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June 29, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

VONA Faculty Reading at Books & Books


June 29, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


zArchive1-Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134 United States
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Books & Books and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation present…

An Evening with

Oliver de la Paz, Nicole Shawan Junior, Tim Seibles, Deesha Philyaw, and Damon Young

Thursday, June 29, 7:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books in partnership with VONA are thrilled to present an evening with Oliver de la Paz, Nicole Shawan Junior, Tim Seibles, Deesha Philyaw, and Damon Young for a VONA faculty reading!

The premier multi-genre workshop for BIPOC Writers, VONA is a Home where writers of color come to hone their craft and be in community.

***Please note: This event will take place at the Books & Books in Coral Gables at 265 Aragon Ave. Tickets are FREE and books will be available for purchase at the event.

About the Organization:

Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, the premier multi-genre workshop for BIPOC Writers, VONA is a Home where writers of color come to hone their craft and be in community. VONA honors its writers’ unique histories, traditions and aesthetics and provides a protected mentoring space for learning and fellowship. VONA fosters the development of personal and political writing and engages in the work of social justice as we build our global community of writers.

About the Authors:

Oliver de la Paz is the Poet Laureate of Worcester, MA for 2023-2025. He is the author and editor of seven books: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, Post Subject: A Fable, and The Boy in the Labyrinth. His newest work, The Diaspora Sonnets, is forthcoming from Liveright Press in 2023. A founding member, Oliver serves as the co- chair of the Kundiman advisory board. He has received grants from the NEA, NYFA, the Artist’s Trust, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and has been awarded multiple Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at PLU.

Tim Seibles is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Body Moves (1988), Hurdy-Gurdy (1992), Hammerlock (1999), Buffalo Head Solos (2004), Fast Animal (2012), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and was nominated for a 2012 National Book Award, and One Turn Around The Sun (2017). His latest work of poetry, Voodoo Libretto, was published by Etruscan Press in 2022. His poems have appeared in the Indiana Review, Black Renaissance Noire, Cortland Review, Ploughshares Massachusetts Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, including Best American Poetry. Seibles lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and the  2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

Damon Young is the author of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays–a tragicomic exploration of the angsts, anxieties, and absurdities of existing while Black in America, and the winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. He is the co-founder of the culture blog VerySmartBrothas and was a contributing columnist for The Washington Post Magazine, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and a columnist for GQ. He has written for the Atlantic, Esquire, NY Mag, The Undefeated, Ebony, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Currently, Damon is the creator and host of a podcast with Crooked Media, “Stuck with Damon Young

Nicole Shawan Junior (they/them) was bred in the bass-heavy beat and scratch of Brooklyn, where the cool of inner-city life barely survived crack cocaine’s burn. Their work appears in Oprah DailyGuernicaZoraGay MagThe Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. Their literary art has received support from Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, Hurston/Wright Writers Week, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, V.O.N.A., and others. Nicole is the founder of Roots. Wounds. Words.—a literary arts revolution that serves BIPOC storytellers. Nicole curated Raising Mothers’ limitedJustice Involved Mothers column, which was penned by formerly incarcerated Black women.