To celebrate the release of Boston Review‘s annual Arts in Society issue, Ancestors, we hosted a digital reading from contributors, featuring poetry, fiction, memoir, and essays. This was the third in our series of events to celebrate the book’s release, with the first and second also viewable on our site.

ASL interpreting was provided by Susan Pacheco-Correa and Selena Flowers of Pro Bono ASL, and the evening was hosted by Boston Review Arts Editor Adam McGee and Contributing Arts Editor Ivelisse Rodriguez.

Purchase your copy of Ancestors here, or make a small donation so Boston Review can keep producing events like this.

Order of Readings:

  • Duana Fullwiley — Excerpt from “DNA and Our Twenty-First-Century Ancestors” (essay)
  • Racquel Goodison —Excerpt from “Skylarking” (fiction)
  • Day Heisinger-Nixon —“Room, Room, Room, in the Many Mansions of Eternal Glory for Thee and for Everyone” and “Publick Universal Friend Adopts a More Androgynous Appearance, Wearing Long Clerical Robes, Sporting a Wide-Brimmed Beaver Hat Outdoors” (poetry)
  • Vuyelwa Maluleke — “[Evidence: Personal Effects] A Purse Full of Black” and “Ode to the River” (poetry)
  • Deborah Jackson Taffa — Excerpt from “The Millions” (essay)
  • Kyoko Uchida —“Breath,” “From Mother Tongues and Other Untravelings, a prose poem sequence,” and “Grief”
  • Felicia Zamora — “Meditations on Lines” and “from Crown of Invisibility” (poetry)

All authors are in Ancestors. Purchase your copy now!

Reader Bios:

Duana Fullwiley is an anthropologist of science and medicine. She is author of The Enculturated Gene: Sickle Cell Health Politics and Biological Difference in West Africa. The larger themes of her work have also inspired her artistic engagements with medical power and scientific legacies that emerge in her poetry, published in Ars Medica. She teaches at Stanford University.

Racquel Goodison is on faculty at the City University of New York. She has been a resident at Yaddo, Millay, and the Saltonstall Arts Colony as well as a recipient of the Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writer’s Grant and a scholarship to the Fine Arts Works Center. Her stories, poems, and creative nonfiction have been nominated for the Pushcart and can be found in such literary journals as the Obsidian, Pleiades, Your Impossible Voice, Kweli Journal, Her Kind, and Drunken Boat. Her chapbook, Skin, was a finalist for the 2013 Goldline Press Fiction Chapbook competition and the winner of the 2015 Creative Justice Press fiction chapbook competition.

Day Heisinger-Nixon is a poet, essayist, interpreter, and translator. Raised in an ASL-English bilingual home in Fresno, California, Day holds an MA in Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University and is a current MFA candidate in Creative Writing at New England College. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in Apogee, Foglifter, Booth, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles.

Vuyelwa Maluleke holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University Currently Known as Rhodes. Shortlisted for the Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2014, she is author of the chapbook Things We Lost in the Fire.

Deborah Taffa, a citizen of the Quechan (Yuma Indian) Nation, has writing in dozens of outlets including PBS, Salon, Huffington Post, the Rumpus, Brevity, A Public Space, and the Best American series. Her memoir manuscript won the SFWP Literary Award in 2019. She teaches at Webster University and Washington University in St. Louis.

Kyoko Uchida was born in Japan and raised there and in the United States and Canada. Her poetry collection, Elsewhere, was published in 2012 by Texas Tech University Press, and her poetry, prose, and translations have appeared in journals including Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, and North American Review. She works for a nonprofit organization and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Felicia Zamora is author of six books of poetry including I Always Carry My Bones, winner of the 2020 Iowa Poetry Prize; Quotient; and Body of Render, winner of the 2018 Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press. She’s received fellowships and residencies from CantoMundo, Ragdale Foundation, PLAYA, Moth Magazine, and Noepe Center at Martha’s Vineyard, won the 2019 Wabash Prize for Poetry and the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize, and was the 2017 Poet Laureate of Fort Collins, CO. Her poems and essays are found or forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Literary Hub, Missouri Review Poem-of-the-Week, Orion, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Nation, and others. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Cincinnati where she teaches poetry and creative writing and is the associate poetry editor for the Colorado Review.