Saturday, October 17, 2020
Anna Akhmatova lived through the devastating upheavals of the twentieth century in Russia, including the Russian Revolution, two World Wars, and the terrifying purges and persecutions of Josef Stalin. By the time she died in 1966, she had written close to a thousand poems—at first deeply personal and passionate, later bearing witness to the suffering of her people. Despite her own losses and anguish, she refused to leave the Soviet Union. In 1990, the tiny Boston-based Zephyr Press published The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer and edited and introduced by Roberta Reeder—the first complete collection ever undertaken in either Russian or English. Hemschemeyer had spent thirteen years translating the poems; Zephyr spent seven more preparing the edition for publication. Named one of the “Best Books of 1990” by the New York Times, it was reviewed in some seventy-five publications worldwide. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the first edition, Hemschemeyer has selected poems to be read by former Zephyr editor Susan Gubernat (who first brought the manuscript to the press), and Zephyr co-directors Jim Kates and Leora Zeitlin will lead a discussion on Akhmatova’s work and the making of this definitive edition. Sponsored by Zephyr Press.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
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.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
In 2020, many Lit Crawls worldwide were cancelled due to COVID-19, so Lit Crawl Global decided to gather everyone for one big virtual literary hoedown. We're pleased to join our literary colleagues in Kells (Ireland), Cheltenham (England), Angers (France), Wellington (New Zealand), Los Angeles, and Seattle for this event, broadcast from Manny's, in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District.
Lit Crawl Boston's entry features D. Ruff, Tim Hall, and producer Seoul Music. D. Ruff represents Team Be Spoken, core members of the long-running "Feel It, Speak It" open mic—a collective of spoken word artists, community activists, and individuals who are determined to change the world one talent at a time. He is the author of "Staying on 94: Tales from a Misguided Soul" and the creative director of the Boston Pulse Poetry program. Tim Hall is a musician and performance poet from Detroit now residing in Boston. His poetry charts the nuances of blackness, masculinity, and the beauties of life. An Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music, he was twice nominated for Session Musician of the Year by the Boston Music Awards and was honored by WBUR's ARTery as one of 25 millennials of color impacting arts and culture in Boston. Hip-hop producer Seoul Music is one-half of Rush Hour, a production duo with fellow Boston-bred producer Bizz. The team earned first place in Boston for iStandard Beast of the Beats, a worldwide producing competition.
Our annual Saturday evening celebration of poetry might by BYOB this year, but it still promises to be the literary gathering of the weekend, as we bring together a talented group of poets to share their latest work in a casual, free-flowing setting, capably emceed by poet Krysten Hill (How Her Spirit Got Out), who will share some of her own work as well. Poets George Abraham (Birthright), Diannely Antigua (Ugly Music), Kay Ulanday Barrett (More Than Organs), and Franny Choi (Soft Science) will read from their latest collections and answer your questions as well. Join us and the co-sponsors of this event, Mass Poetry, to raise a glass or two with other poetry lovers at what’s become a BBF Saturday tradition.