Greater Boston Writers Resist/Greater Boston Writers Persist
Rabb Hall in the Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Saturday, June 23, from 1-3pm
Last January, writers and readers gathered worldwide at Writers Resist events to voice their solidarity against the divisive tactics employed by the current administration and its supporters. Since then, our First Amendment rights have faced ongoing attacks. Journalists have been told what to write by the Press Secretary, and authors have been threatened online, and subsequently censored when they spoke out.
Yet many writers, in Boston and beyond, have committed years and pages to counteracting the work of those in power who would undermine equality, abolish diversity, and silence freedom of expression. Their writing enriches our communities, and their voices represent the breadth of our city. Above all, their work sharpens our resolve to protect our right to an inclusive and free press.
We’re proud to bring together the following authors and writers to read their work and talk about the importance of self-expression, writing about politicized issues, and how the political remains deeply personal.
This year’s Greater Boston Writers Resist event includes Sam Cha, Jennifer De Leon, JoeAnn Hart, Krysten Hill, Simone John, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Kim McLarin, Alex Myers, Khury Petersen-Smith, and two student writers from Margarita Muñiz Academy, Edwin Padilla and Angie Ramos.
Books by the authors will be for sale at the BPL on the day of the reading, courtesy of Brookline Booksmith. The event will be hosted by Carissa Halston.
Greater Boston Writers Resist/Persist is co-sponsored by Aforementioned Productions, PEN America, Boston Public Library, Boston Cultural Council, Brookline Booksmith, The Critical Flame, AGNI, Arrowsmith Press, Black Ocean, The Boston Book Festival, The Boston Poet Laureate Program, The Common, CONSEQUENCE, Grub Street, Harvard Review, Louder than a Bomb, MassLEAP, The Massachusetts Review, MassMouth, The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement, New England Foundation for the Arts, Ploughshares, The Poets’ Theatre, Post Road, Salamander, StoriesLive, The Writers’ Room of Boston, The William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences, and The Woodberry Poetry Room.
Writers Resist is a national network of writers driven to #WriteOurDemocracy by defending the ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democratic society. #WritersResist
Sam Cha was born in Korea. He earned an MFA from UMass Boston. A winner of two Academy of American Poets prizes and a St. Botolph’s Club Emerging Artists Grant, his work has appeared in apt, Anderbo, Better, Best New Poets, Boston Review, decomP, DIAGRAM, Memorious, Missouri Review, Rattle, RHINO, and Toad. He’s a poetry editor at Radius, and his collection, American Carnage, was recently published by Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs. He lives and writes in Cambridge.
Jennifer De Leon is a recipient of a Walter Dean Meyers We Need Diverse Books grant and a 2017 Artist-in-Residence for the City of Boston. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Ploughshares, and Brevity, and she is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Framingham State University, and her debut novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.
JoeAnn Hart is the author of the novels Float and Addled. Her short fiction, articles, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Orion, Winds of Change: Short Stories about Our Climate, and the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. She presented her novel Float, a dark comedy about plastics in the ocean, at the 2017 International Literature Festival in Berlin as part of “Reading the Currents: Stories from the 21st Century Sea.” She has a non-fiction book about a 1970s murder and police shooting forthcoming in 2019 from the University of Iowa Press.
is an educator, writer, and performer who has showcased her poetry on stage at the Boston Book Festival, Merrimack College, The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and many others. She received her MFA in poetry from UMass Boston where she currently teaches, and her work can be found in apt
, The Baltimore Review
, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and her chapbook, How Her Spirit Got Out
, received the 2017 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize. (Photo credit: Jonathan Beckley)
is a poet, educator, and facilitator based in Boston. She received an MFA from Goddard College with an emphasis on documentary poetics. Her poetry has appeared in Wildness
, Public Pool
, and apt
, and her debut collection, Testify
, has received critical acclaim from The Boston Globe
, PBS Newshour
, The Rumpus
, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Gramma Poetry
, and chief creative officer at Hive Soul Yoga. Find her online at simonejohn.com
and on Twitter @simoneivory
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir, named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Audible.com, Bustle, Book Riot, The Times of London, and The Guardian. A Lambda Literary Award-winner, Indie Next Pick, and a Junior Library Guild selection, it was long-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize, and was a finalist for a New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award. It has been published in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands; translations are forthcoming in Turkey, Korea, Taiwan, Spain, Greece, Brazil, and France. The recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, and Yaddo, as well as a Rona Jaffe Award, Marzano-Lesnevich lives in Boston, where she teaches at Harvard. (Photo credit: Nina Subin)
Timothy Patrick McCarthy is an award-winning scholar, activist, and public servant who teaches in Harvard’s undergraduate honors program in History and Literature, their Graduate School of Education, and the Kennedy School of Government, where he’s the Director of Culture Change & Social Justice Initiatives and the Emerging Human Rights Leaders Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. He is the author of Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in the Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love, forthcoming from The New Press. (Photo credit: Martha Stewart)
Kim McLarin is the author of the novels Taming It Down, Meeting of the Waters, and Jump at the Sun, and of the memoir Divorce Dog: Men, Motherhood, and Midlife. Her forthcoming collection of essays, Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life, will be published in fall 2018 by Ig Publishing. McLarin is a former staff writer for The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Associated Press, and her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, The Washington Post, Slate, and other publications. She is currently an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director in Popular Fiction in the Department of Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College. McLarin is also a regular panelist on Basic Black, Boston’s historic weekly television program devoted to African-American themes produced by WGBH-TV in Boston.
Alex Myers is a teacher, writer, speaker, and advocate. Myers was the first openly transgender student at Phillips Exeter and subsequently at Harvard University. He has worked as an English teacher in private high schools and also as an advocate and educator for supporting transgender students in schools. His debut novel, Revolutionary, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2014: it tells the story of his ancestor, Deborah Sampson, who ran away from home in 1782, disguised herself as a man, and fought in the Revolutionary War.
Edwin Padilla and Angie Ramos are students at Margarita Muñiz Academy, Boston’s only public bilingual Spanish/English high school. They are working with Jennifer De Leon on a literary and video project entitled American Dreamers Write: Reclaiming Our Stories, which was made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Creative City Program, with funding from The Barr Foundation and with additional support from the Boston Foundation. They both live in the metro Boston area and attend school in Jamaica Plain.
Khury Petersen-Smith is an activist whose scholarship has focused on U.S. empire, territory, place, and resistance. He has been a participant in the Black Lives Matter movement in Boston and has also been involved in struggles against racism and in solidarity with Palestine. He participated in a relief convoy to Gaza in summer 2009, and co-authored the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine, which was signed by over 1,100 black activists, artists, and scholars. He is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.