Camae Ayewa Poem Premiere

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 6pm–7.30pm

6:00 PM Click HERE to register

Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) premieres a new poem commissioned by the Arthur Ross Gallery in honor of Marian Anderson, the celebrated Philadelphia-native classical singer. In the process of creating this new poetic work, Ayewa conducted research through the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts’ archive of Marian Anderson’s personal documents, published and unpublished interviews, ephemera, musical scores, and related archival materials. Ayewa will be accompanied by a new work specially composed for the occasion by frequent collaborator Keir Neuringer, informed by research of Marian Anderson’s personal musical score collection. Neuringer (saxophone) will be joined by Veronica MJ (viola) and Ashley Tini (vibraphone). This event is timed to coincide with Marian Anderson’s birthday of February 27th. Camae Ayewa is a poet and the author of the book of poetry Fetish Bones, published by the Afrofuturist Affair (2016). Fetish Bones shares the same title as her debut album Fetish Bones by Moor Mother released on Don Giovanni Records. Her poetry is rooted in a practice she has created called “Anthropology of Consciousness,” which invokes an understanding that spiritual energy is not stagnant but continuous in every dimension as spiral and boundless information. Her poetry is ageless, intergenerational, and not outside of, but through the bounds of time. Her poetry recovers that which we have been forced to forget and realigns ancestral meridians that serve as our guides to our inner and outer worlds throughout existence.

This poetry commission and performance are generously funded by the University of Pennsylvania Office of the Provost, with additional funding support from the Center for Experimental Ethnography. This program was also made possible through collaboration with the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Books, and Manuscripts, with special thanks to David McKnight, April James, and John Pollack; and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Music with special thanks to Eugene Lew.