Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Palabra Pura: Borderless Bodies

04/15/2015 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

This month’s Palabra Pura is curated by Daniel Borzutzky, who believes that this month’s performers, Duriel E. Harris and Rodrigo Toscano, are two of our present moment’s most innovative, most dynamic and powerful and surprising poets and performers.

“For these two artists, no distinction can be made between their poetics and their performativity. They write beautiful books, they make intergalactic music, they make collaborative theater, they speak, they sing, the transmit multilingually, and polyphonically. Theirs is an art rooted in movements, in sounds, in bodies that dream, that explode that collapse. Theirs is an art rooted in a politics of radical compassion for laboring bodies, urbanized anguished bodies, warring bodies, and loving bodies. These two poet-performers collapse the borders of language; they evoke political and historical movements that have shaped our social identities; and they are fearless in their ability to say the most difficult things, and to say them with vehemence, with intricacy, and, finally, with an art that is fierce, complex, and spilling with passion and joy.” ~Daniel Borzutzky

All “mother” tongues are welcome! Arrive early to sign up for the open mic.

Palabra Pura is pay-what-you-can ($5 suggested donation). Audience contributions support honorariums for the curators and featured authors.

This program is sponsored by Poets & Writers, and by the Chicago Center for Working Class Studies.





Duriel WT crop 3MBEditor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora and cofounder of the Black Took Collective, Duriel E. Harris is the author of Drag, Amnesiac: Poems, and Speleology (a video collaboration with Scott Rankin). A recipient of grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and post-doctoral residencies at UIC and the University of California, Santa Barbara, Harris’s work has been featured and published internationally. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, recent writing appears in Fifth Wednesday and Kweli as well as BAX (Best American Experimental Writing), The Force of What’s Possible and The &Now Awards 3. Recent appearances include feature performances at the Art Institute of Chicago, Babylon Cinema (Berlin) and off off Broadway at The Wild Project (NYC). An associate professor of English at Illinois State University, Harris is a member of Douglas Ewart & Inventions creative music ensemble and Call & Response—a dynamic of Black women in performance. Current projects include the sound compilation “Black Magic” and Thingification—a solo play in one act.


RT HAND copy

Rodrigo Toscano’s newest book of poetry is Deck of Deeds (Counterpath Press 2012). His previous collection, Collapsible Poetics Theater, was a 2007 National Poetry Series Selection. Forthcoming from Fence Books in 2016 is Explosion Rocks Springfield. He was the recipient of a New York State Fellowship in Poetry. His poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, including Against ExpressionDiasporic Avant GardesAngels of the Americlypse, and Best American Poetry. His poetics plays have been performed at the Disney Redcat Theater and Ontological-Hysteric Poet’s Theater Festival. His radio pieces have aired on WPIX FM, KAOS Public Radio, WNYU, and PS.1 Radio. His poetry has been translated into French, Dutch, Italian, German, Portuguese, Norwegian and Catalan. Toscano works for the Labor Institute in conjunction the United Steelworkers and the National Institute for Environmental Health Science. He works out of a laptop, tethered to a Droid, residing in airports, occupying poetics in midflight. He enjoys running and writing for the North Brooklyn Runners from his home base in the Greenpoint township of Brooklyn.



D Borzutzky 2 Med-2Daniel Borzutzky‘s books include In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, forthcoming); The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011); The Ecstasy of Capitulation (BlazeVox, 2007); and Arbitrary Tales (Ravenna Press, 2005). His poetry translations include include Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks (forthcoming, Action Books); Song for his Disappeared Love (Action Books, 2010); and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (Action Books, 2008). His chapbooks include Data Bodies (Green Lantern, 2013); Bed Time Stories for the End of the World! (Bloof Books, forthcoming); One Size Fits All (Scantily Clad, 2009); and Failure in the Imagination (Bronze Skull, 2007). His writing has been anthologized in Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing; Telephone Books Anthology of English-to-English Translations of Shakespeare Sonnets; La Alteración del Silencio: Poesía Norteamericana Reciente; Malditos Latinos Malditos Sudacas: Poesia Iberoamericana Made in USA; Seriously Funny: Poems About Love, God, War, Art, Sex, Madness, and Everything Else; A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years; and The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century. His writing has been translated into Spanish, French, Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish. His work has been recognized by grants from the PEN American Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council.



7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Category:


La Bruquena Restaurant
2726 W. Division
Chicago, IL United States
+ Google Map