On Feb. 8, the university will be hosting a reading featuring a Tulsa Artist Fellow and students.
This Wednesday, Feb. 8th at 5 P. M. in Tyrrell Hall Auditorium, The University of Tulsa’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in conjunction with the Department of English and Creative Writing, will welcome poet and scholar Quareysh Ali Lansana and TU students Anabel Anderson, Bethany Hoskins and Cole Cribbs in an evening of poetry readings dissecting race, politics and culture. Entitled ‘Black Everyday/Everyday Black,’’ this event is one of many this February celebrating Black History Month, highlighting diverse voices in the TU community.
Quareysh Ali Lansana, a Tulsa Artist Fellow and lecturer at TU, has published 20 books of poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature. Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Lansana has dedicated 27 years to researching the Greenwood district both inside and outside the city of Tulsa itself, and has received accolades from Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters and NETA Public Media for his documentary “Tulsa Race Massacre: 100 Years Later”. For his radio program “Focus: Black Oklahoma”, he has earned the duPont-Columbia Award, NAACP Image Award and Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists Award as co-executive producer. A self-identified ‘observer,’ Lansana finds inspiration in his surroundings and in the sound of his environment: in his early life, the church’s congregation and the emerging sounds of hip-hop and rap; later, this would become a serious exploration with poetic form and sound.
The title of this event, “Black Everyday/Everyday Black”, is a statement on the historic erasure of Black history and issues regarding race and explores the black American experience in both past and present. This is to say, “we’re here,” Lansana explains, “let’s work together,” aiming to both identify and address race in tandem with the progress of our society.
Because this poetry reading aims to amplify the Black art experience, Lansana stresses that this event is dedicated to the TU students reading alongside the author. Pursuing a nursing major and creative writing minor, undergraduate freshman Anabel Anderson recalls Lansana as her Intro to Creative Writing professor from last semester. Noticing immense talent in Anderson, Hoskins and Cribbs, Lansana invited the three to share their own writing this Wednesday.
“It is so important to showcase black artists and black writers,” Anderson emphasizes. While Anderson writes primarily on “self love and self discovery,” her poems to be shared this week are set to directly address instances of racism in her life and reflect themes of diversity and inclusion. This will be the first time her poetry has hit a public stage. Hoskins and Cribbs will also be performing their poetry for the first time. “There are things that are uncomfortable,” Anderson continues, “but expressing that through writing and having everyone gathered to hear it is super important.”
This event is free and open to the public; charcuterie will be provided.