In the anthology, Joy Has a Sound: Black Sonic Visions, Wa Na Wari makes a home for the essays, poetry, scores, scripts and silences of Black poets, musicians, artists and scholars. Assembled by editors Rachel Kessler and Elisheba Johnson, Joy Has a Sound wonders about the time- traveling, place-making power of sound. Join us as we celebrate the book's release with this interactive event series featuring readings by the contributors and activities that merge joy with sound.
Joy Has A Sound Book Release Events:
November 23, November 30, December 7, and December 14. 7pm-8:30pm (PST)
November 23, November 30, December 7, and December 14. 7pm-8:30pm (PST)
Mary Edwards is a composer and interdisciplinary artist who uses sound as an environmental or architectural element with the objective to enhance the listener's spatial and sensory experience, often through cinematic scoring techniques. Themes of temporality, impermanence, nostalgia, Mid-Century Modernism and the natural world are interspersed throughout her recordings, time-based installations, sound sculptures and writings. Her catalogue includes Natural Anthem; Endeavour: A Space Trilogy for the NASA Expedition of Dr. Mae C. Jemison; The Wa(l)king Pattern; The Sweet Curve; Gospel Number Eight: Tributary; When the Ocean Meets the Sky and Everyday Until Tomorrow, an homage to the Saarinen-designed TWA Terminal 4 at JFK Airport and the opulence of early air travel. Her projects have been commissioned and/or curated by The Provincetown Museum, The Grimshaw-Gudewicz Gallery, Indivisible Gallery, 429 Architectural Spaces and The William T. Davis Conservancy. Her essays can be found in Invert/Extant (U.K.), and The Mentor that Matters series.
Seattle native JusMoni, aka Moni Tep, is a singer/songwriter, poet, DJ and mother. Moni serves as Education Director for Seattle nonprofit Creative Justice, an innovative arts-based approach to ending racial disproportionality and youth incarceration.
Guided by ancestral memory and lifelong spiritual practices, Moni is an artist and cultural worker blessed with game, grace and gravitas beyond her 28 years. Moni’s singular works echo both the Black church and her grandparents’ native Cambodia. She shares spiritual kinship and common purpose with her Black Constellation family.
Thione Diop, percussionist from Senegal, is recognized for his powerfully expressive djembe performances. He is descended from an ancestral line of Griot drummers, and is a master of the djembe (goat skin hand drum), sabar (goat skin drum played with stick and hand), tama ("talking drum", small lizard skin drum played with curved stick and hand), and djun djun (large cow skin drums of 3 different sizes played with sticks). He fuses traditional rhythms with jazz and collaborates with many musicians from a wide range of musical backgrounds. His music appears in four studio albums and several films. He tours internationally, teaches at University of Washington, and produces the annual Spirit of West Africa Festival in Seattle. Currently, he plays with Orchestra Baobab in Dakar.
Amir George is an award-winning filmmaker based in Chicago. George is a film programmer at True/False Film Fest and cofounder of the touring film series, Black Radical Imagination. As an artist, George creates spiritual stories, juxtaposing sound and image into an experience of non-linear perception. George’s films have screened at institutions and film festivals nationally and internationally, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Institute for Contemporary Arts London, Anthology Film Archives, the Royal College of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival, and BlackStar Film Festival, among others.
Christina Sharpe is a writer, Professor, and Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University. She is the author of: In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Duke University Press, 2016)—named by the Guardian and The Walrus as one of the best books of 2016 and a nonfiction finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award—and Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects (Duke University Press, 2010). Her third book, Ordinary Notes, will be published in 2022 (Knopf/FSG/Daunt). She is also working on a monograph called Black. Still. Life. She has recently published essays in Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, Alison Saar Of Aether and Earthe, Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, and in Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing.
Walis Johnson is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist/researcher whose work documents the experience and poetics of the urban landscape through oral history, artist walking practices, film, and installation. She is particularly interested in the intersection of documentary film and performance. Her Red Line Archive Project has been presented in New York City and internationally. She holds an MFA from Hunter College in Integrative Media and Advanced Documentary Film and has taught at Parsons School of Design
Kamari Bright is an emerging creative with poetry featured in “NILVX: A Book of Magic,” “2018 Jack Straw Writers Anthology,” “Moss,” and Bellwether Arts Week. Her videopoems have screened at 8th International Video Poetry Festival, Seattle Black Film Festival, Tacoma Film Festival and the Film & Videopoetry Symposium. The 2018 Jack Straw Writers fellow is working on a manuscript connecting the influence of Christian folklore on present-day misogyny and a videopoem connecting personal trauma and land stewardship/pollution.
IG & Twitter: @kamari_bright
Rachael F. is a playwright and performance artist living in Los Angeles, California. Rachael has performed with experimental theater wunderkinds Saint Genet (formerly Implied Violence), featured as a guest and collaborator with Miko Kuro's Midnight Tea and her grant awarded plays have been produced in Seattle and New York City. Rachael F. is also one half of the sensual disco space funk duo, Pink Lotion.
Larry Mizell Jr. was born in Los Angeles in 1978, and was packed off to Seattle at the very end of ‘91. He grew up surrounded by music, gifted with words, and is grateful for that and everything else. He made music in a few different configurations with friends, performing regularly on Seattle stages for years. He wrote, among other things, a weekly hiphop/culture column called My Philosophy for Seattle rag The Stranger from 2004-2016. He currently sits in meetings, plays music and tells stories at KEXP, where he is Afternoon DJ/host and Director of Editorial. He is a part of the multidisciplinary arts collective/ hilarious family unit known as the Black Constellation.
Anastacia-Reneé is a writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, TEDx Speaker and podcaster. She is the author of (v.) (Black Ocean), Forget It (Black Radish) and Here in the (Middle) of Nowhere and Sidenotes from the Archivist forthcoming from Amistad (an imprint of HarperCollins). Recently she was selected by NBC News as part of the list of “Queer Artist of Color Dominate 2021’s Must See LGBTQ Art Shows.” Anastacia-Reneé was former Seattle Civic Poet (2017-2019), Hugo House Poet-in-Residence (2015-2017) and Arc Artist Fellow (2020). Her work has been anthologized in: Home is Where You Queer Your Heart; Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry; The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics and Superhero Poetry; Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota’s Garden; and Seismic: Seattle City of Literature. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Hobart, Foglifter, Auburn Avenue, Catapult, Alta, Torch, Poetry Northwest, Cascadia Magazine, Ms. Magazine and others. Reneé has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Ragdale, Mineral School, and The New Orleans Writers Residency.
Jerrell “Rell Be Free” Davis is a musician, community organizer, and Underground Educator from South Seattle. An overall creative artist, Rell shines from the perspective as someone who moves through a number of different worlds yet maintains who they are. In many forms, Rell illustrates the journey of self-discovery, real life in the South End, and much more with originality, high energy and a poetic touch.
Aricka Foreman is an American poet and interdisciplinary writer from Detroit MI. Author of the chapbook Dream with a Glass Chamber, and Salt Body Shimmer (YesYes Books), she has earned fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Offing, works as a publicist at Haymarket Books, and spends her time in Chicago, IL engaging poetry with photography & video.
Social Media: @arickamarie | @blkfemmepoetics.
Chantal Gibson is a poet-artist-educator from Vancouver working in the overlap between literary and visual art. From history books to kitschy souvenir spoons, she uses everyday objects to confront colonialism head on. Unpacking hegemonic mechanisms persistent across the Canadian cultural landscape, her altered texts imagine BIPOC voices in the spaces and silences left by cultural and institutional erasure. Her debut book of poetry, How She Read (Caitlin Press, 2019) explores the representation of Black women in Canadian history, art, literature. It won the 2020 Pat Lowther Memorial Award and was shortlisted for the prestigious 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize. She teaches in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University.
Anaïs Maviel's work as a vocalist, percussionist, composer and community facilitator focuses on the function of music as essential to settling common grounds, addressing Relation, and creating utopian future. Involved at the crossroads of mediums, Anaïs has been an in-demand creative force for artists such as William Parker, Daria Faïn, Shelley Hirsh, César Alvarez, Steffani Jemison - to give a sense of an eclectic company. Anaïs is dedicated to substantial creations from solo to large ensembles, music direction of cross-disciplinary works, and to expanding the power of music as a healing & transformative act. Anaïs performs and teaches extensively in New York, throughout the Americas and Europe. Both solo albums hOULe & in the garden, out on Gold Bolus Recordings, received international acclaim. Lastly, Anaïs Maviel is developing her composition language, especially thanks to the support of the 2019 Van Lier Fellowship, 2020 American Composers Forum Create commission with The Rhythm Method String Quartet and 2021-2022 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship.
Okanomodé [uh-kahn-uh-mah-day] is an expressionist, composer, shape-shifting siren, & performance artist born & raised in The Emerald City of Seattle, occupied Duwamish territory. Okanomodé served as both lyricist & featured vocalist of the critically acclaimed experimental pop opera ‘Now I'm Fine’ by Ahamefule J. Oluo — and is currently featured as co- vocalist & co-lyricist in Ahamefule J. Oluo’s newest work ‘Susan’, which premiered at On the Boards in Seattle, and at Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater in New York City. They are also featured in the critically acclaimed indie film, 'Thin Skin', directed by Charles Mudede.
Rachel Kessler is a writer, cartoonist, multi-disciplinary collaborator and educator who explores landscape and community. As a mother of young children with limited resources she experimented with boundary-breaking performance art and video, co-founding interactive poetry collaborations Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. Her work is deeply rooted in place: she lives and works on Yesler Way, the Seattle street her ancestors immigrated to, worked on, worshipped on and died on. She is working on a community cartography project called “Profanity Hill: A Tour of Yesler Way.” As Artist-In-Residence at public housing project Yesler Terrace, (where her great grandparents lived) she and community members activated a vacant apartment slated for demolition with live music, story-telling, potlucks, dancing, and collective murals. She co-founded the collective Wa Na Wari, a residential reclamation project centering Black art and media in Seattle’s Central District. Currently she is working on a children’s book about abortion and illustrating a poetry guidebook of the Pacific Northwest urban shore.
Elisheba Johnson is a curator, public artist and administrator. Johnson, who has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, was the owner of Faire Gallery Café, a multi-use art space that held art exhibitions, music shows, poetry readings and creative gatherings. For six years Johnson worked at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture on capacity building initiatives and racial equity in public art. Johnson is currently a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network advisory council and has won four Americans for the Arts Public Art Year in Review Awards for her work. She currently co-manages Wa Na Wari, a Black art center in Seattle’s Central Area that uses the arts to build community and resist displacement.