weekend links: Patricia Smith, bisexual lighting, San Antonio's tricentennial


Christopher Knowles, The Sundance Kid Is Beautiful (2013). Image courtesy ICA Philadelphia/Artsy.

Established poet and educator Patricia Smith won the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award based at Claremont Graduate University this Tuesday for her collection Incendiary Art: Poems, which explores violence done to black men and the grieving of black mothers. The prestigious award is given to a poet in their mid-career, and the prize is currently the largest poetry award in the country. A second prize was also given to poet and educator Donika Kelly for her collection Bestiary, which has also won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for poetry. [Daily Bulletin]

By utilizing text, sound, painting, sculpture, and performance, visual artist Christopher Knowles strives to make sense of the world around him. Knowles, who was born with autism, started his Texas career with a one-man performance in 2012 titled The Sundance Kid Is Beautiful. The performance featured walls and floors papered with headlines and photos from the New York Times. Three painted cones stood near a table with a can of Coca-Cola and a glass on it, a red alarm clock, and a green window-frame. He described it as a mirror to his world—a representation of how it feels to live with “information overload.” Now, The Sundance Kid Is Beautiful is performed in locations around the country, and is currently the centerpiece of a retrospective of the artist at the Contemporary Museum of Art Houston. [Artsy]

The 2017 film Atomic Blonde, starring Charlize Theron as a bisexual spy, spawned the birth of "bisexual lighting," wherein a bisexual character is portrayed in magenta and blue lighting, to mirror the bisexual pride flag. The B in LGBTQ has often been overlooked, questioned, and stigmatized, and it's refreshing to see it find its own identity in popular culture. Janelle Monáe's new video for the song "Make Me Feel" features the color scheme aplenty. It may just be a coincidence, but we still love it. [Vulture]

Austin rapper and India native Abhi the Nomad says music is the only thing he can rely on. After moving to different countries throughout his life and continuously adapting to a new place, Abhi started singing and playing the guitar. Here, he talks about being a “third-culture kid,” discovering American hip hop, and his new project, Marbled. Judging by his infectious flow and impressive hooks, one can expect Abhi the Nomad to be an Austin staple and possibly the pop star of tomorrow. [Austin Chronicle]

To celebrate San Antonio’s tricentennial, visual artist Ana Fernandez debuted an oil painting that represents present-day Main Plaza in 1849 with San Antonio organization Common Currents. Common Currents is a 300-artist showcase of San Antonio’s history presented over six venues. Given her interest in the past and history of documenting the city’s urban landscapes, Fernandez’s piece fit right in to the showcase. Here, we learn more about Common Currents as well as the selection process for such a big celebration of San Antonio’s 300th birthday. [Arts and Culture TX]

With their witty lyrics and idiosyncratic style, Atlanta rap duo EarthGang has been forging their way to the top for some time. Since meeting J Cole and opening on Ab Soul’s These Days tour in 2014, they have kept their names relevant by constantly dropping good content, and their Recent EP Royalty is no different. Being its third of the group’s 3-EP installment to precursor their sophomore album, Royalty includes undeniable bangers such as “Build” as well as tracks that leave you wanting more like “Cocktail.” There’s no doubt that these two are talented, and this EP might be the thing that finally solidifies their place in mainstream hip hop. [DJ Booth]

Is every poem a love poem? Award-winning poet and Executive Director of the Cave Canem Foundation Nicole Sealey thinks so. Here, she discusses how she started writing poetry, nuances in her debut poetry collection Ordinary Beast, and how she reads every poem as a profession of love to something. [Paris Review]

With its new TV series American Creed, PBS aims to highlight stories of citizen-activists to show the many different experiences of being American. For the show that airs on February 27, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz shares his experiences growing up as an immigrant in New Jersey and how that has shaped his literary career and his outlook on life. [Remezcla]

—Nia KB

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