Andrea Abi Karam: Villainy reading
Date(s) - 09/17/2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Andrea Abi Karam
Books Are Magic
About this event
Harnessing street protest as a poetic formation, Villainy exhibits the desires that bring queers into public space.
Andrea Abi-Karam answers the call to action for poetry itself to become the radical accomplice it was destined to be in their second book, Villainy. In order to live through the grief of the Ghostship Fire & the Muslim Ban, Villainy foments political action in public spaces, and indexes the various emotional states, such as rage, revelry, fear, grief, and desire to which queers must tend during protest. In scenes loaded with glitter, broken glass, and cum, Abi-Karam insists that in order to shatter the rising influence of new fascism we must embrace the collective work of antifascists, street medics, and queer exhibitionists and that the safety that we risk is reckless and necessary. Disruptive and demanding, these punk poems embody direct action and invite the audience into the desire-filled slippage between public sex and demonstration. At heart, Villainy aims to destroy all levels of hierarchy to establish a participatory, temporary autonomous zone in which the targeted other can thrive.
Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, arab-american punk poet-performer cyborg and author of EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019), a poetic critique of the U.S. military’s role in the War on Terror. With Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). Simone White selected their second assemblage, Villainy, as winner of the NOS Prize for publication in September 2021 at Nightboat Books. They are a leo obsessed with queer terror and convertibles.
Neon Mashurov is a writer from Brooklyn and the post-Soviet diaspora currently pursuing an MFA at the University of San Diego’s cross-genre writing program. Their music writing has been published in Pitchfork, Stereogum, IMPOSE Magazine, and elsewhere. Their poetry, as NM Esc, has been published in We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, The Recluse, the Poetry Project’s House Party series, The Felt, Peach Magazine, Ghost City Press’s summer microchap series, and multiple chapzines. They are the current editor-in-chief of Alchemy, UCSD’s journal of experimental translation.
Sahar Khraibani is a Lebanese artist, writer, and educator based in Brooklyn. She is interested in the intersection between language, artistic production, and geopolitics, as well as the digital reproducibility of trauma and parafiction as a form of queer resilience. Her writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Degree Critical, The Outpost Magazine, Full Stop, Bidayat Magazine, and the Nightboat Books’ Echo series, among others. A chapbook of selected short writing, “Planned Obsolescence,” was published by Durian Days in 2019. Her work has been exhibited as part of group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Beirut, Cairo, Sharjah, and Berlin. She is the recipient of the 2020 Montez Press Writers Grant and currently serves as faculty at Pratt Institute.
Andrea Lawlor teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College, is the recipient of a 2020 Whiting Award for Fiction, and has been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs. Their publications include a chapbook, Position Papers (Factory Hollow Press, 2016), and a novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, a 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards. Paul, originally published by Rescue Press in 2017, is out now from Vintage/Knopf (US) and Picador (UK & Ireland).
Eileen Myles (they/them) came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet. Their books include For Now (an essay/talk about writing), I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. They showed their photographs in 2019 at Bridget Donahue, NYC. Eileen has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and an award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. They live in New York and Marfa, TX.
Kamelya Omayma Youssef is a poet, educator, and literary worker. She is the author of A book with a hole in it (2022, Wendy’s Subway), and the co-writer of the play Kilo Batra: In Death More Radiant (2021, A Host of People). Her poems and lyric essays have been published by Mizna, the Academy of American Poets, the Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. She lives between New York and Dearborn/Detroit, with roots in Lebanon. She’s currently an MFA candidate in Poetry at New York University, and studied for her MA at Wayne State University in Detroit. In her spare time, she develops creative workshops with her friends.