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Open Door: KB Brookins + Faylita Hicks, imani elizabeth jackson + S*an D. Henry-Smith

The Open Door series highlights creative relationships and collaborations rooted in the Midwest, inviting two featured pairs to share work that opens up poetry as a porous category.

The name of the series honors the legacy of Poetry’s founding editor Harriet Monroe, who declared in 1912, "The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine—may the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut.” October’s featured readers are KB Brookins with Faylita Hicks and imani elizabeth jackson with S*an D. Henry-Smith (performing together as mouthfeel). Curated by Noa Fields.

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

KB Brookins is a Black, queer, trans writer, cultural worker, and artist from Texas. They authored How to Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022) and Freedom House (Deep Vellum, 2023), which has been recommended by Vogue and Autostraddle, among other publications. They are a winner of the Saguaro Poetry Prize and an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Literature. KB’s writing has been published in Poets.org, Poetry Society of America, HuffPost, Poetry magazine, and elsewhere. They are a 2023 National Endowment of the Arts fellow. KB’s memoir Pretty (Alfred A. Knopf) is forthcoming in 2024. Follow them on social media at @earthtokb.

Faylita Hicks is an Afro-Latinx poet and the author of HoodWitch (Acre Books, 2019), which was a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry. The recipient of grants, residencies, and fellowships from Art for Justice, Black Mountain Institute, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Civil Rights Corps, Right of Return USA, and Tin House, among other organizations, they are the winner of the 2020 Sappho Award from Palette Poetry. Hicks lives in Chicago and is currently working on their next two books, A Body of Wild Light (Haymarket Books, 2025) and A Map of My Want (Haymarket Books, 2024).

Imani Elizabeth Jackson is the author of the book Flag (Futurepoem Books, 2024) and the chapbooks saltsitting (GLOSS, 2020) and Context for Arboreal Exchanges (Belladonna*, 2023). With S*an D. Henry-Smith, she writes and performs under the name mouthfeel. They are the co-authors of the 2019 poetry cookbook Consider the Tongue.

S*an D. Henry-Smith is an artist, writer, and librarian working primarily in poetry, photography, and performance, engaging Black experimentalisms and collaborative practices. Wild Peach, their debut collection of poems and photographs, was published by Futurepoem in fall of 2020 and shortlisted for the PEN Open Book Award.

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. 

Open Door: KB Brookins + Faylita Hicks, imani elizabeth jackson + S*an D. Henry-Smith

  • 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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