06 Oct David Mills- Poetry Reading from Boneyarn
October 6, 2021, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
In this program, poet David Mills will read from his bestselling, groundbreaking poetry collection, Boneyarn, the first-ever book of poems about slavery in New York City. The city holds the oldest and largest slave cemetery in the United States—the African Burial Ground—which was open from 1712 to 1795 and is located in Wall Street’s shadows. Fifteen thousand enslaved and free Blacks, some Native Americans, and poor whites are buried there. Mills creatively “excavates” the tragedies and triumphs of New York’s enslaved and free Black community. He writes about those who toiled as cooks, childhood chimney sweeps, sailed the Atlantic, fought in the Revolutionary War, maintained African traditions when burying the dead, helped build the “wall” where Wall Street gets its name, and regrettably were dehumanized in life and sometimes desecrated in death. The collection also includes a suite of poems dedicated to Jupiter Hammon; born into slavery in New York, Hammon was the first Black poet published in North America.
Mr. Millls holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and an MA from New York University—both in creative writing—as well as a B.A. (cum laude) from Yale University. He’s published four poetry collections: Boneyarn, The Sudden Country, The Dream Detective, and After Mistic. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, Jubilat, Callaloo, Obsidian, Brooklyn Rail, Diode Journal and Fence. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Breadloaf, The American Antiquarian Society, the Lannan Foundation, Arts Link and a Henry James and Hughes/Diop fellowship. He lived in Langston Hughes’ landmark home for three years. The Juilliard School of Drama commissioned and produced a play by Mr. Mills. He wrote the audio script for MacArthur-Genius-Award Winner Deborah Willis’ curated exhibition: Reflections in Black:100 Years of Black Photography, which showed at the Whitney and Getty West Museums. He has also recorded his poetry on ESPN and RCA Records.
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Date: Wednesday, October 6th- 6:00 pm – 7:00pm