Lincoln Center on Thursday named Mahogany L. Browne its first ever poet in residence, a part of its initiative to make use of its outside areas as New York emerges from pandemic lockdowns.
Browne, 45, is the writer of a number of books, together with “Black Girl Magic,” “Chlorine Sky,” and the forthcoming “I Remember Death by Its Proximity to What I Love.” She can also be the chief director of the media-literacy group JustMedia. Poetry, she mentioned in a video interview, is “at the core of everything I do.”
Her residency, named “We Are the Work” in a nod to the Audre Lorde essay “The Transformation of Silence Into Language and Action,” will run from July to September and can embody in-person and digital occasions akin to poetry readings, movie screenings, discussions and performances. Described as “an artistic call to recharge and unite towards justice within our communities,” “We Are the Work” is a part of Restart Stages, an initiative Lincoln Center began earlier this 12 months to bolster its outside programming.
“Teachers, abolitionists, writers, filmmakers — anyone widening the lens to reveal the full beautiful-bodied picture, anyone who is assuring we all have the liberties this country promised — that is the work,” Browne mentioned.
“I was told to dream — dream big,” Browne mentioned of her upcoming residency.Credit…Jasmine Clarke for The New York Times
Jordana Leigh, Lincoln Center’s senior director of programming, mentioned in a video interview that “we’re looking at having the arts be truly reflective of New York City” and that as organizers have been fascinated about poets concerned in social-justice points, “Mahogany’s name was one that boiled up a lot.”
Browne plans to collaborate with different poets and writers, together with Jacqueline Woodson, Isaac Fitzgerald and Sarah Kay, as a part of her residency. She additionally plans to carry a e-book honest for kids specializing in titles with social-justice themes, in addition to a contemporary produce giveaway with Seeds in the Middle, a Brooklyn-based charity that helps youngsters begin neighborhood gardens in addition to different meals and health-related packages.
“I was told to dream — dream big. Everything I wanted to do, nothing was said no to,” Browne mentioned. “I’ve been waiting for this kind of Christmas.”
When she visited Lincoln Center in June for a Juneteenth celebration curated by the poet Carl Hancock Rux, Browne mentioned, it was raining. Many individuals stayed to take heed to the performances and bask in the house. Seeing that received her fascinated about the occasions she would develop throughout her residency.
“This will be part of the archive when we look back,” Browne mentioned, “at how we came back to ourselves.”