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Edge 72: w/ Leilani Clark, Liza Porter, & Erin Zweiner
January 28, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm| $5
Edge 72: a Reading Series of Emerging and Younger Writers
Suggested Donation: $5
Come to Edge: A Reading Series of Emerging and Younger Writers. Edge is a series of local and national writers and cross-genre artists, emphasizing diversity of narrative, identity and literary source. Its purpose is to create community, visibility and voice for emerging and younger writers. Broadsheets of the authors’ work will accompany each reading. Books and journals will be available for purchase and signing by the authors. Refreshments will be available after the reading.
Leilani Clark is a native-born Tucsonan of African American and Native American descent from the Navajo and Tewa (Santa Clara Pueblo) nations. She is a community organizer, activist and immigrant rights advocate who credits the beginning development of her passion for social justice inside the classrooms of her Ethnic Studies courses at Tucson High School, before the state of Arizona banned the program in 2010 with the signing of HB 2281. After she graduated from high school in 2007, she began manifesting her vocation towards raising grassroots community and self-empowerment while being a youth intern for the human and migrant rights advocacy group Coalición de Derechos Humanos. In 2010, Leilani further harnessed skills on the use of direct action and civil-disobedience to challenge power and inspire change, when the Arizona community actively resisted anti-migrant bill SB 1070 and anti-Ethnic Studies bill, HB 2281. In 2011, she co-founded, along with other alumni of TUSD’s Ethnic Studies program, the student-led direct action group, U.N.I.D.O.S. – United Non-discriminatory Individuals Demanding Our Studies, who made national news in the spring of 2011 with their act of civil disobedience with a takeover of TUSD’s school board meeting to prevent a vote dismantling the Mexican-American Studies program. Clark has traveled across the United States, giving presentations and workshops, and participating in dialogues, forums, conferences and trainings, in order to learn from other communities, as well as share the accounts of the human rights challenges Southern Arizona faces, and the active resistance shown through grassroots organizing. Leilani further broadened her political analysis around gender and women’s rights after surviving sexual assault in 2011 and an oppressive culture of silence, denial, minimization, and victim-blaming. In 2013 and 2014 her writings on gender violence appeared in the Xicana online zine, Malintzine, which came into existence to expose and confront interpersonal violence in the MAS movement; she participated in local Take Back the Night and Slutwalk events, emceeing for open mics/speak outs and delivering speeches breaking down how rape culture functions at each societal level. In refusing to stop telling her story, she is actively combating a normalized rape culture, which is present even within social justice movements. Leilani is currently invested in using arts as a medium of healing and building more solid community ties which challenge intersections of oppression, confronts gender violence and further facilitates self-care practices in order to create a more sustainable movement.
Liza Porter’s chapbook Red Stain was published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. Porter received the 2009 Mary Ann Campau Memorial Poetry Fellowship from the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She is founding director of the Other Voices Women’s Reading Series at Antigone Books in Tucson, Arizona. Her work is forthcoming or has been published in magazines including Chautauqua, Passages North, The Progressive, AGNI, Diner, Cimarron Review, Barrow Street, Pedestal Magazine, and in What Wildness is this: Women Write About the Southwest (University of Texas Press: Austin, 2007), and Poets on Prozac: Mental Illness, Treatment and the Creative Process (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). Porter’s personal essay “In Plainview” (Cimarron Review 2005) was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2006.
Erin Zwiener is an MFA Candidate in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona. She’s the author of the children’s cowgirl fairy tale Little Red Riding Boots, and her essays are forthcoming in Better: Culture and Lit and The Toast. She lives at the base of the Tucson Mountains with her horses, mules, and dogs.