booker t. soltreyne: a race rekkid engages matters of race, gender, and sexuality in America during the Obama Era.  avery’s work in performance, visual text, and sound design has been featured in several exhibitions and theater festivals—notably The Hip Hop Theatre Festival, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and American Jazz Museum.   He is the featured vocalist on flutist Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening (FPE Records) and a co-director of The Floating Museum,  His theater credits include co-writing and co-producing the soundtrack for Lise Haller Baggeson’s Hatorgrade Retrograde: The Musical and writing the libretto for The Chicago Lyric Opera’s Twilight: Gods. Currently young is working on the libretto, compositions for his debut opera titled safronia and he is working on the score and script for his debut play  maim de looter(s).

Accessibility: This event will be held at the bookstore, which is an accessible space. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please email for questions and accessibility requests.

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