O | Sessions 1.0 Black Listening


Featuring: avery r. young, Rosamond S. King, Douglas Kearney, and Duriel E. Harris

O | Sessions is a series that creates a space unapologetically focused on illuminating Black presence and Black creative expression and imagination across the diaspora. Developed in response to audience requests for deeper engagement with artists presenting in #ObsidianVoices, O | Sessions increases writers’ and readers’ access to creative writing and related arts education and conversation. Unveiled on World Listening Day 2021, the first iteration of O | Sessions is centered around Black Listening.

Presented in collaboration with the Poetry Foundation, O | Sessions 1.0 Black Listening – A Performance Master Class (O|S.1 Black Listening) will be held online on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 & 17, 2022, from 2 to 5pm CST.

O|S.1 Black Listening invites attendees to explore the art of deep listening as a primary yet overlooked method of composing, revising, performing, and invigorating one’s work. O|S.1 Black Listening will feature the following award-winning poets and performance artists as instructors: avery r. young, Rosamond S. King, Douglas Kearney, and Duriel E. Harris.

A group of 18-24 attendees will be selected to participate in this iteration of the cycle.

Session attendees will have the opportunity to workshop an existing work in small group settings, the opportunity to have a 1:1 touch base with one of the instructors after the session, and will be featured in a culminating event to be held in Spring 2023. Attendees will receive a $300 USD stipend for their participation, a book bundle of faculty works, a 1-year subscription to Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, and a copy of Obsidian vol. 45.2 “What Tell Freedom Now” featuring the folio “See What I’m Saying Is,” which showcases work from each of the teaching artists, introducing attendees to the work before the inaugural Black Listening session.

Applications are open to beginning, emerging, and established artists who self-identify as Black and/or a part of the African Diaspora. International applicants are welcome, just note that sessions will be held in CST (GMT-5). Application deadline has been extended to Monday, June 6, 2022.

Accommodations for the performance master class are provided upon request.

To apply to the inaugural O | Sessions 1.0 Black Listening – A Performance Master Class, click the Apply Now button.

Save the Date

July 16 & 17, 2022

About the
Workshop Leaders

avery r young

O | Sessions: Black Listening, July 16 & 17 2022

avery r. young is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, a 3Arts Awardee, one of four executives for The Floating Museum, and Poetry Editor for Bridge. His poetry and prose are featured in several anthologies and periodicals including; Berkeley Poetry Review 49Poetry Magazine, and photographer Cecil McDonald Jr’s In The Company of Black. He is the featured vocalist on flutist Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening (FPE Records), and young’s latest full-length recording, tubman (FPE Records), is the soundtrack to his first collection of poems, neckbone: visual verses (Northwestern University Press).

Rosamond S. King

O | Sessions: Black Listening, July 16 & 17 2022

Rosamond S. King is a creative and critical writer and performer. Rosamond’s poetry publications include All the Rage (2021), the Lambda Award-winning Rock | Salt | Stone, and poems in more than three dozen journals, blogs, and anthologies, including The Feminist WireHyperallergic, Harriet, and The Caribbean Writer. Her book Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination was named “Best Book” by the Caribbean Studies Association. King is creative editor of sx salon and associate professor at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York.

Douglas Kearney

O | Sessions: Black Listening, July 16 & 17 2022

Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer, librettist, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly awardee, a Cave Canem fellow, and has published six books. Recently, he published Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). BOMB says: “[Buck Studies] remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” A Howard University and CalArts alum, Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in St. Paul. www.douglaskearney.com

avery r young

O | Sessions: Black Listening, July 16 & 17 2022

Duriel E. Harris is a writer, performer, conceptual artist, and scholar. She is author of three critically acclaimed volumes of poetry, including No Dictionary of a Living Tongue (Nightboat, 2017), Drag (2003), and Amnesiac: Poems (2010). Multi-genre works include the one-woman theatrical performance Thingification, the video collaboration Speleology (2011), and the sound+image project “Blood Labyrinth.” Recent appearances include performances at the Black Midwest Initiative, Lake Forest College Allan L. Carr Theatre, Naropa, the Chicago Jazz Festival (with Douglas Ewart & Inventions), Poet’s House, the Greenhouse Theater, the Votive Poetics Workshop (New Zealand), the Art Institute of Chicago, and Festival Internacional de Poesía de La Habana (Cuba).

Cofounder of The Black Took Collective, Harris has been a MacDowell and Millay Colony fellow and has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including the New York Times, the Poetry Foundation, BAX, PEN America, & Now Awards, Of Poetry & Protest, Troubling the Line, Poets.org, and Letters to the Future; and her compositions have been translated into Polish, German, and Spanish.

Harris is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Illinois State University and Editor in Chief of Obsidian.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This