CONVO: Olio — A Reading by poet Tyehimba Jess
Date(s) - 04/26/2018
The Presbyterian Church of Danville
Olio: A Reading by 2017 Pulitzer-Prize winner in poetry Tyehimba Jess
A Reading by 2017 Pulitzer-Prize winner Poet Tyehimba Jess, or, as we describe it, “Cultural Innovators of the 19th-century African Diaspora as featured in Tyehimba Jess’s Olio.” The traditions in structure and form of pre-colonial African musical styles and African-American musical expression not only inform, but constitute the very framework with which Jess constructs these poems. Through his poem sequences imagined in different voices, combined with relevant descriptive quotations, Jess encourages readers to explore the history and experiences of a number of musicians and artists, including Scott Joplin, African American/Native American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, performer Blind Tom, and others. In one very thought provoking moment, Jess encourages us to rip a page from history (in the book) and own it, confront it, and mold and shape our perception thereof. In page after page he manages to dismantle Eurocentrism and reveal the richness of America’s artistic tradition, so built upon the talents of post-colonial artistic strivings.
FREE — OPEN TO THE PUBLIC