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Poetry Reading: Devon Ginn, Kristen Esser Slentz & Sylvia Thomas

May 30 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Free
Join us on May 30th at 5pm for a poetry reading with local poets Devon Ginn, Kristen Esser Slentz, and Sylvia Thomas!

Join us on May 30th at 5pm for a poetry reading with local poets Devon Ginn, Kristen Esser Slentz, and Sylvia Thomas! Readings of their new works, Exhibit by Kristine Esser Slentz andTwirl and Vigil by Sylvia Thomas, will be followed by a disucssion and signing.

This event is recommended for adults ages 18+.

All proceeds from sales at Indy Reads support our FREE English language and literacy, High School Equivalency, and workforce certifications programming for adult learners.

Devon Ginn stewards the inclusion & community partnership initiatives at Indiana Repertory Theatre, is a board member of BlackSpace Urbanist Collective and Indiana Writers Center, and has earned several national arts fellowships and residencies. Based in Indianapolis, he’s a certified yoga teacher, sound alchemist, and published poet. Ginn’s creative practice examines the psychogeographies of the built environment through the lens of defiant joy and justice.

KRISTINE ESSER SLENTZ is a Maltese descendent, queer, cult escapee, and author of woman, depose (FlowerSong Press 2021, 2024). She grew up in both northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area—what her father calls the ‘bottom of the blue-collar.’ After receiving her GED, she completed her undergraduate degree at Purdue University, double-majoring in English Literature and Creative Writing, before earning a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (poetry) from City College of New York (CCNY). KRISTINE is a Pushcart Prize nominee, finalist in the Glass Poetry Chapbook and F(r)iction’s Flash Fiction Contests, recipient of a CCNY English Department Teacher-Writer Award, a City Artist Corps Grant, and former Rifkind Fellow and Poets Afloat resident. She is the co-founder and organizer/host of the monthly experimental artist series, Adverse Abstraction, in New York City’s East Village. You can follow KRISTINE’s art on her substack, Carnations & Car Crashes.

Sylvia Thomas, in 2016, began performing her spoken word in Indianapolis. She performed at a few open mics and showcases. From then on, she began to feature at different spots all over the state and the Midwest. In 2018, her words took her to Copenhagen, Denmark as a poet for Winter Pride. After her trip to Europe, she wrote a collection of poems for her debut chapbook, DIVINE. In 2020, she began displaying her creative process of her works on Patreon.

In August of 2021, she was a headliner for Copenhagen 2021: World Pride and EuroGames. After her World Pride performance, she performed for a collaboration between the Global Queer Youth Network and the United Nation Envoy on Youth. Sylvia released her self-published book, Twirl: A Collection of Poetry by a Queer and Transgender Hoosier, in November of 2021. Since the release, she has been traveling, promoting her latest body of work.

In the Summer of 2023, Sylvia became an artist of the Public Life Residency in Garfield Park with Big Car Collaborative.

In 2023, on her birthday (09.29.23), she released her third collection of poetry, VIGIL, at the Tube Factory Artspace in Garfield Park. This is a new collection focused on grief, being Trans, and relationships with family.

KRISTINE ESSER SLENTZ’s re-release of her experimental lyric, woman, depose, now re-envisioned and entitled EXHIBIT: an a̶m̶e̶n̶d̶e̶d̶ woman,depose, is a candid and intimate journey of a tumultuous legal battle centered on sexual harassment, gender bias, and sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation. After enduring a grueling two-year lawsuit, the case was unexpectedly dismissed due to technicalities and evidence as “hearsay.” This pivotal moment forced a confrontation of not only the legal system’s intricacies but also prompted a profound personal introspection.

Through raw and honest storytelling via court document redaction, lyrical poetics, and cross-genre work, SLENTZ re- (and perhaps cross-) examines experiences with sex, sexuality, and the intricate dynamics of power and desire—and their impacts such as substance abuse and violence.

EXHIBIT is a new and vital interrogation of an unfiltered exploration of sexual abuse, trauma, and the pervasive nature of harassment—on a personal level and within the broader societal context.

SLENTZ’s poignant hybrid and experimental text invites readers to navigate the complexities and nuances of sexuality, gender bias, and the multifaceted layers of discrimination. EXHIBIT: an amended woman, depose serves as a testament to resilience, empowerment, and the unyielding pursuit of recovery and understanding. Pre-order link: https://www.flowersongpress.com/store-j9lRp/p/exhibit-an-amended-woman-depose-by-kristine-esser-slentz-forthcoming

VIGIL is a collection of poetry focused on grief. Dead or Alive, the ways people grieve are truly beautiful. What we grieve is even more powerful. These poems grieve loved ones, experiences, people we never met, relationships, opportunities, and ourselves.

Twirl

After performing at World Pride and debuting new poetry at the event, Sylvia has collected some of her favorite pieces that center her joy as a Queer and Trans woman in Indiana.

This event is Pay-What-You-Can. Here’s what your suggested donation can do for the Indy Reads community:

FREE – This ticket is for attendees that would like to attend this event and are unable to purchase a ticket. Indy Reads values our community and facilitators. We are proud to provide programming to all. Thank you for being a part of our community!

$10 – This donation covers the cost of one attendee to this event. Indy Reads strives to bring the very best programming to Fountain Square and all Hoosiers. Thank you for helping us to keep our quality programs accessible for all!

$20 – This donation covers the cost of two attendees to this event. If you are attending as an individual, your ticket at this level makes it possible for another who cannot afford a ticket to attend. It is only through the generosity of our community that we are able to support programs that enrich the lives of all Hoosiers. Thank you for your support!

Other – “Pay-What-You-Can” really does mean pay what you can. Indy Reads appreciates that every one of our community members is able to support our vision of 100% literacy for all in different ways. Whether you can pay $5 or $50, we are so excited to see you – and thank you for your support!

Venue

Indy Reads
1066 Virginia Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46203 United States
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