Jorrell Watkins & Romeo Oriogun

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Jorrell Watkins & Romeo Oriogun

May 1 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Writers’ Workshop alumni Jorrell Watkins and Romeo Oriogun will read from their poetry.

Jorrell Watkins will read from Play/House, published by Northwestern University Press. “The ideas of ‘play’ and ‘house’ are interwoven gradually in Jorrell Watkins’s debut collection, with the changing light stretching and bending the shadows of masculinity, familial intimacy, and societal violences. Through his intense play with the vernacular and syntax of blk English, Watkins defamiliarizes urban Southern blkness and captures sincerely a  poignant slice of the blk psyche at this particular moment in American history.” – Kyle Dargan, Books Editor at Wondaland

Jorrell Watkins is an alum of Hampshire College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  He has received fellowships from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Smithsonian Institution, Fulbright Japan, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. His disability inclusive play Meet us at the Horizon was produced by Combined Efforts Theater Co. His chapbook If Only the Sharks Would Bite won the inaugural Desert Pavilion Chapbook Series in Poetry. He is also the coauthor of Studies in Brotherly Love, a poetry chapbook based on Malcolm Corley’s paintings.He lives in LA and is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing & Literature at USC.

Romeo Oriogun will read from The Gathering of Bastards, a 2024 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Poetry. “‘I walk alone, trying to find / the whisper of roads, trying to sieve through water / the haunting’ writes Romeo Oriogun in the book that is a journey, both through place and history, yes, but also the soul. To say that The Gathering of Bastards is an impressive collection is an understatement. It is one of soul-making indeed. Here ‘rain bears witness to bodies / thrown overboard slave ships,’ and the spell of verbal music bears wisdom. Oriogun is a kind of writer whose music will never stop. The kind that will survive the test of time. Bravo.”—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic

Romeo Oriogun won the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Sacrament of Bodies, published by University of Nebraska Press.   He is the author of Sacrament of Bodies (Nebraska, 2020) and Nomad.    He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and now lives in Iowa City.


May 1
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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