Poetry + Film Weekend!
Time & Location
About the Event
Epsilon Spires presents a special Backlot Cinema event featuring artist Shanta Lee Gander in addition to cinematic treats, Hey Little Black Girl and The Fits.
Shanta Lee will be doing a short reading prior to each of these features throughout the weekend from her debut poetry book, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues (Diode Editions June 2021). The range of art forms paired together share an exploration of self, time, and what it means to take space within Black girlhood and womanhood in America.
As a part of this celebratory event for Shanta Lee’s book launch, special dishes and treats inspired by the poems within GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA will be a part of this special experience.
Directed by Lyntoria Newton. Sound Recordist: Puck Lo. (13 mins) A film essay that explores black girlhood from yesterday, today and tomorrow.
“Once upon a time there was a little black girl who propelled herself into a dimension of new surfaces with old echoes of the little black girls who came before her.”
Directed by Anna Rose Holmer (72 mins)
“Dreamy” -Rolling Stone "Visually Lush” New York Times
THE FITS is a psychological portrait of 11-year-old Toni—a tomboy assimilating to a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati’s West End. Enamored by the power and confidence of this strong community of girls, Toni eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. When a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, Toni’s desire for acceptance is tested.
By Author Shanta Lee Gander
Through ecstatic and courageous acts of remembrance, the poems in GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues preserves and commemorates in golden, and at times, harsh light, the elemental growth of a poet nurtured by women, community, and culture but more by the rituals of language that “fashions[s] ourselves” into wholeness.
—Major Jackson, author of The Absurd Man
“Shanta Lee’s poems are adamant and stirring. They have incredible force and intimacy, the sound hit every part of me. ‘Some sounds invite eavesdropping to all / the befores. Before all the gates of / never return, before tongues couldn’t / be trained in what they no longer are’ she writes in the poem ‘Black Book of Creation,’ which mimics the experience of reading this book. This is an incredible book. A complex multiverse of language, nightmares, visions, history, the forgotten, the painful—but also that incredibleness of human resilience and togetherness. In this book there is conversation with both the reader, with history, with family, the very stars themselves. I feel the presence of the mother, the mother’s mothers, and on and on—all the way back to the first mother, the first stardust. And because of that, this is a book I will return to again and again.”
—Bianca Stone, author of Gertrude and The Mobius Strip Club of Grief
- Poetry + Film Friday Night!$20$200$0