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Duende District Presents Tongo Eisen-Martin & Elizabeth Acevedo

October 24, 2017 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT

“This striking new work from Tongo Eisen-Martin is a timely reminder of Amiri Baraka’s call for poems that are useful, poems that breathe like wrestlers. At every turn, Heaven Is All Goodbyes demands that we engage the systemic violence woven into our daily living right alongside the persistent force that is black social life, the joy that everyday people cultivate against unthinkable odds. —Joshua Bennett, author of The Sobbing School

“Eisen-Martin’s impeccable collection is a crucial document of this time.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

Duende District, in partnership with MahoganyBooks & the Anacostia Arts Center, presents a powerful night of poetry with our City Lights guest feature Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of the new poetry collection Heaven Is All Goodbyes. He’ll be joined by one of the DMV’s finest poets, Elizabeth Acevedo, author of the poetry chapbook, BeastGirl, out from YesYesBooks.

On October 24th at the Anacostia Arts Center starting at 7:00 PM, hear poems performed from “the much-awaited second book by a truly revolutionary poet, in the lineage of Gil Scott-Heron, Allen Ginsberg, and Audre Lorde.” Tongo, an extremely active and revered in the poet in the Bay Area is an activist and dedicated advocate for social justice and education in jails, youth organizations, and other institutions. His activism is highly palpable in his work, as he performs in his own style the reality of black experience in America.

Joining Tongo at the Anacostia Arts Center is Elizabeth Acevedo performing poems from her electrifying chapbook, BeastGirl. A featured performer on BET and Mun2, Acevedo has delivered several TED Talks and graced national and international stages from The Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden to South Africa’s State Theatre and The Bozar in Brussels.

Event Info

Wednesday, October 24, 2017
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
1231 Good Hope Rd., SE
Washington DC, 20020

About Tongo Eisen-Martin

Born in San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry book, Someone’s Dead Already. He is a movement worker, educator, and poet who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. He has educated in detention centers from New York’s Rikers Island to California’s San Quentin State Prison. His work in Rikers Island was featured in the New York Times. He was also adjunct faculty at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University in New York. Subscribing to the Freirian model of education, he designed curricula for oppressed people’s education projects from San Francisco to South Africa. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. He uses his craft to create liberated territory wherever he performs and teaches. He recently lived and organized around issues of human rights and self-determination in Jackson, MS.

About Elizabeth Acevedo

Photo: Bethany Thomas

Born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit.

She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on BET and Mun2, as well as delivered several TED Talks. She has graced stages nationally and internationally including renowned venues such as The Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, and South Africa’s State Theatre, The Bozar in Brussels, and the National Library of Kosovo; she is also well known for  poetry videos, which have gone viral and been picked up by PBS, Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Upworthy.

Acevedo is a National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C, where she lives and works.

Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Puerto Del Sol, Callaloo, Poet Lore, The Notre Dame Review, and others. Acevedo is a Cave Canem Fellow, Cantomundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. She is the author of the chapbook, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016)  and the forthcoming novel, The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018).

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October 24, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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(202) 844-2062


Anacostia Arts Center
1231 Good Hope Rd., S.E.
Washington, DC 20020 United States
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(202) 631-6291