Jazz Poetry Month: Thoth Trio "Meditations on Quarantine” ft. Poets Richard Blanco, Asieh Amini, Joy Katz, & Natalie DiazThursday, September 10, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (run-time 75 minutes)
Thoth Trio debuts their new work Meditations on Quarantine, a suite of five works composed by Ben Opie. Written entirely during the pandemic, the works are impressions of the composer’s experiences and interests throughout quarantine. This suite, written in a time of uncertainty, explores the outcomes when musicians are forced to innovate, re-examine, and push the boundaries of their creativity.
For over fifteen years, Thoth Trio has been at the forefront of Pittsburgh’s creative music scene. Defined as intense acoustic jazz, Thoth Trio plays lively original music as well as devoting performances to the music of Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, and Ornette Coleman. Musicians: Ben Opie (reeds); Paul Thompson (bass); and David Throckmorton (drums)
This program also features readings from national poets Natalie Diaz, Richard Blanco, Joy Katz, as well as Asieh Amini, an Iranian exiled writer-in-residence currently living in Norway. The poets will read new work, reflecting on the creativity of this moment on the intersection of isolation and exile.
Natalie Diaz is the author of Postcolonial Love Poem (Graywolf Press, 2020) and When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), and has received fellowships from The MacArthur Foundation, the Lannan Literary Foundation, and the Native Arts Council Foundation, and Princeton University. She was awarded the Princeton Holmes National Poetry Prize and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the United States Artists, where she is an alumnus of the Ford Fellowship.
Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry. His latest book of poems, How to Love a Country, both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.
Joy Katz writes poems and essays. Her book The Color Cure, documents every minute of whiteness in her life. Her previous collections are All You Do is Perceive, a National Poetry Series finalist and a Stahlecker Selection at Four Way Books; The Garden Room (Tupelo Press); Fabulae (SIU Press); and two chapbooks, Which From That Time (Argos Books) and White: An Abstract (Bonfire Books). She is an editor-at-large for Copper Nickel.
Asieh Amini is a poet, journalist, and activist, born in Iran. Asieh’s fight against execution and for women’s rights garnered attention in human rights communities as well as imposing hardships. She received the Human Rights Watch’s Hellmann/Hammett award (2009), the Oxfam Novib/PEN award (2012), and the Ord i Grenseland Prize (2014).