The New Social Environment#787

Roots and Routes: Inheriting the Black South: A Rail Reading curated by Irene Vázquez

Featuring Vázquez, Ashia Ajani, and Karisma Price


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Irene Vázquez curates our 130th Wednesday Poetry Reading with Ashia Ajani and Karisma Price.

In this talk

Ashia Ajani

A photo of Ashia Ajani
Ashia Ajani is a sunshower, a glass bead, a carnivorous plant, an overripe nectarine hailing from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains and the unceded territory of the Cheyenne, Ute, and Arapahoe peoples. Ajani is a lecturer in the AfAm Department at UC Berkeley and a climate resilient schools educator with Mycelium Youth Network. A BSF Award recipient, Ajani has received fellowships from Just Buffalo Literary Center, Tin House, The Watering Hole, UC Berkeley’s P4P Climate Activism Residency and the Milkweed Hub Chrysalis Institute. Ajani is co-poetry editor of the Hopper Literary Magazine. Ajani’s writing is a kaleidoscope of their work as an eco-griot and abolitionist. Their debut poetry collection, Heirloom, is forthcoming April 2023 with Write Bloody Publishing.

Karisma Price

A photo of Karisma Price
Karisma Price is an assistant professor of English at Tulane University. A poet, screenwriter, and media artist, she is the author of I’m Always So Serious (Sarabande Books, 2023). Her work has appeared in publications including Poetry, Indiana Review, Oxford American, Four Way Review, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, and elsewhere. She is a Cave Canem Fellow, was a finalist for the 2019 Manchester Poetry Prize, and was awarded the 2020 J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation. A native New Orleanian, she holds an MFA in poetry from New York University, where she was a Writers in the Public Schools Fellow.

Irene Vázquez

A photo of [Irene Vásquez].
Irene Vázquez is a Black Mexican American poet and journalist based in Hoboken, NJ, who writes at the intersection of Black cultural work, placemaking and the environment. Irene’s debut chapbook Take Me To the Water was released by Bloof Books in October 2022. Irene works at Levine Querido, editing books about feisty twelve-year-olds, and this past spring was named a Brooklyn Poets Fellow for study in Bernard Ferguson’s workshop. In 2021, with the support of the Pulitzer Center, Irene reported on environmental justice advocacy and healing in Black and Indigenous communities on the Louisiana coast. Irene is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated writer. When not writing, Irene likes drinking coffee, watching the WNBA, and reminding folks that the South has something to say.

❤️ 🌈 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.