BONK! 101 @ Old Racine Arts Council Building

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Poet         Kenzie Allan

Poet         Gint Aras

Music       Koku Gonza

Kenzie Allen is a descendant of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. She received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, and she is currently an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow in the PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Her work has been published in The Iowa Review, Indiana Review, Narrative, Drunken Boat, and other venues, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the Aspen Writers’ Foundation and Vermont Studio Center. She was born in West Texas, and spends time between her tribe’s reservation in Green Bay and her fiancé’s hometown in Norway.

Gint Aras is the author of two novels, Finding the Moon in Sugar (Infinity, 2009) and The Fugue (Tortoise Books, 2016), a finalist for the 2016 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award. His prose and translations have appeared in the St. Petersburg Review, Quarterly West, Curbside Splendor, STIR Journal, ReImagine and elsewhere. He’s a community college instructor and currently lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his family.

Koku Gonza thrives as an indie artist 24 hours a day. She shares her alternative soul sounds from the subways of New York to the modern day swanky socialites of Hong Kong. She has shared the stage with Dwele, Timothy Bloom and Isaiah Sharkey. Her song, Koku Gonza has completed two international tours in Europe ending 2016 with a artist residency in Hong Kong, receiving rave reviews from various media outlets like Rolling Out Magazine, Track Source, Soul Bag Magazine and the +D’Afrique. Koku Gonza’s music has been compared to the late legends Bob Marley and contemporary artists like Sade and Lianne La Havas. She has a new soul funk dance song to release in 2017 featuring grammy-award winning guitarist Isaiah Sharkey.

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BONK! 88 @ Racine Arts Council

 

BONK! 88 is upon us, and the only thing that could possibly make it more awesome than it already is, is… wait for it… YOU! So please join us !

FEATURING:

Poet:                                        Abayomi Animashaun

Spoken Word Artist:            Sean Avery Medlin

Poet/Storyteller:                    Misty Saskill

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As a child, SEAN AVERY MEDLIN was a military brat who thought he was a Power Ranger and kicked his grandma (but that’s a story for another time). Today, Avery is a rapper, poet, First Wave Scholar (look it up), and senior studying English Creative Writing at the University of Madison–Wisconsin, by way of the Sun (b.k.a. the suburbs of Avondale, Arizona). His work embraces both his imagination and his journey towards defining his own Black Masculinity.

MISTY SASKILL is a multi-lingual storyteller and poet currently living in Kenosha, WI. She is known for her warmth, humor and animated style. Over the years, Misty’s highly acclaimed work has been included in print, audio and video formats. In 2015, she was the First Prize recipient for prose in her college literary magazine, The Red Hawk Review. Misty continues to present and perform in Spanish, English and Haitian Creole to audiences of all ages throughout the United States and abroad.

ABAYOMI ANIMASHAUN’S poems have appeared in such places as African American Review, Versedaily, Passages North, and Diode. He is the author of two poetry collections, Sailing for Ithaca and The Giving of Pears, and the editor of Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America. A recipient of the Hudson Prize and a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation, Abayo teaches at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and lives with his wife and two children in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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BONK! 88
 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20th
RACINE ARTS COUNCIL
316 6th STREET
 RACINE, WI
6 PM (doors open 5:30)

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2015/16 Event Schedule

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Sat March 19th
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Sat April 23rd
HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH, BONK! FAMILY!!!!
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BONK! is at a very special location this month for some very special reasons:
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1) Chez Bob’s is a cafe in The Racine Business Center (aka the 16th street Studios; aka the Von Shraeder Building). This building is an incredible Racine landmark, full of some or Racine’s richest, most inventive history, and we want to introduce more people to it. A historic display called “The Spirit of the Racine Entrepreneur Exhibit” will be open for viewing before and after the BONK! event proper. So come early and check out some of the amazing entrepreneurial history right here in our city!
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2) Thought there weren’t any independent bookstores in the city anymore? Fortunately…you are WRONG! (Yay : ) Retired professor and notorious local crank Andy McClean owns and runs “The Book Corner”–a super-cool, specialty-collection bookstore that is usually only open by appointment. The Book Corner, however, will also be open before and after the BONK! event proper on April 19th
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Chez Bob’s, The Book Corner and The Spirit of the Racine Entrepreneur Exhibit will all be open at 5PM, and will reopen again immediately after BONK! for an hour. So come early, plan to stay late and bring some money to get food from Chez Bob’s and books from the amazing Book Corner (the historical facts, however, are free : )
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If for no other reason, come early so you have time to figure out where the parking lot is and how you navigate through this massive (and massively cool) historical building!
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FEATURING:            
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Poet                                     Jennifer L Knox    
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Poet                                     Robert J Baumann
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Music                                 Julie Meckler                     

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JENNIFER L. KNOX is the author of three books of poems: The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway, Drunk by Noon, and A Gringo Like Me (Bloof Books). Her new collection, Days of Shame and Failure, will be published by Bloof in 2015. She has taught poetry writing at Hunter College and New York University. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and four times in the Best American Poetry series. She lives near Ames, Iowa.
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ROBERT J. BAUMANN lives in Milwaukee––but not for long––where he obsesses overbaseball, fonts, and his cats.  He publishes Mitzvah Chaps and gives them away, mostly.  He has bungled everything in life except for his relationship with his fiancée. Here’s hoping…. He is available for all your Twitter needs.
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French Songstress JULIE MECKLER now lives in Chicago.  Her music can be heard at her website here: http://www.juliemeckler.com/
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BONK! 67
 SATURDAY, APRIL 19th
RACINE BUSINESS CENTER
1405 16th STREET.
RACINE, WI
6PM (doors open 5:00!)

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