The New Social Environment#126

Radical Poetry Reading with Kyle Dacuyan

Featuring political poetry read by Aria Aber, Steve Benson, Ashley M. Jones, Cheena Marie Lo, Casandra López, and TC Tolbert.


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Poet Kyle Dacuyan curates the fourth installment of Radical Poetry Readings, featuring Aria Aber, Steve Benson, Ashley M. Jones, Cheena Marie Lo, Casandra López, and TC Tolbert.

In this talk

Kyle Dacuyan is a poet, performer, and translator. His poems appear in DIAGRAM, Lambda Literary, Foundry, and Best New Poets, among other places, and he is the recipient of scholarships from Poets House, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Academy of American Poets. Prior to joining The Poetry Project, he served as Co-Director of National Outreach and Membership at PEN America, where he led the launch of a nationwide community engagement fund for writers. Before that, he served as Associate Director at the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.

Aria Aber

A photo of poet Aria Aber sitting in a patch of sunlight.
Nadine Aber
Aria Aber is the author of Hard Damage (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and a Whiting Award. She completed her MFA at NYU, where she was a Writers in Public Schools fellow, and holds fellowships from Kundiman, Dickinson House, and the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, New Republic, Kenyon Review, POETRY, and elsewhere. She is a 2020-2022 Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.

Steve Benson

A photo of Steve Benson in front of rocks, trees, and sky.
Courtesy Steve Benson
Steve Benson often mixes media and works improvisationally in poetry readings. He has won no prizes he can remember. He’s lived in Surry, Maine, since 1996. He collaborated with with nine old friends to prepare the Grand Piano series of autobiographical essays (Mode A, 2006-10) and with Suzanne Stein in 36 improvised public on-line chat messaging performances now collected in Do Your Own Damn Laundry (Gauss.pdf, 2019). He is an active member of Midcoast Maine Extinction Rebellion, Morgan Bay Zendo, Peninsula Peace & Justice, the Climate Psychology Alliance, and USA-Palestine Mental Health Network, among other organizations. What This Is, three new long poems, is forthcoming from Chax Press.

Ashley M. Jones

A photo of Ashley Jones wearing red, in front of blue siding.
Cary Norton
Ashley M. Jones holds an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University, and she is the author of Magic City Gospel (Hub City Press 2017), dark / / thing (Pleiades Press 2019), and REPARATIONS NOW! (Hub City Press 2021). Her poetry has earned several awards including the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, the Silver Medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry, a Literature Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize. Her work appears in or is forthcoming at CNN, The Oxford American, Origins Journal, The Quarry by Split This Rock, Obsidian, and others. She teaches at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, co-directs PEN Birmingham, and is the founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival.

Cheena Marie Lo

A photo of Cheena Marie Lo in front of green leafy trees.
Courtesy Cheena Marie Lo
Born in Manapla, Philippines, Cheena Marie Lo is a poet and editor currently based in western Massachusetts. They are the author of A Series of Un/Natural/Disasters (Commune Editions 2016), and the chapbooks NO FILTER (Aggregate Space 2014) and Ephemera & Atmospheres (Belladonna* 2014).

Casandra López

A photo of poet Casandra López on a red couch.
Courtesy Casandra López
Casandra López is a California Indian (Cahuilla/Tongva/Luiseño) and Chicana writer who has received support from CantoMundo, Bread Loaf, and Tin House. She’s the author of the poetry collection, Brother Bullet and her memoir-in-progress, A Few Notes on Grief was granted a 2019 James W. Ray Venture Project Award. She’s a founding editor of As/ Us and teaches at Northwest Indian College.

TC Tolbert

A photo of poet TC Tolbert, wearing a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt in front of a background of painted stars.
Hannah Ensor
Hey y’all! My name is TC Tolbert (he/him/hey grrrl!). Instead of a bio, here are a few things I’d prefer to share: I like walking up a mountain more than walking down; on the Enneagram I’m a 1; I’m a Capricorn; learning is infinitely more interesting to me than knowing (scarier, too); with my partner, I am wildly blessed to care for two pit bulls; I am white and was born and raised a girl in Hixson, TN as a speaking-in-tongues Pentecostal and I eventually came out as queer, feminist, anti-racist, and trans-masc; I now live in Tucson, which occupies the traditional territories of the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui peoples; I never cease to experience simultaneous grief and deep love any time I pay attention to the world. I’m wild with gratitude for the space and time to be with all of you.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.