Pacific Northwest College of Art
Center for Contemporary Art and Culture

Found in: Museum Events

Reading | Samiya Bashir collaborates with Cumbersome Multiples

Jan 8, 2015 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM


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every printer needs a poet.

Samiya Bashir and Cumbersome Multiples share a mutual admiration for folk hero John Henry. In a sense, he introduced them. Bashir’s Pushcart Prize nominated poem, Coronagraphy, delivers on its promise to illuminate the interior voices of Polly Ann and her husband John Henry. The text move from the page into the dimension of performance. And yet, it is a compelling, intimate poem that requires reading and rereading.

Cumbersome Multiples will engage with the text in two distinct ways: first, through a real-time print response to the poem’s call during a performance held here in the Lab; and second, by continuing to produce limited-edition broadsides throughout the month of January as part of an accompanying Gallery Storefront Residency in MoCC’s Gallery Store. The two print elements will develop alongside the Coronagraphy performance — taking into account the rhythm of the text through typography.

Samiya Bashir is a poet and educator based in Portand, Oregon. She is the author of Gospel, finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the 2009 Lambda Literary Award, and Where the Apple Falls, a Poetry Foundation bestseller and finalist for the 2005 Lambda Literary Award. Bashir is editor of Black Women’s Erotica 2 and co-editor, with Tony Medina and Quraysh Ali Lansana, of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art.

Bashir’s poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications including, most recently and forthcoming, in POETRY, Poet Lore, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, Cura, The Rumpus, Hubbub, Callaloo, and Encyclopedia Vol. 2 F-K.

She is the recipient of two Hopwood Awards from the University of Michigan, as well as awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, where she was a recent NEA writer-in-residence, the University of California, where she served as Poet Laureate, the Astraea Foundation, the National Association of Pen Women, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Soul Mountain Writers Colony, The Austin Project, Alma de Mujer, the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts, and Cave Canem, among others. Her long poem, Coronagraphy, was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize.

A long-time communications professional focused on editorial, arts, and social justice movement building, Bashir is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writer’s festival for LGBT writers of African descent and a recipient of the 2011 Aquarius Press Legacy Award, given annually in recognition of women writers of color who actively provide creative opportunities for other writers. Currently, Bashir is on the faculty of Reed College.


Free and Open to the Public.


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