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2021 Inkubator Keynote Address

Keynote speaker Claudia Rankine will talk with ideastream reporter Shelli Reeves about her writing and read from Just Us: An American Conversation, which uses essays, poems, and images to urge us to break silences around race and white supremacy and begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history. This event is presented by the Cleveland Public Library.


Claudia Rankine is the author of five books of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; three plays including HELP, which premiered in March 2020 (The Shed, NYC), and The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/ American Repertory Theater) and was published by Graywolf Press in 2019; as well as numerous video collaborations. Her recent collection of essays, Just Us: An American Conversation, was published by Graywolf Press in 2020. She is also the co-editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, Rankine co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. A former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Claudia Rankine will join the NYU Creative Writing Program in Fall 2021. She lives in New Haven, CT.

Shelli Reeves has dedicated her life to breaking down barriers and building community. She uses innovative ways to start conversations about social determinants of health while focusing on community, society, and policy. Her activism has led her to do work within museums, media, and political campaigns. Most recently, at ideastream public media, Shelli uses Human-Centered Design to co-create a project that impacts health outcomes of middle schoolers living in African American Communities resulting in a podcast that was recently released last month. Shelli is also the director of Reframe History which is an organization dedicated to keeping stories alive through archiving the past, recording the present, and advocating for the future. When she is not creating exhibitions and sharing stories, she is tending to her 22 plants and teaching yoga throughout Cleveland.


Details: The 2021 Inkubator Keynote Address takes place Saturday, July 24 from 7-8:30pm remotely through Zoom. 


Zoom Info: Register for the event and Lit Cleveland will send you an invitation and instructions on how to attend via Zoom. 

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