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In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Jamestown Arts Center will host a free JAC OutLoud Poetry Reading on Sunday, April 23, at 3 pm. Four highly acclaimed, nationally-recognized poets will read from their selected works. An open discussion will follow.  

“Award-winning, published, renowned academics – these poets bring it all, from Chicago, New York, and Japan – and all have a strong connection to Rhode Island, including our State poet laureate,” offers Maureen Coleman, Jamestown Arts Center’s Executive Director. “We are thrilled to bring four poets of this caliber to share their work, in person, with our community. I’m sure it will be a powerful experience!”

Poets are: Tina Cane, the Poet Laureate of RI; Imani Elizabeth Jackson, 2023 National  Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow; Sawako Nakayasu, Brown Univ faculty member and artist working with language, performance, and translation; and Timothy Donnelly, Columbia U. faculty member and Guggenheim fellow.

At a Glance: 

WHAT: JAC Out Loud: Poetry Reading

WHEN: Sunday, April 23, 3pm

WHERE: Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley Street, Jamestown



Poet Bios:

Tina Cane serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island where she is the founder/director of Writers-in-the-Schools, RI. In her capacity as poet laureate, Cane has established her state’s first youth poetry ambassador program in partnership with Rhode Island Center for the Book, and has brought the Poetry-in-Motion program from the New York City Transit System to Rhode Island’s state-wide buses.

Cane is the author of The Fifth Thought, Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, poems with art by Esther Solondz (Skillman Books, 2016), Once More With Feeling (Veliz Books 2017), Body of Work (Veliz Books, 2019), and Year of the Murder Hornet (Veliz Books, 2022). In 2016, Tina received the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry, from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She was also a 2020 Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets. Her debut novel-in-verse for young adults, Alma Presses Play (Penguin/Random House) was released in September 2021. Cane is also the creator/ curator of the distance reading series, Poetry is Bread, and the editor of Poetry is Bread: The Anthology (forthcoming from Nirala Press, 2023).

Imani Elizabeth Jackson is from Chicago. She is a recipient of a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and Futurepoem’s 2020 Other Futures Award, among other honors. Her writings appear in Apogee, BOMB, TriQuarterly, Poetry, Triple Canopy, and elsewhere. Under the name mouthfeel, she co-authored the poetry-cookbook Consider the Tongue (2019) with S*an D. Henry-Smith; she also contributed to Francesca Capone’s Weaving Language I: Lexicon (Essay Press, 2022). She is the author of two chapbooks, saltsitting (g l o s s, 2020) and Context for arboreal exchanges (Belladonna*, 2023) and her first book, Flag, is forthcoming from Futurepoem.

Sawako Nakayasu is an artist working with language, performance, and translation – separately and in various combinations. Her newest books include Pink Waves (Omnidawn), a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker award, Some Girls Walk Into The Country They Are From (Wave Books) and the pamphlet, Say Translation Is Art (Ugly Duckling Presse). Translations include The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa (Modern Library), as well as Mouth: Eats Color – Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals (Rogue Factorial), a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry. Settle Her, which was written on the #1 bus line in Providence on Thanksgiving Day of 2017, and which commemorates her cutting ties with normative Thanksgiving celebrations, is forthcoming from Solid Objects.

Timothy Donnelly‘s most recent book of poetry is Chariot (Wave Books, 2023). His other collections include Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebensezeit (Grove, 2003), The Cloud Corporation (Wave, 2010), winner of the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize, and The Problem of the Many (Wave, 2019) winner of the inaugural Big Other Award in Poetry. With John Ashbery and Geoffrey G. O’Brien, he is coauthor of Three Poets (Minus A Press, 2012) and his chapbook Hymn to Life was published in 2014 by Factory Hollow Press. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Believer, The Bennington Review, Fence, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry and elsewhere, as well as in The Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize anthologies. Donnelly is a recipient of a Columbia Distinguished Faculty Award and a Faculty Mentoring Award, as well as of the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Connors Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and New York State’s Writers Institute. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.

About the Jamestown Arts Center: 

The Jamestown Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space that hosts art exhibits, theatre, dance and musical performances, film screenings, and educational programming including artist talks and hands-on art classes for all ages. The JAC opened in 2010 in a former boat repair shop redesigned by award winning architects Estes/Twombly. Since 2014, it’s won five of Rhode Island Monthly’s ‘Best of Rhode Island’ awards, including the Editor’s Pick for Outdoor Art in 2021.

The Jamestown Arts Center is a leading arts and cultural hub for Rhode Island and beyond, where creativity, ideas, and innovation flourish. For more information visit:

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