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Poetry is Not a Luxury: The Poetics of Abolition w/ Saidiya Hartman, Canisia Lubrin, Nat Raha, Christina Sharpe & Nydia A. Swaby


A panel discussion with Saidiya Hartman, Canisia Lubrin, Nat Raha and Christina Sharpe, chaired by Nydia A. Swaby

“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change.” Poetry crystallises our visions for the future. It is the arena in which demands come to life. When we proclaim that poetry is not luxury, in the spirit of the revolutionary poet Audre Lorde, we make clear that its incantatory power should not be underestimated. Abolitionist desire and imagination are rooted in the poetic, while abolition is an act of sym-poesis, of creating in concert and in collectivity, moving towards living together without carceral separation.

With readings from poets Canisia Lubrin and Nat Raha and reflections from critical thinkers and scholars Saidiya Hartman and Christina Sharpe, this panel chaired by academic, curator and writer Nydia A. Swaby explores the poetics of abolition, “for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt.”

Revolution is not a one-time is a programme organised by Che Gossett, Lola Olufemi and Sarah Shin in collaboration with Arika and hosted by Silver Press.

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