Performance of Freedom: Tonya Foster on Close Listening

reading and conversation

Reading from Swarms of Bees in High Court (24:50): MP3
Conversation with Charles Bernstein (45:20): MP3

recorded June 18, 2013

Tonya Foster's new book, Swarms of Bees in High Court is forthcoming from Belladonna. Foster lives in New York, where she is a doctoral student in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. On the first program, Foster reads from the book. In the second show Foster speaks of poetry as a "performance of freedom," discusses her odyssey from church choir in New Orleans to New York's innovative poetry communities. Along the way, Foster address the central role of sound and performance in her work, her multiple sense of identity, conflicting strains of work in current African-American poetry, the tensions between the articulation of lyric individuality and collective engagements, and the role of place  in transnational or nonnational blackness.

see also:
"Tonya's Place" -
- an essay I wrote on Foster's work originally published in American Poet (Poetry Society of America) in 2008.
Tonya Foster at PennSound

Tonya's New Orleans

January 8, 2008
Tonya grew up in New Orleans and was heading down for the Spring. Now she was graduate student at CUNY, about to write a dissertation of poetry and place. We has just eaten in the new sushi joint across the street.

Close Listening: an index of all the shows at PennSound