An afternoon of readings & music to gather our attention back to the events of last summer in Israel and Palestine, particularly in Gaza, the events of this moment, continuous and discontinuous with this past, and the events of many possible futures.
Ammiel Alcalay -- a poet, novelist, translator, critic, and scholar. He teaches at Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. His books include After Jews and Arabs, Memories of Our Future, Islanders, and neither wit nor gold: from then. His translations include Sarajevo Blues and Nine Alexandrias by Bosnian poet Semezdin Mehmedinović. A new book of essays, a little history, and a 10th anniversary edition of from the warring factions came out in 2013 from re:public /UpSet. He is the General Editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, a series of student and guest edited archival texts emerging from the New American Poetry.
Sousan Hammad -- a writer and translator. Her reportage, essays, and works of short fiction have appeared in Guernica, Al Jazeera America, Boston Review Blog, and [wherever] magazine. her translations of the Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish are available in book form by (Fabrications El Feel 2013) and in The White Review No. 10. www.sousanhammad.com
Mati Shemoelof -- a poet, playwright, editor, and journalist. His works have been translated from Hebrew into six languages, and his editorial work includes “Echoing Identities” (Am-Oved 2007), one of most highly viewed and quoted academic works regarding 3rd generation Mizrahi writers in Israel, and “Aduma” (Red) – a working class poetry collection. “Remnants of the Cursed Book," his first short story book, was published by Kinneret Zmora-Bitan in Israel. Some of his recognitions include the award for Best Debut Poetry Book of the Year by the Israeli National Art Trust of the National Lottery (2001), Best Poetry Book of the Year by the Haifa Cultural Foundation (2006), and Winner of the Acum Prize for advocating literature in Israel (2013).
Miriam Atkin -- a writer and performance artist based in New York City. Her work has been largely concerned with the possibilities of poetry as an oral medium in conversation with avant-garde film, music and dance. Since 2010, she has collaborated with artist Kurt Ralske on various multimedia experiments combining poetry with the moving image. Their 2011 artists’ book, Rediscovering German Futurism: 1920-1929, accompanied a series of performative lectures which were presented in New York at The Poetry Project, Soloway Gallery and Spectrum Performance Space, as well as in Providence at the Empire Black Box Theater and the Granoff Center at Brown University. In 2013 the collaboration expanded to include improvising musicians Jonathan Wood Vincent and Daniel Carter, generating various performance pieces which were staged at Outpost Artists Resources and Spectrum Performance Space in New York. Miriam regularly contributes art criticism to Art in America and ArtCritical, and her poetry has been published in the Boog City Reader and This Image journal. She is a 2014 Emerge-Surface-Be fellow at St. Marks Poetry Project.
Iris Cushing -- a poet and editor living in Queens. She is the author of Wyoming (Furniture Press Books, 2013). Her poems and critical writings have appeared in the Boston Review, Jacket2, Bomblog, Hyperallergic, and Barrelhouse, among others. Iris is currently a Process Space resident through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and has been a writer-in-residence at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, her former home. She is a founding editor for Argos Books and studies in the Ph.D. program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Nicola Masciandaro -- is Professor of English at Brooklyn College (CUNY) and a specialist in medieval literature. Recent publications include: Sufficient Unto the Day: Sermones Contra Solicitudinem (Schism, 2014) and Dark Nights Of The Universe, co-authored with Daniel Colucciello Barber, Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker (NAME, 2013). Current/forthcoming works include: Floating Tomb: Black Metal (Theory) and Mysticism, co-authored with Edia Connole (Mimesis, 2015) and Dark Wounds of Light, co-authored with Alina Popa. He is the founding editor of the journal Glossator (glossator.org).
LynleyShimat Lys -- is on the poetry track of the Queens College MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation, comes from Berkeley, California, and returns to New York after five years in the Middle East studying and working in Jerusalem. Lynley has a B.A. in Comparative Literature (Hebrew, Russian, English) from UC Berkeley and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies (Palestinian Poetry) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Lynley's current interests include contemporary African-American women poets, intersections between Israeli and Palestinian poems of place, and plays in verse. lynleyshimatlyspoetry.weebly.com
Sami Shalom Chetrit -- is a renowned Hebrew poet, writer, inter-disciplinary scholar and teacher. He's been teaching for the last fifteen years courses on Hebrew modern language and literature, culture and politics of Israel. He writes and publishes scholarly work, poetry and prose and makes documentary films.
DisOrient (Demet Arpacik, Ozan Aksoy, Onur Sonmez, Mehdi Darvishi, Insia Malik)
Demet Arpacık is born and raised in the Kurdish region of Turkey. She grew up with listening to traditional folk music and instruments. Inspired by the Kurdish dengbêj (bard) tradition, Demet started singing for her friends and relatives. She gradually extended her repertoire to include songs from other traditions in the Middle East. She is currently singing in the band DisOrient, which has brought musicians of different backgrounds together.
Mehdi Darvishi is a player and instructor of Iranian percussion instruments like daf (frame-drum), tombak (goblet-drum). In his extensive performance career, Mehdi worked with music groups such as Khalvat Gozideh, Par Savoush, Darvish Khan, and Masnavi. He has contributed to soundtracks in the Iranian national television as well as working with Tebrizden Torosa ensemble broadcast on Turkish Radio and Television.
Onur Sönmez is a musician from Turkey based in New York. After performing in Izmir’s music scene for years and obtaining his masters degree in ethnomusicology, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for PhD studies in the U.S. and moved to New York in 2012 pursuing a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He plays bass guitar along with classical guitar, drums, and piano.
Ozan Aksoy was trained on the bağlama or saz (long-necked lute) by his father. He then developed an interest in the rich musical tradition of Turkey as he attended Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. There he joined the University’s Folklore Club and the band Kardeş Türküler [Ballads of Solidarity] as an arranger and a performer. He received his his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the CUNY Graduate Center in 2014 where he is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American Center.
Insia Malik, violonist, plays in an array of musical idioms and performs regularly with several Arab music ensembles, both in New York and across the United States. She is also a PhD student in ethnomusicology at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Hosts: Öykü Tekten, Tom Haviv, Liz Peters
Co-Sponsored by: The CUNY Graduate Center M.A. Middle Eastern Studies Program
$10 advance/$12 door http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/989616
Cover image by Amer Sweidan. "A State of Devolution."