- Friday, April 5, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Arts Cafe, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk
More information: writing.upenn.edu/wh/calendar/0419.php
KAI DAVIS is a writer, performer and teaching artist from Philadelphia. In 2016 she received her Bachelors in African American Studies and English. Between 2012 and 2016 Kai Davis was the Artistic Director of The Babel Poetry Collective. She has performed for TEDX Philly, CNN, BET, PBS, and NPR, among others. She is a two time international grand slam champion, winning Brave New Voices in 2011 and The College Union Poetry Slam Invitational in 2016. She is a 2017 Leeway Transformation Award Recipient. Right now she spends most of her time working as Poetry Editor for Apiary Magazine and as an Organizer/Artistic Director for The Philly Pigeon. She also visits high schools and local non profit organizations, teaching poetry to marginalized and under-served young folk. When she is not in Philly, she tours colleges and universities across the country, performing her original work and facilitating writing workshops. As a Queer Woman of Color, much of her work deals with the topics of race, gender, power, sexuality and its many layers. She aims to explore how it affects who we are, who we will become, and how we love.
MECCA JAMILAH SULLIVAN is an Assistant Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Temple University, and a B.A. in Afro-American Studies from Smith College. A proud native of Harlem, NY, her critical and scholarly work on sexuality, identity, and poetics in contemporary African Diaspora culture has appeared in Palimpsest: Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International, Jacket2, Public Books, GLQ: Lesbian and Gay Studies Quarterly, Ebony.com, Ms. Magazine, and The Feminist Wire, where she served as Associate Editor for Arts & Culture. She is also the author of the short story collection, Blue Talk and Love (Riverdale Ave 2015), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for fiction. In her fiction, she explores the intellectual, emotional, and bodily lives of young black women, through voice, music, and hip-hop inflected magical realist techniques. Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Writing, American Fiction: Best New Stories by Emerging Writers, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing and many others. She is the winner of the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and fellowships, scholarships and residencies from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Yaddo Colony, the Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and the Center for Fiction in New York City.