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Optics of Black Listening with Douglas Kearney

Optics of Black Listening with Douglas Kearney

Date & Time
Friday, April 26, 2024
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
11 Uptown Normal , Normal, Illinois, 61761
Title: Optics of Black Listening with Douglas Kearney
When and Where: Friday, April 26, 2024

Event 1: Informal Conversation + Q/A
1:00 – 3:00pm CT
Publications Unit, Williams Hall Annex, Illinois State University, Normal IL

Event 2: Poetry Reading + Q/A + Book Signing
6:00 – 8:00pm CT
University Galleries
11 Uptown Circle #103, Normal IL

Please join us on Friday, April 26th, in welcoming poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney to Normal, IL for an afternoon of poetry and discussion.

At 1:00pm, Kearney will be in conversation with Dr. Duriel E. Harris (editor-in-chief of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora) at Illinois State University’s Publications Unit.

And at 6:00pm, Kearney will read from his most recent work at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal, IL, followed by a book signing.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Artist Bio:
The dynamic Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer, and librettist who has published seven books that bridge thematic concerns such as politics, African-American culture, masks, the Trickster figure, and contemporary music. Sho (Wave Books, 2021) was the winner for the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2022 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Voelcker Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Award. Navigating the complex penetrability of language, the poems in this collection are sonic in their espousal of Black vernacular strategies, while examining histories and current events through the lyric, brand new dances, and other performances.

For questions about the events, please contact Tara Reeser (