The Racine Public Library in collaboration with The Dr. John Bryant Community Center for the Arts, Family Power Music, Coming Together Racine, The Racine Branch NAACP, and the BONK! performance series invites you to The Third Annual “Mary Finley and Marcie Eanes Memorial Black History Month Read-In”*. This event will be held in the Adult Services Department of the Racine Public Library, near the east windows, on Thursday, February 22nd from 6 til 8:30pm.
A Black History Month Read-In is an event where community members of all different backgrounds join together to celebrate the vibrant legacy of black contributions to world literature. Here’s how it will work: anyone interested in signing up is given 5 minutes to read a piece (or an excerpt of a piece) of writing written by someone from the black diaspora.
Because the purpose of this event is to highlight the copious, diverse contributions of all black people to literature, and because we want to illustrate the great breadth of those contributions as much as possible in two and a half short hours, we will not be having ANY repeats of authors. Sign up fast so you can be sure you’ll get to read from the author you want to celebrate most!
To respect everyone’s time, there is a limited number of only 20 spots we can fill. Anyone is welcome to sign up, but do so now because spots won’t last. To sign up, please RSVP with the following information:
- Your name, e-mail and phone number
- If you are younger than 21, your age
- Name of your Author
- Name of the piece you’ll be reading from
- If your piece is child appropriate or not (this will help us decide where in the evening to slot you
Please RSVP or send any further questions to Ciara Hartzog at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Nick Demske at 262-631-0021.
See you there!
*About the name of this event: Mary Finley and Marcie Eanes were two prominent black women residents of Racine who were inspirations both in the Racine community locally, as well as the literary community nationally–Mary as an ambassador and literary agent and Marcie as a writer herself and supporter of the arts. Mary went to join the elders in 2014 and Marcie’s homegoing was last year in 2015. Shortly before Marcie had passed away, she was chosen as one of the finalists for the Racine Poet Laureate position. We are honored to be able to celebrate these two women as leaders of both Racine’s Black Community, as well as Racine’s Literary Community.
Esteban Colon is one of the 2018 co-poet laureates of Kenosha. His work has found print in a variety of journals and anthologies. The writer of “Things I Learned the Hard Way,” he is also the author of chapbooks This Frankenstein Union (Crisis Chronicles Press), Edgar Avenue (Naked Mannequin Press) and Between Blue Lines (Exact Change Press). His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, chapbooks and anthologies. Co-founder of the Waiting 4 the Bus poetry collective, he’s graced a wide variety of stages in the Chicago land area and southern Wisconsin.
Carly Anne Ravnikar is a punk artist native to South Eastern Wisconsin. 2017 co-poet laureate of Kenosha, she is an eloquent hoarder of poems and crafts who struggles to remain within the confines of society. She works professionally in higher education, semi-regularly as a yoga instructor, and constantly as a poor schmuck strung out on manic creative energy.
Kenyatta “The Lyrical Lioness” Turner spent 25 years of successfully performing across the Midwest as a dancer, Hip Hop artist and actress, Kenyatta took a break from it all to peruse professional goals. She would subsequently be reintroduced to the stage at the Jus Joking Comedy Club in Waukegan, IL. where she rekindled her love affair with words. She has now evolved into poetry. Since this transition, Kenyatta has been named Princess of Poetry and is currently the president of the WI chapter of P.O.E.T (People of Extraordinary Talent). She is frequented on the local and national circuit; inclusive of performing on the main stage at the Black Women’s Expo, UniverSoul Circus and was selected as a featured performer for the legendary group “The Last Poets”. She is a published author having five (5) pieces published in the P.O.E.T anthology Volume 1 entitled “Closed Mics Don’t Get Fed” and released a powerful poetic single entitled “G Girl”. Attributing to her accolades, Kenyatta was named the 2015 POET/HOST of the year, 2016 National Poetry Award winner for Video of the year and the 2016 Best Female Spoken Word Artist of the Year. Kenyatta is the 2017-2019 Poet Laureate of the city she now calls home; Racine, WI!
November 4th, 2017 @ Racine Public Library
Photography by Celia Schulz
June 3rd, 2017 @ The Hospitality Center
Photography by Celia Schulz
August 12th, 2017 @ The Eco-Justice Center
Photography by Celia Schulz
Adwoa Nyame Asentu; 24; born and raised in Racine, WI; an artist who uses the written word, spoken word and visual art to plant seeds of liberation. She showcased her first body of artwork entitled “The Butterfly People” during the Fall of 2016 in UW-Parkside’s Foundation Gallery. She has presented original poetry at a number of venues, including the American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference and the Lake County Black Lives Matter Banquet. Adwoa is also a student at UW-Parkside and will be graduating Fall ’17.
Mario Willis is a freelance writer and former slam poet. A Milwaukee native and two time member of Milwaukee’s National Slam Team. After 7 years in the business of spoken word he has had the pleasure of featuring throughout Milwaukee and the Midwest. A member of P.S.I (Poetry Slam Incorporated), a PU (Poetry Unplugged) All-star, and a community activist. Mario’s voice represents the least fortunate and the hard working trying to bridge the gap between the classes with a irreverent style and original perspective. An unapologetic liberal and free thinker Mario’s work is a delightful excursion into the mind’s eye with his unflinching realism and artistic integrity, Mario the Poet is a story teller and poet of the highest order. His CD can be purchased at http://www.mariothepoet.bandcamp.com
The November Criminals create a raucous, energetic atmosphere with powerful melodies, head-nodding beats and fierce, conscious lyrics comprised of emcees Brümeister, Spade One and NTSC. Formed in 2011 from an unlikely collaboration, the band uniquely embodies what it is to be from the Midwest and Milwaukee in particular. They draw equally from the tenets of hip-hop and the roots of European, Slavic and Baltic musical traditions. There is nothing ironic or tongue-in-cheek about what they do. They are earnest, honest and viscerally raw in every performance. The band recently celebrated the release of their second full-length album, The Great War.