The Commons, Lawrence bookstore announce 2018-2019 speakers

The University of Kansas Commons and the Raven Bookstore have announced another series of collaborative programming. Initiated in spring 2018, the partnership gives Lawrence and the region an opportunity to come together and celebrate speakers whose writing is deeply informed by their intersectional identities.

This year, with new and continued partnerships, speakers will include the following:

  • Michelle Tea, 6 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Lawrence Arts Center, in conjunction with Free State Festival. Tea is an author, poet and literary arts organizer. Her recent books include “Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms” (Feminist Press, 2018), “Modern Tarot” (HarperOne, 2017) and “Black Wave” (Amethyst Editions, 2016).
  • Tommy Pico and Morgan Parker, 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Liberty Hall, in partnership with Haskell Indian Nations University. Pico is an author, poet and activist whose books include “IRL” (Birds, LLC, 2016), “Nature Poem” (Tin House Books, 2017) and most recently, “Junk” (Tin House Books, 2018). Pico is from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay Nation and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Parker is a writer, editor and educator. Her recent books of poetry include “There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé” (Tin House Books 2017) and “Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night” (Switchback Books 2015). She co-curates the reading series “Poets With Attitude” (PWA) with Pico and with Angel Nafis as part of The Other Black Girl Collective. Tickets will be made available online.
  • Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo, 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at Liberty Hall, in partnership with the Office of First Year Experience and the KU Common Book. Asghar is a poet, screenwriter, educator and performer. Her debut collection of poems, “If They Come for Us,” was published in August 2018 by One World/Random House. She is the co-creator and writer of the Emmy-nominated “Brown Girls,” a web series that highlights friendships between women of color. Elhillo is a poet and performer. She is the author of the Arab American Book Award-winning collection “The January Children” (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). Together, they co-edited the anthology “Halal If You Hear Me” (Haymarket Books, 2019). Tickets will be made available online.
  • Hieu Minh Nguyen, 7 p.m. March 5 at Liberty Hall. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Nguyen is a queer Vietnamese-American poet and nationally touring performer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His books of poetry include “This Way to the Sugar” (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and “Not Here” (Coffee House Press, 2018). Tickets will be made available online. 

Co-sponsors for the series include Free State Festival, the Office of First-Year Experience, the Office of Research, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity, the departments of American Studies and African & African-American Studies, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.