This season, the Belladonna Collaborative will be celebrating its 12th year of promoting the work of local and international feminist writers. Our 2011-2012 events (held at Dixon Place–downtown New York’s lab for experimental theater, radical performance and literature) will be centered around the idea of the “material life” of the artist, that is, the artist as a person with financial, medical and material needs. This year we are asking the radical question: How can we get what we need to live and still make art?

To inaugurate this season, we’ve put together a poetry event focused on feminism and age– “Our Material Lives: Feminism and Poetry at Various Ages.” With readings by internationally acclaimed poets Ana Božičević (finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in 2009) and Caroline Crumpacker, readings by local teens from the Girls Write Now program and an exclusive screening of THE POETRY DEAL, Melanie La Rosa’s film about revolutionary poet Diane di Prima, this is going to be a must-see/hear/feel/experience event. We hope that you will feature this event in the Lambda Literary event calendar.

Our Material Lives: Feminism and Poetry at Various Ages

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 @ 7:30pm
Dixon Place
161A Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
Admission: $6

Poets ranging in age from 16 to 76 will read from their work. Teens from the Girls Write Now mentorship program, Ana Božičević  and Caroline Crumpacker will read from their work. An excerpt from Melanie La Rosa’s film about Diane De Prima will be screened, followed by a discussion about the relationship between age and feminism in the lives of these female poets.

Poet and translator Ana Božičević came from Croatia to America and wrote Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009), a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She works and studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where she prepared Diane di Prima’s “The Mysteries of Vision: Some Notes on H.D.” for publication in Lost&Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Currently she’s completing her second book of poems.

Caroline Crumpacker has published the chapbooks Recherche Theories (Etherdome Press, 2010) and The Institution in Her Twilight (Dusie Kollectiv, 2011). Her poetry, translations and reviews appear in magazines and anthologies including The Talisman Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Talisman, 2007) and American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan University Press, 2007). She is a member of Belladonna* Collaborative and a contributing editor for Circumference, and was a founding editor of both Fence and the French/American online magazine Double Change. She lives in “mid-upstate New York” with her lovely daughter Coco and her partner the puppeteer Roberto Rossi. A bit further upstate, she runs The Millay Colony for the Arts.

Melanie La Rosa has worked in the production of documentaries since 1996. Aside from directing, her numerous roles have included that of producer, director of photography, 2nd unit camera, associate producer, and assistant editor. Her education includes an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan. She teaches documentary filmmaking at Hunter College. Melanie is currently at work on THE POETRY DEAL, a film about the life and work of poet Diane di Prima.

Diane di Prima was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1934, a second generation American of Italian descent. She lived and wrote in Manhattan for many years, where she became known as an important writer of the Beat movement. During that time she co-founded the New York Poets Theatre, and founded the Poets Press, which published the work of many new writers of the period. With Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), she edited the literary newsletter The Floating Bear (1961-1969). She is the author of 43 books of poetry and prose, including Pieces of a Song (City Lights, 1990). Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages and she’s received many grants and awards for her poetry. Diane lives and writes in San Francisco, where she teaches private classes and workshops and does individual consultations on writing and creativity.

The Belladonna’s  mission is to promote the work of women writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, delicious to talk about, unpredictable and dangerous with language. Belladonna* has featured over 150 writers of wildly diverse age and origin, writers who work in conversation and collaboration in and between multiple forms, languages, and critical fields. As performance and as printed text, the work collects, gathers over time and space, and forms a conversation about the feminist avant-garde, what it is, and how it comes to be.



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  • Lou Kief

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