Mytili Jagannathan

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2002 Inspiration Award

I am a poet, a feminist, and a questioner. For me, poetry is a dive into the clamor of the public realm. I don't believe in private solutions to public dilemmas, and I don't believe in a poetry that retreats from its public responsibility and power. I want a poetry that explodes the habits that "privatize" us, that forces sudden and difficult connections, that calls us to actively respond to one another. Thematically, my poems grapple with issues of public and private space, violence, gender, property, desire, and the conditions of speech. Formally, this is played out through strategies of repetition and questioning throughout the poems, whose effect is to illuminate how words are changed-- and re-charged--through each successive utterance. I see my poems as attempts to interrogate the grounds of relating, identifying, affiliation and struggle: what makes us see and move and act, beyond the circle of safety, inertia, terror, habit, or privilege? What enables--or constrains--our sense of "the possible" in our politics, in the places we inhabit and the places we long for?
 

OPEN LETTER

the conditions are speaking to us
do we speak to the conditions or
to the winner do we speak the conditions in our
deliberate mouths is our speaking
conditional is our love
conditionally speaking is this love
against the stranger breaking down
conditioning us for sound
of cutting-off talk and rebirth to real
kindness borne as bricks
under these conditions a roof
cover us over and do
my conditions speak to yours
innocently are they instructive can we
deconstruct them are they without home
and shared are they circular if no one
ends these conditions are we stuck
are we solid are we salty
are we scissors do we
survive clutching the end
of a condition with our fear as food
is our love dimensional are we new arc
are we meeting here the radical
avalanche of now
are we solid
are we seeming
do we say

APPLY FOR A

Leeway grant?

Leeway Transformation Award

The Transformation Award provides unrestricted annual awards of $15,000 to women and trans* artists living in the Delaware Valley region who create art for social change and have done so for the past five years or more, demonstrating a long-term commitment to social change work. [read more]

deadline 05/15
Upcoming events
05/286:00 pm - 8:00 pm

RE- PLACE -ING Philadelphia with Marty Pottenger

Painted Bride Center presents RE- PLACE -ING Philadelphia, featuring a conversation with performance artist and theater director, Marty Pottenger and Leeway Foundation Executive Director, Denise Brown. Funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, RE- PLACE -ING Philadelphia is built on a foundation of public dialogue and interaction, using art as a lens for viewing the city and its history. At the Leeway Foundation on May 28.

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06/016:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bilingual Grant Information Session in South Philadelphia

This special bilingual (Spanish-English) Information Session will take place at Casa Monarca in South Philadelphia.

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