Blackgirl Mansion Reading

October 26, 2012 – Earlier this year I wrote about a poetry event presented at the Brooklyn Museum, which brought together many of the poets who forged the open mic scene of the 90s.

Optimistically, I wrote of the post-Brooklyn Moon generation “Young peeps are writing poetry and rhymes, creating new temples that will have equal gravitas as the ones that shaped many of my generation.” These are them lockpickers. Youngish Aretha’s singing and reciting their hearts out. Carving their own space influenced but not encumbered by their cool finger-snappin predecessors.

The reading, held at Greenlight Bookstore in BK, was a celebration of Angel Nafis’s debut chapbook BlackGirl Mansion, and harnessed all the emotional closeness usually reserved for rub-a-dub time. Guests, family, friends, lovers packed the bookstore and stayed engaged throughout the event, which brought back memories of the energy poetry sans slam can embody. Poets Aracelis Girmay, Mahogany L. Browne, Eboni Hogan, T’ai Freedom Ford, Ka’Mone Felix, Lauren Whitehead, & Lynne Procope were the ideal chorus for Ms. Nafis’s lead. Ms Nafis did everything: laughed, cried, shared, and testified. Her poetry is her life. Each poem was preceded with a verbal glossary that gave insight to the poet’s loving and occasionally turbulent childhood. The mix of voices turned what could have been a quick stop before heading to dinner into a reading/party/baptism. And guests were treated to cheese grits and Persecco.

The party line: Angel Nafis is an Ann Arbor, Michigan native and Cave Canem Fellow. She is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (RedBeard/New School Poetics 2012) Her work has appeared in FOUND Magazine’s Requiem for a Paper Bag, Decibels, The Rattling Wall, Union Station Magazine, GirlSpeak Webzine, The Bear Rivers Writers Review, and MUZZLE Magazine. In 2011 she represented the LouderArts poetry project at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. She is an Urban Word NYC Mentor and the founder, curator, and host of the quarterly Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon reading series. She lives in Brooklyn.

Expect to hear more from this fine young poet.

Ron Kavanaugh
Mosaic Literary Magazine

Literary Freedom Project • 557 Grand Concourse PMB 143 • Bronx NY 10451