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Thu, Feb 23

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Austin

In-store event: Wildfire Reading Series featuring Yesenia Montilla and Raina J. León

Torch Literary Arts is proud to present an evening with Yesenia Montilla, author of Muse Found in a Colonized Body, and Raina J. León, author of black god mother this body. Jasminne Mendez, author of City Without Altar, will moderate a Q&A after the reading. Cost: FREE

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In-store event: Wildfire Reading Series featuring Yesenia Montilla and Raina J. León
In-store event: Wildfire Reading Series featuring Yesenia Montilla and Raina J. León

Time & Location

Feb 23, 6:00 PM

Austin, 7112 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757, USA

Guests

About the event

Raina J. León,  PhD is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia (Lenni Lenape  ancestral lands). She is a mother, daughter, sister, madrina, comadre,  partner, poet, writer, and teacher educator. She believes in collective  action and community work, the profound power of holding space for the  telling of our stories, and the liberatory practice of humanizing  education. She seeks out communities of care and craft and is a member  of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, Cave Canem,  CantoMundo, Macondo. She is the author of black god mother this body, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, sombra : (dis)locate, and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self. She  publishes across forms in visual art, poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and  scholarly work. She has received fellowships and residencies with the  Obsidian Foundation, Community of Writers, Montana Artists Refuge,  Macdowell, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio  Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annamaghkerrig, Ireland and  Ragdale, among others. She is a founding editor of The Acentos Review,  an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and  publication of Latinx arts. She educates our present and future  agitators/educators as a full professor of education at Saint Mary’s  College of California, only the third Black person (all Black women) and  the first Afro-Latina to achieve that rank there. She supports poets  and writers at the Stonecoast MFA at the University of Southern Maine.   She is additionally a digital archivist, emerging visual artist,  writing coach, and curriculum developer.

Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina poet & a daughter of immigrants. She received her  MFA from Drew University in Poetry & Poetry in translation. She is a  CantoMundo graduate fellow and a 2020 NYFA fellow. Her work has been  published in Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Prairie Schooner,  Gulf Coast and in Best of American Poetry 2021 and 2022. Her first  collection The Pink Box is published by Willow Books & was  longlisted for a PEN Open Book award. Her second collection Muse Found  in a Colonized Body published by Four Way Books in 2022 was nominated  for an NAACP Image Award. She lives in Harlem, NY.

Jasminne Mendez is a Dominican-American poet, educator, translator, playwright and  award-winning author of several books for children and adults. She has  had poetry and essays published in numerous journals and anthologies  including The New England ReviewThe Acentos Review, Kenyon ReviewGulf CoastThe Rumpus, and others. She is the author of two multi-genre collections Island of Dreams (Floricanto Press, 2013) which won an International Latino Book Award, and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry (Arte Publico Press, 2018). Her debut poetry collection City Without Altar was  a finalist for the Noemi Press poetry prize and her second YA memoir  Islands Apart: Becoming Dominican American (Arte Public Press) are out  now and her debut middle-grade novel in verse Aniana del Mar Jumps In (Dial)  is forthcoming in 2023. She has translated the work of NYT Best Selling  authors Amanda Gorman and Calribel Ortega and the Houston Grand Opera.  She has received fellowships from Canto Mundo, Macondo the Kenyon Review  Writers Workshop, and the National New Playwrights Network among  others. She is an MFA graduate of the creative writing program at the  Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and a University  of Houston alumni. She lives and works in Houston, TX.

Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to publish and promote  creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by  experienced and emerging writers alike. TORCH has featured work by  Colleen J. McElroy, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson,  Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others.  Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and  retreats.

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  • Wildfire Reading Series

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    Torch Literary Arts is proud to present an evening with Yesenia Montilla, author of Muse Found in a Colonized Body, and Raina J. León, author of black god mother this body. Jasminne Mendez, author of City Without Altar, will moderate a Q&A after the reading.

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