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Déjà Vu (for Assotto Saint): Pamela Sneed, Danez Smith, John Keene, Saeed Jones, and Luther Hughes

Join us for a reading in homage to the legendary Black gay poet, Assotto Saint, featuring Pamela Sneed, Danez Smith, John Keene, Saeed Jones, and Luther Hughes.

Assotto Saint, born Yves Francois Lubin, was a Haitian-born American writer, performer, publisher, and AIDS activist. He contributed heavily to increasing the visibility of contemporary Black queerness in the cultural arts movement of the 1980s and early 1990s. Saint's poetry, fiction, essays, song lyrics, and plays are gathered in Sacred Spells: Collected Works (Nightboat Books, 2023), and were featured in a folio in the May 2023 issue of Poetry. Like the magazine folio, the event is named after the Assotto Saint poem Deja Vu: “So soon at this entrance again,” we “stagger search then knock,” in loving memory of the luminary.

Pamela Sneed is a poet, writer, visual artist, and performer. She is the author of Funeral Diva (2020), Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery (1998), and Kong and Other Works (2009), as well as the chapbooks Lincoln (2014), Gift (2015), and Sweet Dreams (2018). Her poetry has appeared in 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni, 2010), Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays (edited by William Demastes, 2013), and Zoe Leonard’s Transcript of a Rally (2016). Sneed’s writing has appeared widely in magazines such as Art Forum, Hyperallergic, and the New York Times Magazine. She has performed and curated performances in venues from the Brooklyn Museum to Central Park SummerStage, Joe’s Pub, the Public Theater, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Danez Smith is the author of three collections, including Homie and Don’t Call Us Dead. Their work has been awarded the UK’s Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and has been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in Poetry, the National Book Critic Circle Award, and the National Book Award. Former co-host of the Webby-nominated podcast VS, they live in Minneapolis near their people. Their fourth collection of poems, Bluff, is forthcoming in August 2024.

John Keene is the author, co-author, and translator of a handful of books, including the 2022 National Book Award-winning collection Punks, and Counternarratives, published in 2016. A 2018 MacArthur Fellow, he is a distinguished professor and serves as department chair at Rutgers University-Newark.

Saeed Jones is the award winning-author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives and the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise. His most recent book of poetry, Alive at the End of the World, was published by Coffee House Press in 2022. Jones’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Oxford American, and GQ, among other publications. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Luther Hughes is the author of the poetry collection A Shiver in the Leaves (BOA Editions, 2022). They are the founder of Shade Literary Arts, and one-third of the Poet Salon. Their work has been published in various magazines, journals, and newspapers. They live in Seattle, Washington.

This is a hybrid event, which will be offered in-person and via livestream.

Curated by Noa Fields.

In-Person AttendanceMasks are strongly encouraged and available at check-in for those who would like to wear one. Please note that some event performers may choose to perform without a mask. The Foundation reserves the right to update this policy if community levels of COVID-19 increase significantly. Guests are encouraged to register in advance.

Livestream AttendanceThe livestream link will be shared with registered guests on the day of the event. In order to receive the livestream details, please register in advance.

The Poetry Foundation’s events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This event will include CART captioning and ASL interpretation. 

Déjà Vu (for Assotto Saint): Pamela Sneed, Danez Smith, John Keene, Saeed Jones, and Luther Hughes

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday 11:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Thursday 11:00AM – 7:00PM
  • Friday 11:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Saturday 10:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Sunday Closed

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