|||

First Tuesdays Presents Jacqueline Jones LaMon - September 6, 2022

When: September 6, 2022 Where: Espresso 77 Café, 35-57 77th Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372.
Time: 7:30 — 9:00 PM (open-mic sign up at 7:00)
Cost: $5 minimum purchase at the food counter.
More Information: Richard Jeffrey Newman

Jacqueline Jones LaMon is the author of three collections, What Water Knows, Last Seen, a Felix Pollak Poetry Prize selection, and Gravity, U.S.A., recipient of the Quercus Review Press Poetry Series Book Award. She is the author of the chapbook, The Legend of Clarence Thomas, winner of the Integral Music Chapbook Prize; and author of the novel, In the Arms of One Who Loves Me, published by Random House/Ballantine Books. Noted twice by the NAACP in the category of Outstanding Literary Work, Poetry, Ms. LaMon is the recipient of fellowships from the BAU Institute at the Camargo Foundation, the Cave Canem Foundation, the Yaddo Foundation, and others. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and UCLA School of Law, Ms. LaMon earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry, from Indiana University Bloomington. She served as a board member and past president of Cave Canem Foundation, Inc. A member of the National Council for Graywolf Press, Ms. LaMon taught for over a decade in the multi-genre M.F.A. program at Adelphi University, where she currently holds the position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Here’s a sample poem:

Six

The Children’s March, 1963

The water pressure from a fire hose
can stop a moving bullet, can ransack
a door wedged shut, and extinguish
any embers, including those we cannot
see. Bull saw us all as threat—the lot
of us, the endless stream that poured
out of our church and onto the street.
We sang and we held hands. We held
onto our purpose—to be true to our God,
true to our native land, to Birmingham,
like the thirsty sponges we were. We
sang a song we’d practiced and knew
by heart. We were not letting anyone turn
us around, turn us around, turn us around.
I was six and needed something more
than what I thought I knew, a freedom
song, a choice of where to play,
of who could teach me lessons, the very
content of my dreams of what I wanted
to be when I grew up, if I grew up,
when I grew up and took my very next
breath. But let’s get back to that bullet,
stopped by an unequal force, confronted
by mere droplets corralled into sinister
duty. I heard those dogs before I saw them
—growls, snarls—trained to see nothing
of my size, my gentleness. I knew the water
in the air just before it launched me airborne,
ramming me into disbelief, then tree trunk,
then a crowded mass of children’s hips and legs.
I was six and my song ordained that I be seen
as change, or silenced, arrested and contained.
I had lost my shoes and my blue hair ribbons.
I was wearing a muddy crinoline and learned
the coolness of both iron bars and the beady
eyes of hatred, a jailor’s sputum gelling
on the side of my face that I refused to touch.


This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Up next Two First Tuesdays Regulars Read An Incarcerated Writer’s Work as Part of PEN’s & The Poetry Project’s BREAK OUT First Tuesdays Presents Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.
Latest posts First Tuesdays Presents Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. First Tuesdays Presents Jacqueline Jones LaMon - September 6, 2022 Two First Tuesdays Regulars Read An Incarcerated Writer’s Work as Part of PEN’s & The Poetry Project’s BREAK OUT The Cento for December 7, 2021 First Tuesdays Presents David Mills First Tuesdays Presents Alex Segura The Cento for September 9, 2021 The Cento for March 2, 2021 First Tuesdays Presents Lola Koundakjian First Tuesdays Presents Eugene Lim First Tuesdays Presents Christina M. Rau First Tuesdays On Zoom Presents David Rothman First Tuesdays Presents Hala Alyan In Memoriam Jay Chollick Watch A Video Of Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond’s Reading The September 2020 Cento First Tuesdays Presents Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond Watch the Video of the Reading by Ralph Nazareth & Duane Esposito The Cento for June 3, 2020 First Tuesdays Presents Ralph Nazareth & Duane Esposito The Cento for May 5, 2020 Watch The Video of Antoinette Brim’s Reading First Tuesdays Presents Antoinette Brim The Cento Zoom Edition for April 7, 2020 First Tuesdays Presents Sokunthary Svay First Tuesdays Presents Sarah Gambito First Tuesdays Presents Sara Khalili The Cento for January 7, 2020 First Tuesdays Presents Mark Weiss The Cento for December 3, 2019 First Tuesdays Presents Rachel Zucker