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Reading and Dark Room Collective Oral History: John Keene & Carl Phillips

Thursday, April 6, 2023, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Houghton Library
Open to the public, Book Talk > Poetry Reading,

Introduced and moderated by Prof. Tracy K. Smith, this reading by John Keene (author of Punks: New & Selected Poems, 2021) and Carl Phillips (author of Then the War, 2022) will be followed by a brief oral history conversation reflecting on the two poets' memories of the Dark Room Collective.

In-Person Attendance:  Edison Newman Room, Houghton Library. Free and open to the public.

Online Attendance: Live-streaming available via the WPR YouTube Channel.

Founded in Cambridge in 1988, by Sharan Strange, Thomas Sayers Ellis, and Janice A. Lowe (also the group's first arts curator), the Dark Room Collective began as a literary reading series-- in response to "the paucity of Black writers and other writers of color invited to read at [Boston and Cambridge] events" -- and grew into an artistic "center of gravity," including significant exhibitions, concerts, conversations, and performances.

Over the course of the group's history, DRC members included such writers as Kevin Young, Natasha Trethewey, Major Jackson, Patrick Sylvain, Danielle Legros Georges, and Tracy K. Smith. We envision hosting a larger oral history in the future: for now, in these not quite post-Pandemic days, we hope that this series of intimate readings and exchanges will serve to honor the continued impact and generative force of the collective and the authors who intersected with it.

For more info about the Dark Room Collective, read this excellent article by Sharan Strange.

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Event Organizer

Christina Davis