Performances by newly and dearly beloved poets, curated by Adirondack Center for Writing x Bowery Poetry Club

LIVE ONLINE / Monday, November 9, 2020, 7:00-9:00pm

The two organizations, one rural and one urban, have developed a deep love for one another over the years and are finally able to collaborate for this brand new event. When Lightning Strikes has been designed to introduce new poets to Adirondack audiences, and new audiences to Bowery Poetry Club poets.

the lineup

Hosted by Jive Poetic 

Featuring Mahogany L. Browne, Adam Falkner, Carlos Andrés Gómez, Omar Holmon, Cynthia Dewi Oka, and Ramya Ramana. More info about these folks below.

Host Jive Poetic

Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby & Black Girl Magic (Macmillan), Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books) & Dear Twitter (Penmanship Books). She is also the founder of the Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign) & as an Arts for Justice grantee, is excited to release her first YA Novel Chlorine Sky in January 2021. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

Dr. Adam Falkner is a poet, educator and arts & culture strategist. He is the author of The Willies (Button Poetry, 2020) and Adoption (Winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award), and his work has appeared in a range of print and media spaces including on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, in which capacity he develops and facilitates trainings for schools, companies and cultural institutions across the country. Adam has toured the United States as a guest artist, lecturer and trainer for thousands of students, educators and corporate employees, and was the featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. He holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from Columbia University.

Carlos Andrés Gómez is a Colombian American poet, speaker, actor, and author of Fractures, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, Hijito, winner of the Broken River Prize and a #1 SPD bestseller, and the memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhoodreleased by Penguin Random House. A star of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, TV One’s Verses and Flow, and Spike Lee’s #1 box office movie Inside Man with Denzel Washington, Carlos’ honors include the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry, Atlanta Review International Poetry Prize, Foreword INDIES Gold Medal, and the International Book Award for Poetry. A genre-transcending multi-hyphenate, he partnered with John Legend on Senior Orientation, a program to counteract bullying and champion inclusive masculinity among high school students. Carlos is a proud father of two.

Omar Holmon is an Alumni poet of Rutgers University and has competed in slam poetry for numerous years with two final stage appearances at the National Poetry Slam. He has been featured on Button Poetry, Tedx, and a commercial for Laphroaig whiskey (we outchea). In 2014 Omar Holmon Co-founded the Black Nerd Problems website with William Evans, where he spends his days writing essays on pop culture, blackness, and making top quality gifs.

Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Salvage and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water. A Pushcart Prize Nominee, her poetry has appeared widely online and in print. She has been awarded the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award; the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize; the Fifth Wednesday Journal Editor’s Prize in Poetry; the Amy Clampitt Residency (2021-2022); and scholarships from Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and Vermont Studio Center. She has performed her poetry in various venues across the US and internationally, including at The New School, The Nuyorican, Poet’s House, the Langston Hughes House, Nick Virgilio Writer’s House, Noyes Art Garage, Woman Made Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Philly Pigeon, the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Busboys and Poets, Writers Resist Philadelphia, The Laura Flanders Show, Split This Rock Poetry Festival, Hobart Festival of Women Writers, Festival Internacional de Poesia de la Habana, and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

Nationally-acclaimed American poet and author Ramya Ramana made her debut in 2014 at the inauguration of Mayor Bill De Blasio where she was asked to perform an original piece. The New York Native then went onto perform at over 200 venues in a year as the Youth Poet Laureate of NYC—making mentions in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Brown Girl Magazine and many more. Ramana released her first manuscript, “Don’t Drown Her in the Baptism”; the collection of poems explored femininity, faith and race. She received her bachelor’s at St. John’s University which she attended on a full scholarship with the NY Knicks Poetry Slam. As a first-generation Indian-American, Ramana’s work illustrates both the immigrant experience, and exploring existentialism. Her upcoming projects include: creating a  spoken word album, and songwriting. She is currently receiving her MFA in poetry at The New School.

Jive Poetic (Host) received his BA in Media Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his MFA in Writing and Activism from Pratt Institute. He has performed his work in venues ranging from the Australian House of Parliament to the Tom Thumb Theater in Kent, England. He was also one of two poets selected by the US Embassy to represent American slam poetry during an international cultural exchange program in Warsaw, Poland. Jive Poetic has collected grand slam championship titles from Pensacola, Florida to Munich, Germany. In 2003, Jive Poetic was a member of the Nuyorican Poet’s Café’s National Slam team ranking second in the nation as a team, and 10th as an individual. In 2004, he was a member of the Providence Rhode Island Slam Team; in 2005 he was a member of the NYC Louder Arts Slam Team; in 2006 he was a member of the Brooklyn National Slam Team. In 2011 he served on the advisement panel at the Australian National Slam Summit. He was featured on season four of TVONE’s LEXUS VERSES AND FLOW, PBS News Hour, and BET Facebook Live. He is the founder of Insurgent Poets Society, co-founder of The SOUNDBITES POETRY FESTIVAL, and currently hosts the open slam at Nuyorican Poet’s Café. When he is not on tour or hosting, Jive Poetic teaches performance poetry and hip – hop workshops to at risk youth in New York City and surrounding tri-state area. In 2017 he became the first ever recipient of the John Morning Award for Art and Service.

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