Scottsdale Public Art partnered with Phoenix-based Four Chambers Press for a second year to present a live poetry reading during Canal Convergence. Each poet responded to their interaction with the art installations as well as the artists at the event.
Nova Blaize (responded to Los Trompos)
“While attending Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, I was mentored by three powerful artists. Carla Harryman offered me an otherworldly perspective through creative writing. Ron Allen disintegrated my conventional knowledge. He insisted that I write in my own language, using organic processes and instinct. Professor Glenda Dicker/sun led me to spiritualize and personalize performance. I then understood that shared art unleashes the marginalized voice. The written word can shift painful pasts into dynamic action.
I embrace opportunities to apply my crafts, pave the road for other artists, and piece together resources to improve our world. Such goals necessitate that I explore form and genre—annihilating construct, prescribing redefinition, combusting pages, and transforming performance. My gift to you: transcendence.”
Venita Blackburn (responded to Reflection Rising)
Works by Venita Blackburn have appeared in American Short Fiction, the Georgia Review, Pleiades, Madison Review, Bat City Review, Nashville Review, Smoke Long Quarterly, Café Irreal, Santa Monica Review, Faultline, Devil’s Lake Review, Nat.Brut., Bellevue Literary Review, audio download through Bound Off, and others. In 2016 she received the Prairie Schooner book prize in fiction 2016, which resulted in the publication of her collected stories, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, in 2017. She has been named finalist for the prestigious PEN/Bingham award for debut fiction 2018. Her home town is Compton, California, but she now lives and teaches in Phoenix, Arizona. She earned her MFA from Arizona State University in 2008, and is finishing a new novel, Babel.
Christopher Danowski (responded to Globoscope)
Christopher Danowski is a media/performance artist and a writer. He has written over eighty texts for performance works, and has presented work in living rooms, galleries, and unusual spaces (sometimes in theaters) in Phoenix, Brooklyn, Mérida, Dublin, Berlin and Kraków. He was artistic director of Theater in My Basement from 1999-2013, and now serves as a founding member of Howl Theatre Project.
Anna Flores (responded to Desert Sun)
Anna Flores is a writer and actress whose work is featured in local DIY zines, scholar literary magazines, and university journals. She is a co-founder of The Carpa Theater Collective and has been acting for the past 6 years in theater productions and film projects. Flores reads monthly at various community events and was recently awarded a 2017 Swarthout Award in Writing for her border series poetry collection called “La Frontera”. Flores writes predominantly about her experience as a first-generation American, daughter of immigrants, and struggle as a person of color born into poverty in a Republican state. Her intent is to speak to the marginalized and hopes that others can gain empathy and inspiration to action through her work.
Kevin Lichty (responded to Barter Boat)
Kevin Lichty is a writer and teacher living in Phoenix, Arizona. Before moving to Arizona, he was a copywriter for the National YoungArts Foundation. His work can be found in Gravel, Hawaii Pacific Review, Palooka, Four Chambers and elsewhere. He was a semifinalist for the 2017 William Wisdom Novel-in-Progress award.
Susan Nguyen (responded to Flawless)
Susan Nguyen is an MFA candidate in poetry at Arizona State University where she serves as the poetry editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review. She is the recipient of several fellowships from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PANK, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She was recently featured on PBS NewsHour as one of three “women poets to watch in 2018.” She is from Virginia. Find her at www.girlpoet.com