Poet and writer Toni Cade Bambara states “the job of the poet is to make the revolution irresistible.” Join a reading and conversation between Boston poet laureate, Porsha Olayiwola, and Boston’s inaugural youth poet laureate, Alondra Bobadilla, as they weigh in on the role of the modern poet in shaping their communities. Poets will read from their forthcoming manuscripts and discuss the relationship between craft and civic engagement. This conversation will be moderated by poet Janae Johnson. Sponsored by Mass Poetry and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.
Irresistible Revolution: A Conversation on Poetry and Community
Alondra Bobadilla is the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of Boston. Her role serves to raise the status of poetry in the consciousness of the public. She proclaims she’s excited to “foster a fiery love and appreciation for all things poetry and literature in the City of Boston.” Bobadilla will have a collection of poetry published each year of her two-year term.
Porsha Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. She is a writer, performer, educator, and curator who uses Afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, women, and queer diasporas. She is an individual World Poetry Slam champion and the artistic director at MassLEAP, a literary youth organization. Olayiwola, an MFA candidate at Emerson College, is the author of the collection i shimmer sometimes, too.
Janae Johnson is a poet, community organizer, curator, and teaching artist. Her poetry has appeared in PBS Newshour, Kinfolks: A Journal of Black Expression, ESPN, and elsewhere. She was the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Champion as well as a 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion. Johnson is a senior program manager at Youth Speaks and co-founded (and co-directs) The Root Slam poetry venue in Oakland and the House Slam poetry venue in Boston. She is also an executive council member of Poetry Slam, Incorporated.