Miami Book Fair and O, Miami bring radical truth-telling to the Little Haiti Cultural Center – Knight Foundation

Miami Book Fair and O, Miami bring radical truth-telling to the Little Haiti Cultural Center

Above: Dark Noise Collective.

This post has been updated to reflect that Miami Book Fair is a co-presenter of the event and brings The Working Poet Radio Show” to South Florida multiple times a year. 

Miami Book Fair and O, Miami, both of which receive major support from Knight, are collaborating on the final event for this year’s O, Miami Poetry Festival with a program that brings radical truth-telling to the Little Haiti Culture Center. On Saturday, April 30, from 6-9 p.m., “The Working Poet Radio Show” will host Dark Noise Collective in its Miami debut.

Miami Book Fair brings “The Working Poet Radio Show” to South Florida twice a year for “a live-recorded, late-night talk show event focused on the working lives of creative people,” according to fair officials  (the series is based in San Diego). This edition with Dark Noise Collective taps deeply into that reservoir of creativity. 

Radical truth-telling is potent poetry. It’s the kind of poetry that raises arm hairs while it burrows into bone. It’s poetry that doesn’t ask for permission as its sweet and bitter taste forces us to confront themes of identity, racial politics, white privilege, sex, trauma and healing. 

Dark Noise is a collective of six dynamic and provocative multiracial poets, including Fatimah Asghar, Franny Choi, Nate Marshall, Aaron Samuels, Danez Smith and Jamila Woods. The collective has performed around the world at Madison Square Garden, Sweden’s National Poetry Slam, Sanaa Africa Festival and the Apollo Theater. They’ve also been featured on HBO’s “Brave New Voices,” TV One’s “Verses and Flow” and the documentary “Louder Than a Bomb.”

All images courtesy of Dark Noise Collective.

Danez Smith, winner of the 2015 Lambda Literary Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam, is one of the six Dark Noise-makers whose work is just about as powerful as a bomb. On or off the page, Smith’s voice both detonates and resonates. (Disclosure: Last November, Smith performed for my organization, Reading Queer, at the Olympia Theater for the 2016 RQ Literary Festival.)

“What makes Dark Noise is that everything we do is centered on being intentional and critical of the ways we love each other. Since the beginning, we’ve always strived to be as honest and forward with the ways we love each other, and that extends to the communities we are a part of and the world we live in and alter. That love permeates our work as well,” said Smith. “The spaces we try to create, like our annual AWP Fish Fry, makes us special to other people, but to us, it’s that sense of home, of new and familiar realities that we can find in each other, and how we make that manifest in the world.”

The Dark Noise Collective at the Little Haiti Cultural Center is the culminating event of the 2016 O, Miami Poetry Festival, an event that all South Floridians should attend, especially those looking for poetry that is as inspirational as it is transgressive and transformative.

The Knight Arts Challenge is open for entries through May 2, 2016. Read more