The Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center is delighted to be hosting Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel for an event next Tuesday, on their edited volume We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, on their experimental and socially engaged writing, and on contemporary trans poetry and activism. The talk is the fourth event in our Spring 2024 Trans Cultural Production speaker series, and will highlight the relationship between trans aesthetics and historical social movements. This event is open to all, and will be followed by a q&a and time for discussion.
Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel, on ‘We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics’
April 9th, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Red Emma’s Bookstore, 3128 Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD
Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, SWANA, punk poet-performer cyborg, workshop facilitator, and activist. Their chapbook, THE AFTERMATH (Commune Editions, 2016), queers Fanon’s vision of how poetry fails to inspire revolution. Under the full Community Engagement Scholarship, Andrea received their MFA in Poetry from Mills College. With Drea Marina they co-hosted Words of Resistance [2012-2017] a monthly, radical, QTPOC open floor poetry series to fundraise for political prisoners’ commissary funds. Selected by Bhanu Kapil, Andrea’s debutEXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019) is a poetic critique of the U.S. military’s role in the War on Terror. Andrea toured with Sister Spit in 2018 and has performed at RADAR, The Poetry Project, The STUD, Basilica Soundscape, TransVisionaries, Southern Exposure, Counterpulse, & Radius for Arab-American Writers. They have taught workshops at the New York Public Library, San Francisco Public Library, Naropa University, Rock Paper Scissors, Wesleyan University, Barnard College, Seattle University, Bay Area Trans Writers, and FARR Concordia. With Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). Chosen by Simone White, Andrea’s second book, Villainy (Nightboat Books, 2021) reimagines militant collectivity in the wake of the Ghost Ship Fire and the Muslim Ban. Villainy was a 2022 Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry. They are a recipient of the inaugural 2023 Jerome Alternates Grant Award & are the Spring 2024 Black Mountain Institute UNLV Breakout Writer. They are currently writing a poet’s novel about crushes.
Kay Gabriel is a writer and organizer based in New York. She is the Editorial Director at The Poetry Project, where she edits the Poetry Project Newsletter. She is the author of A Queen in Bucks County (Nightboat, 2022) and Kissing Other People or the House of Fame (Rosa, 2021; Nightboat, 2023), and a number of chapbooks. With Andrea Abi-Karam, she co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat, 2020). Her books have been nominated for Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle awards. She’s received fellowships from PEN America, Lambda Literary, The Poetry Project, and Princeton University, where she received her PhD in 2020. She’s performed for audiences at Performance Space, Small Press Traffic, Poetic Research Bureau, the Berlin poesiefestival, and Berkeley’s Lunch Poets series. Kay has taught courses at Princeton, NYU-Gallatin, Cooper Union, Wendy’s Subway, and the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library. Her expansive and engaged essays about trans politics and aesthetics include ‘Gender as Accumulation Strategy‘ (Invert), ‘Whose Trans Realism?‘ (The Yale Review), and The Anti-Trans Panic and the Crusade Against Teachers (N+1). She is currently writing her first novel.
We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, published by Nightboat in 2020, is “an experiment into how far literature, written from an identitarian standpoint, can go as a fellow traveler with social movements and revolutionary demands. Writing in dialogue with emancipatory political movements, the intergenerational writers assembled [in the volume] imagine an altogether overturned world in poems that pursue the particular and multiple trans relationships to desire, embodiment, housing, sex, ecology, history, pop culture, and the working day.” The book has been widely reviewed, and acclaimed as a pioneering work from the intersection of radical aesthetic practice and trans social life. Abi-Karam and Gabriel’s introduction to the volume can be read here.
Learn More
Add to Calendar 20240409 America/New_York 3128 Greenmount Avenue Baltimore MD 21218 We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics