Healing Futures: The Marvel of Grief

Ama Codjoe and Aurora Masum-Javed
Color photograph of a woman with medium length dark brown hair, wearing a blueish grey tank, seated in a outdoor setting, staring at the camera with a simile.
Purvi Shah, 2021, shot by Neha Gautam
Broadside of Becoming A Forest by Ama Codjoe, designed and produced by Rowan Renee
Broadside of We Gentle Beasts by Aurora Masum-Javed, designed and produced by Keith Graham

Event Info

The Spring 2021 Broadside Reading Series is curated by Purvi Shah, and features six writers collaborating with CBA’s Artists-in-Residence to create a collection of limited edition letterpress printed broadsides. The collaboration explores the relationship of text, image, and design, incorporating the artists’ visual conveyance of writers’ poetry and prose.

The theme of this season’s series is Healing Futures: Attending Wounds, Tending Lineages. The first reading of the series features Ama Codjoe and Aurora Masum-Javed.

“Grief is the bride of every good thing.” – Ama Codjoe

“But the body is an archive/even as it burns.” – Aurora Masum-Javed

Ama Codjoe and Aurora Masum-Javed explore harms as if they were excavations of soil, as if in turning over hurt earth, transformations are possible and imminent. How do we feel – and even hold – the traumas of racism, intimate violence, sexual violence, the violences of our own living? Codjoe and Masum-Javed invite us to nurture a kinship with grief, to join in not as a witness but rather as a sharer. We find here: an invitation to listen, to re-mother, to marvel in loss, to insist not on one story but many, to insist on living, to insist on living in fullness even when we keep with grief.

Ama’s broadside is designed & printed by Rowan Renee, and Aurora’s broadside is designed & printed by Keith Graham

Note: Center for Book Arts will hold the event entirely online. A Zoom link will be sent in an email to all registrants.

A note from the curator of the series:

“In January 2020, as I was supporting the development of a restorative justice collaborative to address intimate violence, Sevonna Brown from Black Women’s Blueprint observed that we have to heal the past to heal the future. In Healing Futures, I draw together poets who heed Brown’s call to attend to the wounds of the past for the sake of present & future liberations.

In my curation of Healing Futures, I gather writers who tend lineages while facing harms, while holding close the life-blood of harm, who marvel even when there are not answers – for living is marvelous. The poet pairings are prisms, light shared, light refracted, light pooled. The poet pairings are histories & futures unfolding. The poet pairings are braids that at times come together, at times come apart, come always as they are. Collectively, they are wonders of attention, a praxis of futures, a healing. Collectively, they are an invitation to be an accomplice in awe and liberation.”

-Purvi Shah

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council

For questions about registration, please email programs@centerforbookarts.org

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