Brooklyn composer and drummer Chase Elodia presents the world debut of his interdisciplinary project Walking in the City, which illustrates Brooklyn in words and music.
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Brooklyn composer and drummer Chase Elodia presents the world debut of his interdisciplinary project Walking in the City, which illustrates Brooklyn in words and music. To create the piece, Elodia invited eight intergenerational, multiracial, and transcultural writers from across Brooklyn to submit a text inspired by the experience of walking down a street in their neighborhood. The finished work sets their poetry to music, surrounding their words about life in the borough with sampled texts, field recordings, and drum harmonies. At the performance, each poet will read their work as Elodia plays live-triggered melodies and rhythms. National Sawdust is proud to produce the first live, interactive realization of this bold and imaginative new work that celebrates the diverse set of voices that make up this borough. This program is supported in part by National Sawdust co-founder Kevin Dolan.
About Chase Elodia
Chase is a composer and drummer living in Brooklyn. His album, Portrait Imperfect, was released on Biophilia Records in May 2022 and named one of the Best New Albums of the Year by Downbeat Magazine. A 2023 and 2021 recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, his work has been recognized by Avaloch Farm, the Boulder County Arts Alliance, the Café Royale Cultural Foundation, the Escape to Create Residency, MacDowell, and South Arts. His band, Perennials, has toured across the United States multiple times and given master classes at Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Denver, and Yale University. In early 2023, he organized a Biophilia Records stage at the Winter Jazz Festival, where he performed with his ensemble. He is currently at work on Walking in the City, a multidisciplinary project with poets from across Brooklyn, which is set to debut at National Sawdust in June.
Marissa Davis, Bushwick:
Marissa Davis is a writer, translator, and educator from Paducah, Kentucky. Following years in Nashville, Tennessee and Paris, France, she now resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is an MFA candidate in poetry and Rona Jaffe Fellow at NYU. Her chapbook, My Name & Other Languages I am Learning How to Speak*, was published in April 2020 by Miami-based Jai-Alai Books.
Bernard Ferguson, Flatbush:
Bernard Ferguson is a Bahamian poet, essayist, and MFA candidate at New York University. He is currently working on a book of nonfiction, The Climate Sirens (Graywolf, 2023), about Hurricane Dorian and the effects of climate change on Small-Island Developing States across the world. These days he is thinking mostly about wonder, climate trauma, migrations of all kinds, and Bahamian history.
Celina Su, Prospect Heights;
Celina Su's first book of poetry, Landia, was published by Belladonna* in 2018. Her writing also includes three poetry chapbooks, three books on the politics of social policy and civil society, and pieces in the New York Times Magazine, n+1, Harper’s, and elsewhere. Her current book project centering radical democracy, Budget Justice: Racial Solidarities & Politics From Below, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. She is the Marilyn J. Gittell Chair in Urban Studies at the City University of New York.
Felice Belle, Prospect Lefferts Gardens:
Felice Belle consumes and creates stories to make sense of the world and her place in it. As a poet and playwright, she has performed at the Apollo Theater, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, TEDWomen, and TEDCity 2.0. She received a BKLYN Incubator grant to develop the documentary-style theater performance We Hold These Truths and her young audiences play, Game On! premiered at the Kennedy Center, as part of the One Mic: Hip Hop Culture Worldwide festival. Her writing has been published in several journals and anthologies including Oral Tradition, Bum Rush the Page, and UnCommon Bonds: Women Reflect on Race and Friendship. Her poetry collection, Viscera, is forthcoming from Etruscan Press (Spring 2023).
Dennis Nurske, Kensington:
D. Nurkse is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including The Rules of Paradise (2001), The Fall (2003), The Border Kingdom (2008), and Love in the Last Days (2017). Nurkse splits his time between New York and Vermont and has been named poet laureate of Brooklyn.
Anthony Thomas Lombardi, Coney Island:
Anthony Thomas Lombardi is a Pushcart-nominated poet, organizer, activist, and educator. He is the founder, host, and curator of Word Is Bond, a community-centered reading series that raises funds for transnational relief efforts and mutual aid organizations, and currently serves as a poetry editor for Sundog Lit. A recipient of the Poetry Project’s Emerge-Surface-Be Fellowship, his work has appeared or will appear soon in Guernica, Gulf Coast, The Journal, Colorado Review, North American Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn with his cat, Dilla
Danilo Machado, Crown Heights:
Born in Medellín, Colombia, danilo machado is a poet, curator, and critic living on occupied land interested in language’s potential for revealing tenderness, erasure, and relationships to power. A 2020-2021 Poetry Project Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow, their writing has been featured in Hyperallergic, Art in America, Poem-A-Day, Art Papers, ArtCritical, The Recluse, GenderFail, No, Dear, Long River Review, TAYO Literary Magazine, among others. They are the author of the chaplet wavy in its heat (Ghost City Press Summer Series, 2022) and the collection This is your receipt and is not a ticket for travel (Faint Line Press, 2023).
danilo is the co-founder/co-curator of the reading series Maracuyá Peach and the chapbook/broadside fundraiser Already Felt: poems in revolt & bounty, as well as co-host of the monthly reading series exquisites. danilo is the author of The Post Post Post newsletter on Substack, and has contributed writing to exhibitions including at CUE Art Foundation, Henei Onstad Kunstsenter, Miriam Gallery, Abrons Art Center/Boston Center for the Arts, Second Street Gallery, and Real Art Ways. An honors graduate of the University of Connecticut, danilo is Producer of Public Programs at the Brooklyn Museum and curator of the exhibitions Otherwise Obscured: Erasure in Body and Text (Franklin Street Works, 2019), support structures (Virtual/8th Floor Gallery, 2020), We turn (EFA Project Space, 2021), and Eligible/Illegible (co-curated with Francisco Donoso, PS122, 2023). They are working to show up with care for their communities.
Zakia Henderson-Brown, Bed-Stuy:
zakia is of starshine and clay lineage. She is the author of What Kind of Omen Am I, winner of the 2017 Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship, selected by Cate Marvin. She was a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poets fellow, and has received additional fellowships and support from the Fine Arts Work Center, Callaloo Journal, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Cave Canem. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Adroit, African American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, the Brooklyn Review, Burner Magazine, Epiphany, Little Patuxent Review, Mobius:The Journal of Social Change, Reverie, No, Dear, North American Review, Obsidian, the Offing, Thethepoetry.com, Torch, Vinyl, Washington Square Review, and the anthologies New Daughters of Africa (Amistad: 2019) and Why I Am Not a Painter (Argos: 2011).
She has worked as a community organizer at Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; as a researcher at UNITE HERE!, a resource coordinator at Break the Chains: Communities of Color and the War on Drugs; and as a research associate at the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College. She completed the 2010 Activate! organizing fellowship at Social Justice Leadership and is an emerita board member of the Brooklyn Movement Center, where she co-founded the anti-gendered and sexualized street harassment collective, No Disrespect.
zakia was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Publishers Weekly Star to Watch program, selected as a finalist for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize by A. Van Jordan, nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 by Beloit Poetry Journal, and has been in residence at the T.S. Eliot House, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. She earned a BA from Wesleyan University, and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation from Queens College, where she also served as an adjunct professor. She currently serves as a senior editor at nonprofit publisher The New Press. She is a Brooklyn native and loyalist.