last couscous evah!

as220, 115 Empire St

Tuesday 5/28/13

Emcee Mairéad Byrne

Program 9.30-11.00pm  

Mark Baumer

Rick Benjamin

Mark Binder

Jonathan Bonner

Tina Cane

Bert Crenca

Matthew Everett

Christopher Johnson

Keri King

Ric Royer

Lisa Samuels

Open Mike too!

free!

Mark Baumer

imageMark Baumer is an award-winning author of zero internationally bestselling books. He once wrote a popular science column about falling palm leaves for the Los Angeles Times. Before he was born he was an instructor at UCLA where he taught classes in the empty rooms of the anthropology department. His lectures were mostly unintelligible yelling exercises, but at some point he was able to figure out the code for the copy machine (984717489) and he ended up making the eighth most illegal copies in the state of California the year before all the copy machines moved to Santa Monica, California to retire.

Note from Mairéad: I hope Mark has read The Third Policeman.

Mairéad Byrne

imageMairéad Byrne is the author of five poetry collections You Have to Laugh: New + Selected Poems (Barrow Street, 2013), The Best of (What’s Left of) Heaven(Publishing Genius, 2010), Talk Poetry (Miami University Press, 2007), SOS Poetry (/ubu Editions, 2007),and Nelson & The Huruburu Bird (Wild Honey Press, 2003);also five poetry chapbooks. Collaborations with visual artists include Jennifer’s Family, photographs by Louisa Marie Summer (Schilt, 2012), Lucky, with illustrations by Abigail Lingford (Little Red Leaves, 2012), and three books with Irish painters. An Irish emigrant, Mairéad Byrne practices the poetics of diversity.  She is the cofounder, curator and emcee for couscous, a poetry/music/performance series which has been running monthly for five and a half years in Providence until NOW!  This is her last couscous evah!  It’s been AMAZING.  And she’s still a Professor of Poetry + Poetics at Rhode Island School of Design!  

Jonathan Bonner

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Jonathan Bonner is the inventor of the poom.  A poom is a poem that is one syllable long.  The project is an investigation into the effect of a single syllable on body and psyche.  To date there have been many manifestations of the poom including poom books, poom hats, poomagrams, poom pins, poom cookies, micro-pooms, poom tweets (@JonathanGBonner), body pooms and ping pong pooms.  This event celebrates the release of the recently published Deck of Poom.

Rick Benjamin

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Rick Benjamin is the newly appointed State Poet of Rhode Island.  Even before his 5-year appointment this month, as Governor Chafee remarked, Rick could be said to have been the “unofficial” State Poet.

Exemplary teacher at Brown and RISD, New Urban Arts mentor, and constant presence as poet and educator in the community, and nationally, Rick is currently a lecturer in Public Humanities & Environmental Studies at Brown University, a teacher in the RISD Literary Arts + Studies program, and is on the faculty of the MFA Program in Interdisciplinary Arts at Vermont’s Goddard College. He is the author of the collections Passing Love: Poems (2010) and the forthcoming Floating World: Poems, both from San Francisco’s Wolf Ridge Press. He also edited Love, Loss, Life: The Epoch Poets (2011) and Words from Mothers: Poems from Project Hold (2009). Here’s to Rick’s heartfelt wish for his tenure: “to saturate this small state with poetry - in schools, community and assisted living centers, in places where poetry already has a presence and in some other ones where it is desperately needed.”

Mark Binder

imageMark Binder is an author, storyteller, independent publisher, occasional politician, and still a nice guy. His website is http://markbinder.com/ His books, audio and ebooks are available at http://lightpublications.com and at Books on the Square.

Tina Cane

Tina Cane is a poet and the founder/director of Writers-in-the-Schools, RI. Over the past twenty years, she has taught French, English and Creative Writing in public and private schools throughout New York City and Rhode Island. Tina’s poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals including Spinning Jenny, The Literary Review, Barrow Street and Salt Hill Journal. Her work,  The Fifth Thought, was published by Other Painters Press in 2008. She lives outside of Providence with her husband and their three children.

Bert Crenca + Monkee Head

imageUmberto Crenca is a visual artist, performance artist, and musician with a long exhibition and performance history; he is also the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of AS220, a nonprofit center for the arts in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 was established in 1985 to provide a local, unjuried, and uncensored home for the arts. AS220′s permanent establishment in the City’s downtown is widely recognized as one of the first significant steps in the creation of the Providence Arts and Entertainment District. Bert Crenca remains committed to the revitalization of Providence’s historic downtown, and plays an important role in community efforts across the region. 

An accomplished educator, Crenca has spearheaded efforts to bring more meaningful arts experiences to incarcerated youth. Crenca was a visual art instructor at the Rhode Island Training School (RITS), the state’s juvenile detention facility from 1998-2004. In 1999, Crenca established AS220′s youth program, Broad Street Studio, on Providence’s south side. Today, the organization continues to serve and support youth in and transitioning out of state care at AS220′s Empire Street complex and the RITS under the banner AS220 Youth

In 2010, Umberto Crenca received a Rhode Island Pell Award For Excellence in the Arts. The same year, he was honored with a Charles B Willard Professional Achievement Award from Rhode Island College. Rhode Island Monthly magazine included Crenca as one of the region’s most influential individuals in their feature “Who Really Runs This State: The 28 Most Influential Rhode Islanders in 2010“.

Monkee Head, an experimental art jam band from Providence, will perform with Bert.  Here’s the band performing with AS220 Visiting Artist in Residence, Reynier Ferrer, in Fall 2011.  

See also http://Monkeehead.Tumblr.com

Matthew Everett

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Fiction writer, multi-instrument musician, singer, songwriter and collaborator, Matthew Everett is a couscous regular, happily for couscous!

Keri King

imageKeri King is an artist, writer and teacher, living and working in Providence.  She grew up in Dartmouth, MA and first moved to the “Creative Capital” to study at the Rhode island School of Design.  She received her BFA in Illustration with a Concentration in Creative Writing in 2005 and, upon graduation, founded an experimental theater arts project.  A joyfully irreverent feather-and-sequins-donning dance troop, the DANGER! DANGER! Birds performed musical vignettes and comedic skits that harkened back to turn-of-the-(last)century traditions of vaudeville and burlesque.  Today, Keri’s visual art and writing reflect her love of art and entertainment history and are sprinkled with clues about her own personal history.

Christopher Johnson

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Christopher Johnson is a highly acclaimed, nationally known Spoken Word artist and poet. Christopher has been on many National Poetry Slam Teams including New Jersey, Providence and Boston. In 2007, Christopher won the $10,000 dollar grand prize for spoken word in the Fame Cast contest. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island where he gives workshops throughout the Rhode Island school system and performs widely, including regularly at couscous.

Ric Royer

Ric Royer is a writer, performer, writer of performances and performer of writings. He makes Word Shows. It’s like theatre, but with words. His works of literature include She Saw Ghosts, He Saw Bodies (Narrow House), The Weather Not the Weather (Outside Voices), There Were One and It Was Two (Narrow House), and Anthesteria (Bark Art Press). He is also a founding editor of Ferrum Wheel, now captained by Chris Fritton, and runs AS220’s performing arts program, 95 Empire

Lisa Samuels

Lisa Samuels is the author of seven books of poetry, several chapbooks, a 2-CD poetry work with soundscapes, and an experimental memoir, Anti M, coming out in July with Chax Press. She also publishes essays and edited work in poetry, cultural theory, and experimental critical practice. Born in Boston, she has lived in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australasia. Since 2006, she has been Associate Professor of English at The University of Auckland in Aotearoa New Zealand.