Ballast: an intimate reading

Reading with Amanda Johnston, Dante Micheaux, L. Lamar Wilson

Thursday, November 1, 2018
7:00 – 8:30 pm


In conjunction with his solo exhibition Ballast, Quenton Baker has selected three of his most beloved poets to read their works in engagement with and in response to his exhibition. This reading will be interspersed with the poets’ reflections on the exhibition and the ideas that fuel their practices. To be followed by a question and answer session.

Select titles by Baker, Johnston, Micheaux, and Wilson are available for purchase in the Museum Store.

About the Presenters

Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter (Argus House Press). Her poetry and interviews have appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Callaloo, Poetry, Kinfolks Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Muzzle, Pluck!, No, Dear and the anthologies, Small Batch, Full, di-ver-city, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. The recipient of multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International Poetry Festival, she is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Johnston is a Stonecoast MFA faculty member, a cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founding executive director of Torch Literary Arts. She serves on the Cave Canem Foundation board of directors and currently lives in Texas.

Dante Micheaux is the author of Circus (Indolent Books, 2018) and Amorous Shepherd (Sheep Meadow Press, 2010). His poems and translations have appeared in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, PN Review, The African American Review and Tongue—among other journals and anthologies. He has been shortlisted for the Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize. Micheaux’s honors include a prize in poetry from the Vera List Center for Art & Politics, the Oscar Wilde Award and fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and The New York Times Foundation.

L. Lamar Wilson is the author of Sacrilegion (Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series, 2013), a 2013 Independent Publishers Group bronze medalist, and a 2013 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry finalist. He is a co-author of Prime: Poetry and Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014) with the Phantastique Five. Individual poems and scholarly essays have appeared in African American Review, Black Gay Genius (2014), Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Cream City Review, jubilat, Muzzle, Rattle, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010), Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (2015), Vinyl, and elsewhere. The poem from which Sacrilegion's title emerged, "Resurrection Sunday," was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Wilson, a Cave Canem and Callaloo graduate fellow, holds an MFA from Virginia Tech and is completing a doctorate in African American and multiethnic American poetics.

Image caption: Quenton Baker. Excerpt from Untitled, 2017. Ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist


Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and may be picked up at the desk in the foyer outside the Auditorium thirty minutes prior to the start of the program. There is no late seating, so please arrive early.

As a special benefit, Frye members may reserve free tickets in advance to guarantee seating. To reserve, call 206 432 8289 or email at least two days prior to the event. Each member may reserve two tickets and may claim their tickets one hour prior to the start of the program.