Rising star of the KC and St. Louis poetry scenes and beyond...You've got to meet Poet TLSanders. Wednesday, July 15th at noon you can catch Poet on KKFI ArtSpeak Radio. Poet was our 2019-2020 "Paper Poet in Residence" Recipient and our first poet in residence.
Poet AKA Àtwist – The Language Artist, is a modern-day renaissance man who lives to build minds and loves to body build. He speaks French. He plays bass. He is a cage fighting martial artist. He educates. Give him a stage, he articulates. Lend him an ear, he motivates. He is a National Writing Project Teacher Consultant, a current curriculum director, and former elementary, middle, and high school English teacher (with 16 years of teaching experience), Poet embraces the value of our shared stories. Whether he is public speaking, teaching, writing or breathing, he has a passion for empowering people. Find him on YouTube under Bethephenom, on Twitter and Instagram @PoetTLSanders and on Facebook: facebook.com/bethephenoms.
We wanted another poet to catch the fire of being our "Paper Poet in Residence" to work with an editor to develop a full poetry collection. We are thankful to all the poets who submitted their work. We hope in some way to make the residency grassroots so that the year as a poet in residence will continue to grow exponentially as poets work together and encourage each other to share their poetry in performances, readings, art events, and in all kinds of publications (including paper ones). We are so happy to see Poet T.L. Sander and his poetry collection become a one-man show at KC Fringe Festival, winning an award, and the ways in which his work continues to expand, including the new work he is writing!
So who is our new Poet in Residence and the winner of our Hybrid Poetry Book contest?
Hasna Salam, artist and poet, is our new poet in residence for 2020-2021. Her book, "Sui Generis" was selected by our editors because of its hybrid use of both art, poetry, and raising awareness for social reform.
Hasna is an architect by profession. She credits her post-graduate studies from Harvard in landscape architecture for her current work in sculpture; work that translates her observations and study of nature through glass forms encompasses casting, kiln formed glass, Fritography, and torchworking.
In her sculptures, Hasna concentrates on social reform through the narrative of both color and light citing the phenomenological responses to layers of filtered light and shadow in the environment to convey her artivism. As an artist and poet, she identifies herself as the raconteur; bringing to light stories that are overlooked or forgotten or uncomfortable.
Hasna believes art must step beyond the liminalities of aesthetics and transcend into the realm of social reformation.
"Art should resolve world issues. Art should have a voice that resonates loud and clear across boundaries. Art should be the champion of change." She writes, “Sharing these stories creates awareness of the problem, which in turn facilitates the platform for conversations and resolutions to take place.”
A US citizen, Hasna relocated to Kansas in 2020 where she worked as an architect and taught design studio at the University of Kansas. She felt glass sculpture installations were the perfect fusion of her education and interests: Four years of art studies in England and Wales and her five-year NAAB-accredited professional degree program in architecture. Working from her Kansas City studio, Hasna’s has shown at various art shows and competitions throughout the United States and worldwide. More at glassconcepts360.com.
Yola Gómez is the winner of our Hybrid Poetry Contest with her full-length hybrid manuscript titled, We've always been weeping and searching for the dead. Congratulations, Yola! We found her work compelling and the narrative intense, important, and timely. The voice was original and true and her poems were both unique and thoughtful in form and in their ability to create epic visual vistas in the reader's mind.
"We’ve always been weeping and searching for the dead, is an autotheoretical and hauntological examination of historical and intergenerational trauma, mental illness, multiracial identity, colonialism and queerness within the context of a queer femme multi-ethnic multi-racial Xicanx experience. I accomplish this through free verse poetry, personal essays, and photo essays. I chose this hybrid collection of autotheoretical and hauntological introspection as a way to resist the cooptation of my trauma. Instead of an exploitative retelling, I reclaim my past through introspection in such a way as to highlight the ways that memory inevitably interacts with our everyday existence."
Yola is a first-generation queer Xicanx femme. Their pronouns are she-her/they-them. Yola recently graduated with an MFA in creative writing from Oregon State University. She holds degrees in Gender & Women’s Studies, Arabic, and Middle Eastern North African Studies. They are an activist, writer, performer, and theorist. She has been published in Nat.Brut, Entropy, and Utterance: A Journal. They have a forthcoming publication in Cutthroat’s Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century.