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Two Laureates in Conversation, with Porsha and Oliver

April 3 @ 5:00 pm 6:00 pm

Join us on Wednesday, April 3 at 6pm, The Prior Performing Arts Center welcomes the Worcester County Poetry Association to a live interview between Worcester Poet Laureate Oliver de la Paz and Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola. Join the studio audience for this conversation about Porsha’s poetry, her work as Poet Laureate, and her collaboration on the operetta “The Wanderer’s Tethering,” which makes its Central Massachusetts premiere at The Prior Performing Arts Center next week. “Poet Laureate x Poet Laureate” will be held in the Ensemble Room at The Prior.

Then, on Saturday, April 6 at 3pm, see Porsha Olayiwola perform in “The Wanderer’s Tethering” at The Prior!   An afternoon of poetry, music, and song from the Boston Lyric Opera, “The Wanderer’s Tethering” combines African and African-American history and myth in a blend of “past and present, realism and magical realism.” You won’t want to miss it!

Porsha Olayiwola is a native of Chicago who writes, lives and loves in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival. Olayiwola is Brown University’s 2019 Heimark Artist -In -Residence as well as the 2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She is a 2020 poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American poets. Olayiwola earned her MFA in poetry from Emerson College and is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too. Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. Her work can be found in or forthcoming from with TriQuarterly Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Boston Globe, Essence Magazine, Redivider, The Academy of American Poets, Netflix, Wildness Press, The Museum of Fine Arts and elsewhere.

Oliver de la Paz is the Poet Laureate of Worcester, MA for 2023-2025. He is the author and editor of seven books: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, Post Subject: A Fable, and The Boy in the Labyrinth, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry. His newest work, The Diaspora Sonnets, is published by Liveright Press (2023). With Stacey Lynn Brown he co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. Oliver serves as the co-chair of the Kundiman advisory board. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He has received grants from the NEA, NYFA, the Artist’s Trust, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and has been awarded multiple Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at PLU.  

Marta Beyer

Luth Concert Hall, Prior Performance Center

1 College Street
Worcester, MA 01610 United States
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