On Thursday, January 21, Virtual MOCA will host a reading of poems from the volume “In Absentia: Reflections on the Pandemic,” edited by Nkosi Nkululeko, Emily O’Neill, and April Ranger, and released by Bicycle Comics. The editors have chosen a selection of poets who will read their contributions from the volume.
Written during the early weeks of the Covid-19 virus outbreak in North America, the poems of "In Absentia'' document cultures on the cusp of devastation. The poems capture the fear, the grief, the defiance, and the hope of that first wave.
Poems and readings selected and edited by Nkosi Nkululeko, Emily O’Neill, and April Ranger. Participating poets include C. Bain, Molly Bess Rector, Aaya Perez, Liv Mammone, Siaara Freeman, and Marina Weiss.
“In Absentia: Reflections on the Pandemic” is available for purchase via MOCA Store here.
C. Bain is a gender liminal multidisciplinary artist. His book of poetry, Debridement, was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle awards. His writing appears in BOAAT, Bedfellows Magazine, PANK, them., Muzzle Magazine, the Everyman’s Library book Villanelles, the Rumpus .net and elsewhere. He has a long history in performance poetry, and his plays and performance art works have been presented at Dixon Place, The Tank, The Kraine, The Living Gallery, and the LGBT Center in NYC. He has been an apprentice at Ugly Duckling Presse and a Lambda Literary fellow. He is currently an Art MFA candidate at CalArts and teaches poetry on the internet.
Marina Weiss is a clinical psychologist in training in Brooklyn, NY. Her chapbook, Misprison, selected for the 2017 Girls Like Us Prize by aracelis girmay, was published by Rabbit Catastrophe Press (Lexington, Kentucky) in 2018. The title poem, Misprison, was selected by Eileen Myles for the 2018 So to Speak Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Tin House; Colorado Review; Gulf Coast; Narrative; Bat City Review; No, Dear; Canteen; Parallax and elsewhere.
Molly Bess Rector
Molly Bess Rector is a poet living in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she co-founded and directs the Open Mouth Literary Center. Molly is the recipient of residencies and fellowships from the Albee Foundation, New York State Summer Writers Institute, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and others. Her poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, most recently Best New Poets, December Magazine, In Absentia, and the Orison Anthology, for which she was selected as the 2020 anthology award winner.
Siaara Freeman is from Cleveland Ohio, where she is the current Lake Erie Siren. A two time nominee for the pushcart prize, a finalist for the 2017 button poetry chapbook competition, a 2017 bettering American poet and Best Of The Net Poet, a 2018 winter tangerine chapbook fellow and a 2018 Poetry Foundation incubator fellow. Siaara is a four year PinkDoor Fellow & 2018 Pinkdoor Faculty member. She is a teaching artist for Center For Arts Inspired Learning. She is the co-founder of Outsiders Queer Midwest Writers Retreat. She is currently working on three manuscripts at the same time, which is also how she reads book, three at once. In her spare time she is growing her afro so tall God mistakes it for a microphone and tries to speak through her. Chances are she's by a lake, thinking about Toni Morrison and talking to ghosts.
Aaya Perez is an intersectional poet, polymath and narrative mythologist. They've done work with The Lincoln Center, Urban Word NYC, Youth Speaks, Warner Bros Music Group, Poets House, and Winter Tangerine, among others. Aaya is an arts educator, an activist, a facilitator, and a playwright currently working on unapologetic existence, radical authenticity and sociopolitical change through visual, musical and written form.
Liv Mammone is an editor and poet from Long Island, New York. Her poetry has appeared in wordgathering, monstering, Wicked Banshee, The Medical Journal of Australia, and others. In 2017, she competed for Union Square Slam as the first disabled woman to be on a New York national poetry slam team. She was also a finalist in the Capturing Fire National Poetry Slam in Washington DC. She was editor for Uma Dwivedi’s poetry collection They Called her Goddess; we Named her Girl which was nominated for a Write Bloody book award. Currently, she works as an editor at Game Over Books and a reader for the literary magazine Anomaly.
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Virtual MOCA is presented by the MOCA Thrive Fund courtesy of Chara Schreyer.