An All-City Tertulia with Vincent Toro, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Carolina Ebeid, Craig Santos Perez, Jane Wong, and Meher Manda
Eschewing the conventional book tour reading model for his latest collection, Puerto Rican poet Vincent Toro has adopted a more community-focused approach by creating a series of virtual Tertulias in the spirit of the Latin American social gatherings from which his book takes its title. Each tertulia is presented with a different theme.
Intersectionality is the theme of this “tertulia for Tertulia” for the 2021 Kweli International Literary Festival. In hip hop, graffiti artists created their work with the goal of going “all-city.” If your work went all-city, it meant that it reached people in all five boroughs, the art becoming a bridge across neighborhoods and communities. In that spirit, the All-City Tertulia is a gathering of poets from a broad spectrum of races, ethnicities, cultures, and geographic locations reading in solidarity with one another, honoring intersectionality as a core element of collective liberation.
ALL-CITY TERTULIA POETS
Vincent Toro is a Boricua poet, playwright, and professor. He is the author of two poetry collections: Tertulia (Penguin Random House, 2020) and Stereo.Island.Mosaic. (Ahsahta, 2016), which won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Vincent is a recipient of the Caribbean Writer’s Cecile De Jongh Poetry Prize, the Spanish Repertory Theater’s Nuestras Voces Playwriting Award, a Poet’s House Emerging Poets Fellowship, a New York Council for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, and a New Jersey State Council for the Arts Writer’s Fellowship. His poetry and prose has been published in dozens of magazines and journals and has been anthologized in Saul Williams’ CHORUS, Puerto Rico En Mi Corazon, Best American Experimental Writing 2015, Misrepresented People, and The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Rider University, is a Dodge Foundation Poet, and is a contributing editor for Kweli Literary Journal.
Tongo Eisen-Martin is the Poet Laureate of San Francisco. He is the author of someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press, 2015), nominated for a California Book Award; and Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights, 2017), which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize. Eisen-Martin is also an educator and organizer whose work centers on issues of mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of Black people, and human rights. He has taught at detention centers around the country and at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.
Carolina Ebeid is a multimedia poet. Her first book You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior was published by Noemi Press as part of the Akrilica Series, and selected as one of ten best debuts of 2016 by Poets & Writers. She is on faculty at the Mile-High MFA at Regis University, the bilingual MFA at the University of Texas El Paso, and Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver. She currently edits poetry at The Rumpus, as well as the multimedia zine Visible Binary. Carolina grew up in West New York, New Jersey in a Cuban and Palestinian family.
Craig Santos Perez
Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru (Chamorro) from the Pacific Island of Guåhan/Guam. He is the author of five collections of poetry including from unincorporated territory [saina] (2010), from unincorporated territory [lukao] (2017), and Habitat Threshold (2020). His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.He has been a finalist for the LA Times 2010 Book Prize for Poetry and the winner of the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry. He is director of the Creative Writing program and an assistant professor of English at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, where he teaches Pacific literature and creative writing.
Jane Wong is the author of Overpour from Action Books (2016), and How to Not Be Afraid of Everything, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books (2021). She holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington and is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University. She is a Kundiman fellow, recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships and residencies from the U.S. Fulbright Program, Artist Trust, 4Culture, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf, Hedgebrook, Willapa Bay, the Jentel Foundation, SAFTA, and the Mineral School. The recipient of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist award for Washington artists, her first solo art show “After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feast Feverishly” was exhibited at the Frye Art Museum in 2019.
Meher Manda is a poet, short story writer, journalist and educator originally from Mumbai, India. She is the author of the chapbook Busted Models (No, Dear / Small Anchor, 2019), and her work has been published or is forthcoming in Peach Mag, Catapult, Epiphany, the Los Angeles Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and elsewhere. She was a fellow of the Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium at DreamYard and has been nominated for the Best New Poets 2020 anthology. Her poem “The Other” was a winning entry in Lumina’s La Lengua NYC Multilingual Writers Contest. She is one-half of An Angry Reading Series and lives in Brooklyn.