The New Social Environment#151

Radical Poetry Reading with Anselm Berrigan and Mónica de la Torre

Featuring political poetry read by Eleni Sikelianos, Christopher Pérez, Gabriela Jauregui, Uche Nduka, and Asiya Wadud.


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

The Rail’s current and former Poetry Editors, Anselm Berrigan and Mónica de la Torre, co-curate the ninth Radical Poetry Reading, featuring Eleni Sikelianos, Christopher Pérez, Gabriela Jauregui, Uche Nduka, and Asiya Wadud.

In this talk

Anselm Berrigan

Anselm Berrigan
Anselm Berrigan was born in 1972 in Chicago. He is the author of several books of poetry, including Something for Everybody, Come in Alone, Notes from Irrelevance, Free Cell, and Integrity and Dramatic Life. With Alice Notley and his brother Edmund Berrigan, he co-edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan and the Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan. Berrigan was a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellow in poetry in 2007 and has received three grants from the Fund for Poetry. From 2003 to 2007, he served as artistic director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. He is cochair of writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts and also teaches writing at Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College. He lives in New York City.

Mónica de la Torre

A photo of poet and writer Mónica de la Torre in front of bookshelves.
Bruce Pearson
Mónica de la Torre is the author of six books of poetry of which the most recent is Repetition Nineteen, published by Nightboat Books in the spring of 2020. Others include The Happy End/All Welcome—a riff on a riff on Kafka’s Amerika— as well as Public Domain. Born and raised in Mexico City, she has lived in NYC since mid-’90s and has published several books in Spanish, including Taller de Taquimecanografía, written jointly with the eponymous women’s collective she formed with Gabriela Jauregui, Laureana Toledo, and the late Aura Estrada. She teaches poetry at Brooklyn College and in the Bard MFA program. Recent work appears in Granta 151: Membranes and The Believer. The anthology Women in Concrete Poetry 1959–1979, co-edited with Alex Balgiu, is just out from Primary Information.

Eleni Sikelianos

A black and white photo of poet Eleni Sikelianos smiling at Pont des Arts.
Laird Hunt
Eleni Sikelianos is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently What I Knew (Nightboat, 2019), and two hybrid memoirs (The Book of Jon, City Lights, and You Animal Machine, Coffee House Press). Her writings have been widely anthologized and translated, and she has been the happy recipient of many awards for her work, including two National Endowment for the Arts awards and the National Poetry Series. She has taught poetry in public schools, homeless shelters, and prisons, and collaborated with musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists. As a translator, she has worked on texts by Jacques Roubaud and Mohamed Leftah, among others. Since 1998, she has been on guest faculty for the Naropa Summer Writing Program, and she now teaches Literary Arts at Brown University.

Christopher Pérez

A photo of poet Christopher Rey Pérez.
Courtesy Christopher Pérez
Christopher Rey Pérez is a poet from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. His published works of poetry and fiction in English and Spanish include On the heels of our enemies, 427-375, regeneración, an untitled collaboration with Barbara Ess, El Siete Machos, REYNOSA, and Compendio palestino-puertorriqueño en proceso. His book, gauguin’s notebook, received the 2015 Madeleine P. Plonsker Prize from Lake Forest College. Since 2012, he has edited a nomadic publication in, of, and around Latin America, called Dolce Stil Criollo. Christopher is a former Visiting Lecturer at al-Quds Bard College for Arts & Sciences in Palestine. He has also taught in the Language and Thinking program of Bard College. Currently, he is the Program Director of the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library.

Gabriela Jauregui

A photo of poet Gabriela Jauregui in front of a red and grey print in a frame.
Courtesy Gabriela Jauregui
Gabriela Jauregui (b. Mexico City) is the author of ManyFiestas (Gato Negro), Leash Seeks Lost Bitch (Song Cave) and ControlledDecay (Akashic Books). She is also the editor and author of the Spanish language books: Tsunami (Sexto Piso) and the short story collection La memoria de las cosas (Sexto Piso) as well as coauthor of Taller de Taquimecanografía (Tumbona). She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from USC, an MFA in Creative writing from UCRiverside and an MA in Comparative literature from UC Irvine. She teaches English literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She’s been named one of the 39 best Latin American authors under 39 by the Hay Festival’s Bogota39 list and co-founded sur+ publishing collective in Mexico.

Uche Nduka

Uche Nduka
Uche Nduka, Poet & Essayist, is the author of 12 volumes of poems of which the most recent is FACING YOU (City Lights, 2020). His writing has been translated into German, Italian, Arabic, Romanian, Finnish, French. He teaches at Queens College.

Asiya Wadud

A photo of poet Asiya Wadud.
Asiya Wadud is the author of Crosslight for Youngbird (Nightboat Books, 2018), a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry. Her other collections include day pulls down the sky/ a filament in gold leaf , written collaboratively with Okwui Okpokwasili (Belladonna/ Danspace, 2019) and Syncope (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019). No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. Asiya teaches poetry to children at Saint Ann’s School and occasionally leads an English conversation group for new immigrants at the Brooklyn Public Library. Asiya is a member of the Belladonna Collaborative, a 2019-2020 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Artist-in-Residence, and also currently a writer-in-residence at Danspace Project. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

❤️ 🌈 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.