If the adage “Home is where the heart is” means wherever we love most and are most loved is home, then what defines “A Home for the Heart to Live In.” Take some time from the rush of the holiday season to slow down and contemplate the writing of two poets exploring that theme, courtesy of CityLit Project on Dec. 3 at the Motor House.
The Sunday afternoon of poetry will showcase celebrated poets Yona Harvey (“You Don’t Have to Go to Mars to Love”) and Brionne Janae (“Blessed are the Peacemakers”), and an ensemble of regional Cave Canem poets curated by Fellow Reginald (Reggie) Harris (“Autobiography”).
Cave Canem is a foundation whose mission is to nurture and advance the careers of Black poets. The series is titled after co-founders Cornelius Eady and Toi Derricotte. CityLit aims to highlight and support the many fellows of Cave Canem who are widely published and accomplished poets from the Baltimore region, including Abdul Ali, Hayes Davis, and Brian Gilmore.
“A Guggenheim recipient, Yona Harvey’s latest work includes co-writing Marvel Comics’ World of Wakanda – in collaboration with Roxane Gay, a companion series to the bestselling Black Panther comic, and Black Panther & the Crew, with author Ta-Nehisi Coates,” reads the press release announcing the event.
“… Harvey’s brilliant lyric lives in the resistance of black women whose presence on this soil is now in its fifth century. In You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love, Yona Harvey shows how an original poetic lives in the marrow of the immortal bones of ancestry. The events of her life have moved the poet to write fiercely of her children and of loss, as well as the failures of the country where she was born,” said poet Afaa M. Weaver.
Brionne Janae is a ’23 NEA Fellow and Hedgebrook alum. A poet and teaching artist from Brooklyn, Janae also cohosts the podcast “The Slave is Gone” with Jericho Brown and Rogue Scholar Aife Murray. Their latest work is called “Because You Were Mine,” and works through the difficulties that “Survivors, queer folks, and readers of poetry will find recognition and solace in these hard-wrought poems—poems that honor survivorship, queer love, parent wounds, trauma, and the complexities of familial blood.”
The event is free, though registration is requested, which you can complete by clicking this link.
Attendees are encouraged to donate books from Urban Reads Bookstore to be shipped to incarcerated facilities.
“A Home for the Heart to Live In” takes place on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Main Theater of The Motor House, which is located at 120 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland.