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Writers of Color Reading Series

Writers of Color Reading Series

By The Englert Theatre: WOCRS
Seeking to create a dedicated space for Iowa-based Black, Indigineous, and other writers of color who were undergraduates, MFAs, or long-term residents, The Englert Theatre is excited to transition the Writers of Color Reading Series to a podcast format. Join us to hear from writers of color who will share a reading of their work and an interview about their personal history and creative process.
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Caroline Cheung
Caroline Cheung is a PhD Candidate in English, working at the intersections of women of color feminisms, theories of state violence, transformative justice and prison abolitionism. As an educator, her pedagogy focuses on creating radical community in the classroom and amplifying the power that revolutionary, grassroots study has outside of academia, as well. Since teaching at the University of Iowa, Caroline has received the Champion for Student Success Award, Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, and the Doug Trank Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her work has appeared in Creative Education, The Press-Citizen, The Daily Iowan, The Des Moines Register, and Imagining America. She has presented at various conferences including the Rethinking Poverty Conference, the Centre for Feminisms and Sexualities, the UCLA Thinking Gender Conference, the Mind-Body-Violence Symposium, Craft Critique Culture, the Jakobsen Conference, and NeMLA. She has also presented at the National Women’s Studies Association and served on the NWSA Women of Color Leadership Project. She is an Imagining America PAGE Fellow, a UI Center for Teaching Fellow, an Obermann Humanities for the Public Good Advisory Board member, and a recipient of the Adah Johnson/Otilia Maria Fernandez Scholarship for feminist activism and research. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
20:47
May 10, 2021
Micah Ariel James
Micah Ariel James is a playwright (Four Stories, How We Bury the War Dead, Better Weather, The Honey War), poet, producer, dramaturg, and teaching artist with particular interests in aging and memory studies, oral history, and restorative justice. She is also an arts administrator committed to developing and facilitates arts programming with an eye toward helping artists discover new approaches to creating meaningful engagement with campus and community partners, and to making the arts more accessible to all audiences. Micah received an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) from the University of Iowa and a BA in Playwriting from Columbia College Chicago. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
21:06
May 3, 2021
Sarah Elgation
Sarah Elgatian is a first generation writer with a lot of questions. She works in the arts hoping to make story telling and literature more accessible. For this episode, she is joined by Ryan Collins, a writer and the Executive Director of the Midwest Writing Center. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
23:41
April 26, 2021
Kartika Budhwar
Kartika Budhwar is a writer, educator and editor based out of Ames, Iowa. She is an online writing instructor at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, and teaches composition and literature at the Iowa Western Community College. She serves as Senior Editor at the South Asian Avant-Garde Anthology and the forthcoming journal for work inspired by current events: Ripe Fiction. She was awarded Second place in the Arts and Letters Fiction Prize, the Blue Mesa Nonfiction Prize and the Indiana Review Fiction Prize; her prose and poetry  appears in the same journals. She was also a Finalist for the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize. She has received the Albert L. Walker Excellence in Literature Award , a Research Excellence Award, the Hogrefe Grant for Creative Writers, Teaching Excellence Awards and a fellowship at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
30:19
April 19, 2021
Xochitl Gonzalez
Xochitl (So-Chee) Gonzalez is a writer and screenwriter, whose debut novel OLGA DIES DREAMING is forthcoming from Flatiron Books. (Jan '22) A native Brooklynite, she is currently an Iowa Arts fellow at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop where she is an MFA candidate in fiction ('21). She is the recipient of the 2019 Disquiet Prize and her work has appeared in Vogue, The Cut, Ninth Letter and Joyland Magazine. Prior to getting her MFA, she worked as a strategic consultant, marketer, wedding planner and tarot reader.  The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming.  -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
24:43
April 12, 2021
Nichole Shaw
Nichole Shaw is currently a senior studying journalism and English on the publishing track at the University of Iowa. She is the Editorial Lead and Editor at Off-Kilter Media, an inclusive arts and culture company that houses several publications: Off-Kilter Magazine, KIZER Quarterly, The Journal, The Post, and Alphabetical Order. She also plans reports remotely for The New York Times Institute. In addition to her work at OK, Nichole also accepted the role of co-editor at NURU in the summer of 2020 to foster a partnership between NURU and The Daily Iowan in order to maximize inclusion, diversity, and equity for BIPOC and POC reporters. NURU is a publication at the University of Iowa supported by the National Association of Black Journalists. Nichole held the position of columnist at The Daily Iowan from 2018 to 2019. Since then, she has left the paper to pursue her magazine work and instead became a member of The Daily Iowan’s Board of Trustees, SPI Board, serving as the only current student with that position. Today, she is the chair of the Board. She was also the Communications Director at Quill and Scroll, an international honor society for high school journalists, where she managed communications, web design, magazine production, and hosted their bi-weekly podcast THE SOURCE. In all these positions, her mission has been to tell the stories of voices that often go unheard or ignored in mainstream media, primarily those of BIPOC-identifying people. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
26:40
April 5, 2021
Gyasi Hall
Gyasi Hall is an essayist, poet, and general Writer of Stuff™ from Columbus, Ohio. Their work is forthcoming, published, or otherwise featured in Black Warrior Review, The 68to05 Project, Thoughtcrime Press, and Get Lit, among others. Their debut poetry chapbook, Flight of the Mothman: An Autobiography, was published by The Operating System in spring 2019. They are the lead nonfiction editor for The BreakBread Literacy Project, and they currently reside in Iowa City where they are pursuing their MFA in creative nonfiction. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
29:48
March 29, 2021
Nick Mendoza
Nick Mendoza is a writer, dancer, and musician from Iowa City. He works at United Action for Youth as their Community Engagement AmeriCorps. He has worn many hats; from leading support groups with Teen Parents and Transitional Living programs, assisting with events such as MLK Day of Service, PrideCon, and Juneteenth, to leading weekly music lessons, Dungeons and Dragons playgroups, and Writing Club. In both his personal and professional life, he writes predominantly poetry and reflective stories. His writing is a tool for allowing young people to feel like they have a voice. His writing club is only one of many services UAY offers to empower youth via artistic expression. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
22:42
March 22, 2021
Caleb "The Negro Artist" Rainey
Today we’re talking with Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey, an author, performer, and producer. He’s the author of two books: Look, Black Boy and Heart Notes. In 2020 he was named Best Poet/Spoken Word Performer in Cedar Rapids & Iowa City. He co-founded the literary magazine Black Art; Real Stories, was published in Iowa's Best Emerging Poets - 2019, the Little Village Magazine, and wrote a monthly column for The Real Mainstream. As a performer he is the winner of the Des Moines Poetry Slam, the Iowa City Poetry Slam, a two-time winner of the Fire & Ice Poetry Slam, and a finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global Poetry Slam – Iowa City. When he is not writing and performing he is actively curating a community of spoken word poets in Iowa City through his creation of a high school program, IC Speaks, and producing local events like Poetry & Motion. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
23:55
March 15, 2021
Akwi Nji
For our first episode, we talked with Akwi Nji. Akwi, a multidisciplinary artist and writer, is a Cameroonian American artist creating in words, performance, and visual art. Her work explores the intersectionality of race, gender, and concepts of geographical and spiritual home. She is founder of an arts organization called The Hook, a member of the Iowa Arts Council Board, the creator of a nationwide audio and visual storytelling arts initiative called The Remoir Project, a 2016 Iowa Arts Council Fellow, and a champion of the artist and the arts through her role as producer of multi-media arts events in the Midwest. The music for this podcast is "Ira" by Blake Shaw. Ongoing support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and from the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund. Phase 1 is an initiative of Arts Midwest and its peer United States Regional Arts Organizations made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Writers of Color Reading Series is produced by the Englert in Iowa City, Iowa, and is supported by Friends of the Englert. Visit www.englert.org/friends to support our programming. -------------------- Host: Jesus “Chuy” Renteria Line Producer & Audio Engineer: Savannah Lane Executive Producers: John Schickedanz & Andre Perry
27:27
March 8, 2021
Writers of Color Reading Series: Trailer
Welcome to a brand new podcast from The Englert Theatre: The Writers of Color Reading Series. Seeking to create a dedicated space for Iowa-based Black, Indigineous, and other writers of color who were undergraduates, MFAs, or long-term residents, The Englert Theatre is excited to transition the Writers of Color Reading Series to a podcast format. Join us to hear from writers of color who will share a reading of their work and an interview about their personal history and creative process. Jesus “Chuy” Renteria will host the first season of the podcast. Chuy is a writer and arts worker living in Iowa City. He is currently finishing a book and also serves as the Public Engagement Coordinator at Hancher Auditorium.
02:40
March 1, 2021