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Oct22
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Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

RE/FUTURING the Verse: Poetry Threads of Native Chicago


Join us for a poetry reading at the Center for Native Futures in partnership with the Terrain Biennial 2023: Mycelium Connection, led by Stevie Imuakalani Cisneros Hanley and Stephanie Graham. Featured Native American poets Mark Turcotte (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), Elise Paschen (Osage Nation), River Ian Kerstetter (Oneida Nation), Dominique Daye Hunter (Yésah & Nansemond), and Aaron Golding (Seneca Nation, Beaver Clan) will RE/FUTURE the Verse.

Terrain Biennial is a grassroots public art festival that brings artists and neighbors together to put public art on the front lawns (and porches, windows, and rooftops, too!) of neighborhoods across the world. This year, artists responded to the theme mycelium connection to honor and expand Terrain’s mission of making unexpected, yet vital human and environmental connections. Mycelium is a thriving underground network of fungal threads, vital to many natural ecosystems. Despite its enormous geographical span, it remains invisible to most, subversively springing up from cracks and shadows. We ask ourselves, who and what has been overlooked, and why?

Center for Native Futures is a dynamic contemporary art space dedicated to Native artists. Located in the Marquette Building, Center for Native Futures serves as Chicago’s only all-Native artist-operated fine arts organization.

Mark Turcotte is the author of four books of poetry, including The Feathered Heart and Exploding Chippewas. He lives in Chicago, where he teaches in the English Department at DePaul University.

Elise Paschen, an enrolled member of the Osage Nation, is the author of The Nightlife, named one of the top poetry books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books; Bestiary; Infidelities, winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize; and Houses: Coasts. Her poems have been published widely, including in Poetry magazine, A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, and The Best American Poetry. She has edited numerous anthologies, including The Eloquent Poem, and is a co-founder of Poetry in Motion. Paschen teaches in the MFA Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

River Ian Kerstetter (she/they) is an artist, designer, and writer based in Anishinaabe lands known as Chicago. Her work reflects identity, memory, land, and history and celebrates community, collaboration, and liberatory movements. She is currently social media lead at Sixty Inches From Center and designer of the prison newsletter Stateville Speaks. River is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

Dominique Daye Hunter is an Afro-Indigenous (Yésah & Nansemond) storyteller and multi-disciplinary artist specializing in poetry and fashion. The CEO of D. Daye Hunter Designs, LLC, Dominique’s written and visual work explore the complex connections between historical trauma, creating safe spaces, and healing in diverse communities. The author of Seeds: Stories of Afro-Indigenous Resilience, Dominique was a 2021 and 2022 Artist Investment Program cohort member with the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She has a BS in nonprofit leadership management with an emphasis in American Indian Studies and lives between Raleigh, North Carolina and Phoenix, Arizona.

Aaron Golding is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation, Beaver Clan. Aaron’s writing centers on stories of Native Peoples reconnecting with their culture and identity, which mirrors his experiences. He hopes to add to the diversity of Native stories by highlighting the impacts genocide has on families and communities. He’s particularly interested in the resiliency of urban Native communities. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife, two children, and three cats.

Stevie Imuakalani Cisneros Hanley (Terrain co-lead) is a bastard child of colonialism, of mixed Kanaka Maoli Indigenous Hawaiian, Mexican, Irish, and Punjabi heritage. Their work investigates the body as spill, miscegenation, identity as contradiction, psychic pollution, intergenerational trauma, and healing. Stevie teaches in the department of Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, specializing in decolonizing color theory. They have had solo shows at the International Museum of Surgical Science, University Club of Chicago, Center of Endless Progress Berlin, and M LeBlanc Gallery.

Stephanie Graham (Terrain co-lead) makes photos and films addressing the themes of relationships, subcultures, and social class. She has held solo exhibitions at boundary, Chicago; the University of Illinois Gallery, Springfield; and Terrain! Her group exhibitions include the University of Chicago: Arts and Public Life; The Silver Room; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; and the CICA Museum in South Korea. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago. Expanding on her fascination with the human experience, Stephanie also hosts a podcast, noseyAF, talking to artists, activists, and anyone else who will speak to her about the who, what, and why of what they do in their lives.

In-Person Attendance
Masks are strongly encouraged and available at check-in for those who would like to wear one. Please note that some event performers may choose to perform without a mask.

The Poetry Foundation’s events are completely free of charge and open to the public. This event will include ASL interpretation and a free reception.


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