Common Threads - Exploring American Ideals

THU, JAN 19, 2023

Join Revolutionary Spaces, GBH Forum Network, Boston’s poet laureate Porsha Olayiwola, and experts in the cultural and historical landscape on January 19th to explore the enduring question, “What ideals should bind us together as a nation?”

This past September, Revolutionary Spaces engaged Boston’s poet laureate, Porsha Olayiwola, to write a poem inspired by the words of our community. Join this revolutionary group of thought leaders online as Porsha shares her work and we engage in a lively panel discussion about the ideology through which we find fraternity and national identity.

This transformative, virtual program is supported through the generosity of the Lowell Foundation, the New England Women’s Club Fund, and Mass Humanities.

+ BIO: Porsha Olayiwola

Porsha Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival. Olayiwola is Brown University’s 2019 Heimark Artist -In -Residence as well as the 2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She is a 2020 poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American poets. Olayiwola earned her MFA in poetry from Emerson College and is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too. Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. Her work can be found in or forthcoming from with TriQuarterly Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Boston Globe, Essence Magazine, Redivider, The Academy of American Poets, Netflix, Wildness Press, The Museum of Fine Arts and elsewhere.

+ BIO: Prof. Benjamin Carp

Professor Benjamin Carp focuses particularly on urban politics, society, and culture in eighteenth-century America. His books include Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America, which won the triennial Society of the Cincinnati Cox Book Prize in 2013; and Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution. He has also written articles for Colonial Williamsburg, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. His desire to pursue a Ph.D. in history began with an article by Alfred F. Young on George Robert Twelves Hewes. Since then, he has written scholarly articles about firefighters and the American Revolution, nationalism during the Revolution and the Civil War, leadership in the work of Edmund S. Morgan, and Quaker merchants in Charleston. He received the Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2005), the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2003) and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (1998). Prior to joining Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, he taught at the University of Edinburgh and Tufts University.

+ BIO: Charles Coe

Charles Coe is a poet, prose writer, teacher of writing and a musician. His books include All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents and Picnic on the Moon, both published by Leapfrog Press as well as Spin Cycles, a novella published by Gemma Media. He received a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a “Boston Literary Light in 2014.” In 2017 he was an Artist-in-Residence for the city of Boston. Charles served as poet-in-residence at Wheaton College and at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York and has taught in Dingle, Ireland for the Bay Path University MFA Abroad program. He is an adjunct professor of English at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, teaching poetry and nonfiction in the low-residency MFA program.

+ BIO: Darren Cole

Darren Cole seeks to blend emerging technologies with contemporary art practices through the form of site specific research. As a film and video professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, he created performance based work using 16mm film and interactive video. He was the first ever Digital Storyteller at Boston City Hall, Art New England Magazine nominated him as one of the top emerging artists of 2019, and as an artist fellow at Revolutionary Spaces, his installation “When Up, Look Down” was on view at Old South Meeting House 2021-2022.

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