December 8th, 2016
“Read My Lips” Poetry Reading
In conjunction with the exhibition “Read My Lips,” artists Kerry Downey and Loren Britton organized a reading with five queer poets whose practices address marginalized bodies and problems of language. Featuring readings by Ana Božičević, Wo Chan, Rin Johnson, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, and Jespa J. Smith.
Read My Lips is a two-person show featuring work by Kerry Downey and Loren Britton that considers queer abstraction as an investment in indeterminacy, which allows for an expansive sense of embodiment, including but not limited to, the slipperiness of gender, affect, desire, and language.
Ana Božičević, born in Croatia in 1977, is a poet, translator, teacher, and occasional singer. She is the author of Stars of the Night Commute(2009), the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall (2013) and Joy of Missing Out, forthcoming with Birds, LLC. She is the recipient of the 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism award from the Feminist Press, and the PEN American Center/NYSCA grant for translating It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović, forthcoming from Phoneme Media. The anthology of translations The Day Lady Gaga Died: An Anthology of Newer New York Poets she co-edited with Željko Mitić appeared in Serbia in Fall 2011. https://www.anabozicevic.com/
Wo Chan is a queer Fujianese poet and drag performer. They hold fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Asian American Writers Workshop. As a member of Brooklyn-based drag alliance Switch n’ Play, Wo has performed at venues including Brooklyn Pride, The Trevor Project, and Vox Populi. Their all Asian American experimental theater piece WHITEFLAG/WHITEFACE debuted at the Dixon Place HOT! Festival in 2016. http://brooklynpoets.org/poet/wo-chan/
Rin Johnson is a Brooklyn based sculptor and poet. Moving between Virtual Reality and sculpture, Johnson has exhibited and read widely in Europe and the US. Johnson has a BFA in photography and urban planning from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Johnson is an MFA Candidate in Sculpture at Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts. Johnson is the author of “Nobody Sleeps Better Than White People” from Inpatient Press and the forthcoming VR book, “Meet in the Corner” from Publishing House.Johnson writes for the Brooklyn Rail and teaches image literacy and photography at Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU). Johnson runs Imperial Matters with Sophia Le Fraga. http://www.rinjohnson.com/
Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of Of Mongrelitude (forthcoming, Wave Books April 2017), Advice for Lovers (City Lights 2012), gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011), and co-editor of NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards (Litmus Press / Belladonna Books 2009). Julian is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in the country band The Western Skyline (www.thewesternskyline.org). Currently in Queens, NY, Julian also sometimes lives in California. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/julian-brolaski
Jespa J. Smith is a poet, visual artist and part-time philosopher. They were born in Germany, where they studied Philosophy and Anthropology, and are currently living in Montréal, Canada.Their poetry focusses on the small, personal interactions, on transitional and surreal situations.
Images from Read My Lips
Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.