Special guest: Tonita Austin, author of "Toni's Room"
2-4pm, Firbank Art Studio.
$14, includes refreshments.
Image: "Beloved Community" (c) Silk Oak
Whether you are a poet with poems to share, or an appreciative listener, you are invited to join us on Sunday afternoons from 2-4pm for our Poetry Coffeehouse. The theme of the education program this year is “Creating Beloved Community,” and you might consider that theme and its many possibilities as you write your way to new openings and possibilities. Open mic format.
NB: September’s Poetry Coffeehouse features special guest Tonita Austin, who will be reading from her collection of poems, Toni’s Room.
“Toni’s Room is a poetic journey into the most sacred and sensitive parts of me as a black woman, a female activist, writer, lover, and mother. Some poems are 20 years old, some were written this year, but all of them provide a look into this black woman’s journey from innocence to restoration through ecstasy, heartache, grief, loss, activism, and self-love. I felt that there is a need especially during these emotionally charged experiences that artists are the vehicle to healing. I seek to honor myself, my ancestors and open the possibility of healing through art by sharing my poetry in Toni’s Room.” —Tonita Austin
Tonita Austin – also known as “Toni Love” – is a gifted poet, singer, activist, and writer born in West Philadelphia. While attending Columbia University, Tonita was a student of Amiri Baraka and performed in Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls” as the Lady in Orange. Her writing is influenced by both experiences. She is a contributor to the anthology The Black Body and featured poet in the 2018 Winter/Fall edition of the Philadelphia Arts and Urban Literary Magazine. She is the proud mother of James and Janai. The Restoration EP is her first published recording; Toni’s Room is her first published book.
Jesse White is the Arts and Spirituality Coordinator at Pendle Hill. She holds a B.A. in Integrative Studies: Creative and Spiritual Process joined with a B.A. in Psychology from Guilford College. Jesse works as an arts educator and art therapist and directs Pigeon Arts, a cathartic art-making organization in Philadelphia. She is a member of Frankford Friends Meeting (PA).