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Destiny O. Birdsong: Negotiations

October 26 @ 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm


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In her debut book of poems, Negotiations (Tin House, 2020), Destiny O. Birdsong writes fearlessly about what it means to live in this America, about Cardi B and top-tier journal publications, about autoimmune disease and the speaker’s intense hunger for her own body—a surprise of self-love in the aftermath of both assault and diagnosis. It is a series of love letters to black women, who are often singled out for abuse and assault, silencing, tokenism, fetishization, and cultural appropriation in ways that throw the rock, then hide the hand. Negotiations is an indictment of people and systems that attempt to narrow black women’s lives and power. It is also about tenderness and an examination of complicity—both a narrative and a black box warning for a particular kind of self-healing that requires recognizing culpability when and where it exists.

“Negotiations is an intimate, stunning collection. Destiny O. Birdsong’s poems examine systems of power and oppression, violence, complicity. These poems are desire, survival, the body, rage, vulnerability. A fierce celebration of black womanhood.”—Jaquira Díaz, author of Ordinary Girls

Destiny O. Birdsong  is a Louisiana-born poet, fiction writer, and essayist. The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony, she won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Narrative Poetry Contest, and Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University, and now lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee


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Destiny O. Birdsong: Negotiations
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October 26
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Writers & Books
(585) 473-2590


Event Date(s)
Monday, October 26, 2020, 7:30 - 8 pm


Writers & Books
740 University Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607 United States
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(585) 473-2590
If you would like to make a request for any accommodation, please email us at accommodation@wab.org at least 10 days prior to the event or workshop.

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