Ashanti Files discusses her experiences thus far as Urbana's Poet Laureate, including what she has learned in the position, and what is still to come for the remainder of her year-long term. Trigger warnings: please note that this article contains mentions of mental health concerns including body image, depression and suicide.
According to poet Christopher Kempf, his new collection employs Gettysburg as a vehicle to "engage ongoing issues involving race, regional identity, and the ethics of memory, tracing how post-bellum memorial practices (like monument construction) advance hegemonic notions of whiteness."
"The Midwesterners [in] Far From Mars are regular people who took chances, followed their passions, and pursued meaningful hobbies," says author Sal Nudo.
Tyehimba Jess' advice to young poets is "Don't give up and revise, revise, revise, and have a decent understanding of American history or of the history of the country you're living in and the country that your people came from."
"Henceforward the standard for extravagant riot," says writer "Virginia Woolf" on the back cover blurb of Under the Oyster Bar.
Ashanti Files, Writers of Oya founder, and current City of Urbana Poet Laureate, said "I feel as though adults largely underestimate how much information and observation this age group has."
"A few weeks ago we started talking about how moving into the new year we all felt hopeful about the future for the first time in a while. We wanted to share the feeling and see if we could keep it going, so we came up with the CU Haiku Hope Project."
"I believe that the role of the poet laureate is above all to bring people together," says Ashanti Files. "It is to expose our neighbors to our hidden talents."
Megan Montgomery's debut novel Well... That Was Awkward is smart, sexy, and surprisingly sophisticated in its undermining of romance novel tropes.
The story of Michael Roughton's young elfin heroine may be what we all need to get through this lonely COVID winter.
At a recent Small Press Fest workshop, zine expert Dr. Spencer Keralis guided us through the history and culture of zine-making and what makes it so inherently queer.
What exactly is a small press? And how does it differ from zines and distros?
The Arts Section strives to celebrate our community's rich and vibrant artistic scene, from theatre to local authors, film, performance art, and everything in between.