The first Philosenes Vigil took place on the evening of Friday February 14, 2020, in Sag Harbor. This gathering came out of a desire to resist the dehumanization and disconnection of our time and to show up for community, social justice, and liberation. We lit candles and walked in silence together through town.
Kathy reading at the Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein atrium for the New York celebration of the anthology What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump, published by Northwestern University Press. Poet George Wallace described the evening as, “A landmark night for the dissident poetic voice in America, in one of the shrines to the world’s performing arts… Our chance to step out of the trenches and show proof-positive what this generation of committed poets can do to speak truth to power on any stage.”
March 2019 saw the release of Women and Migration: Responses in Art and History, edited by Deborah Willis, Ellyn Toscano and Kalia Brooks Nelson. The book includes a piece by Kathy called “Migrations”.
The Art and Public Policy Website comments: “The essays in this book chart how women’s profound and turbulent experiences of migration have been articulated in writing, photography, art and film. As a whole, the volume gives an impression of a wide range of migratory events from women’s perspectives, covering the Caribbean Diaspora, refugees and the contributors, which include academics and artists, offer both personal and critical points of view on the artistic and historical repositories of these experiences. Selfies, motherhood, slavery through the various lenses of politics and war, love and family, violence and Hollywood all feature in this substantial treasure-trove of women’s joy and suffering, disaster and delight, place, memory and identity.”
You can read and download the book for free here, but please consider purchasing a high-quality ebook or printed editions to support the not-for-profit initiative.
Kathy is honored to be featured as a “Bad Ass Woman” in the March/April 2019 Issue of CommPassions’ Newsletter, together with Sanyu Bhojwani, A’Lelia Bundles, Ruth Carter, Vanessa Daniel and Rosemari Mealy. The newsletter’s editor Gwen McKinney writes: “Women’s work is collaborative and reaches beyond sectors, communities and borders. The impact is immediate and enduring, saluting the ancestors and those yet unborn.” Click here to read the full piece.
Anna Kahle, a junior at Lima Central Catholic High School, was named the 2019 Ohio Poetry Out Loud (POL) state champion March 8 at Ohio’s 14th annual POL state finals competition on March 8. Anne Kahle’s winning performance consisted of a recitation of three poems: “Enough” by Suzanne Buffam, “Early Affection” by George Moses Horton and “Now I Pray” by Kathy Engel.
Amanda Etchison writes on the Arts Ohio Blog: “Of the three poems she selected, Kahle said she favors Engel’s “Now I Pray,” which she recited in the second round of competition. The poem depicts the narrator’s encounter with a homeless man and a boy searching for a church that might offer them a meal.
‘It is so powerful and so moving …. I think everyone has felt a time when they’ve wanted to help someone but they can’t, or they look back on a time when they could’ve helped someone but they didn’t,” Kahle said. “I think it’s very relatable and poignant.’“
Anne Kahle will be traveling to Washington, D.C., from April 29 to May 1 to represent Ohio at the Poetry National Finals. We wish her the very best of luck!
On International Women’s Day, Kathy hosted Elisa Biagini, Italian poet and educator, at NYU Tisch for a reading from her work – including her recent book The Plant of Dreaming –, followed by a presentation of her public poetry installations and other community projects. Elisa was introduced by Alicia Ostriker, 11th New York State Poet.
See below for some impressions of the event.
For more details on her work, visit Elisa’s website here.
Leah Natasha Thomas’ video based on a choral reading of Kathy Engel’s poem “To Kneel” against the backdrop of dramatic footage is currently live on The Root TV. The poem is read by Danny Glover, Anna Deavere Smith, Walter Mosley and other artists.
From Gwen McKinney’s newsletter on Black History month:
“Let’s view February merely as a marker, not a restraint. We should claim the moments whenever it is appropriate to exhume, remember and embrace. The obscure. The cherished. The harsh. The curated truths. They etch the Black experience. They are milestones in the storytelling of humanity, capturing what is constant and changing.”