Friday, March 22
Virtual Artists’ Collective Reading and Discussion
With Rosebud Ben-Oni and Arisa White
MCLA Gallery 51, 51 Main Street, North Adams, 6–8 p.m.
Writers Arisa White and Rosebud Ben-Oni offer a cross-cultural perspective on growing up in fragmented, hostile, and uncompromising environments, including coming to terms with loving women in central Brooklyn and Arab East Jerusalem. While their poetry exposes the gritty realities of women whose spaces demand constant adaptation, the poets seek to create more solid ground in HER KIND (herkind.org), the official blog of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, a forum to create lively conversation about issues that are often dismissed or overlooked by the mainstream media. Arisa and Rosebud will present a joint reading and discuss their work for HER KIND. They will explain how writing can serve as an agent for positive social change by encouraging women to define their own terms regarding the valuing of women’s voices.
Rosebud Ben-Oni was a Rackham Merit Fellow at the University of Michigan, where she earned an MFA in poetry. She was a Horace Goldsmith Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she completed postgraduate research. A playwright at New Perspectives Theater, she is working on a new play that will feature music by Carlton Zeus. Her work appears in Arts & Letters, B O D Y, Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review, and Puerto del Sol. Her short story “A Way out of the Colonia” won the Editor’s Prize in Camera Obscura. She writes the series “On 7 Train Love” for the blog of Sundog Lit. Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, her debut book of poems SOLECISM will be published by Virtual Artists Collective in early 2013. rosebudbenoni.com
Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was published by Virtual Artists Collective and is the 2012 winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for poetry. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, was published by Willow Books in November 2012. Selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List as a queer poet to watch out for, Arisa is also part of the PlayGround writers’ pool at Berkeley Repertory Theatre; her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. arisawhite.com