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Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood--DaMaris B. Hill in conversation with Crystal Wilkinson

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This virtual event takes place on zoom. Register here.

Charis welcomes DaMaris B. Hill in conversation with Crystal Wilkinson for a celebration of Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood. From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing comes a new book of narrative in verse that takes a personal and historical look at the experience of Black girlhood. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

In Breath Better Spent, DaMaris B. Hill hoists her childhood self onto her shoulders, together taking in the landscape of Black girlhood in America. At a time when Black girls across the country are increasingly vulnerable to unjust violence, unwarranted incarceration, and unnoticed disappearance, Hill chooses to celebrate and protect the girl she carries, using the narrative-in-verse style of her acclaimed book A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing to revisit her youth. There, jelly sandals, Double Dutch beats, and chipped nail polish bring the breath of laughter; in adolescence, pomegranate lips, turntables, and love letters to other girls' boyfriends bring the breath of longing. Yet these breaths cannot be taken alone, and as she carries her childhood self through the broader historical space of Black girls in America, Hill is forced to grapple with expression in a space of stereotype, desire in a space of hyper-sexuality, joy in a space of heartache.

Paying homage to prominent Black female figures from Zora Neale Hurston to Whitney Houston and Toni Morrison, Breath Better Spent invites you to walk through this landscape, too, exploring the spaces-both visible and invisible-that Black girls occupy in the national imagination, taking in the communal breath of girlhood, and asking yourself: In a country like America, what does active love and protection of Black girls look like?

DaMaris B. Hill, PhD, is the author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, an NAACP Image Award Finalist; The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland; and a collection of poetry, \Vi-ze-bel\   \Teks-chers\(Visible Textures). As with her creative process, Hill’s scholarly research is interdisciplinary. An Associate professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky and a former service member of the United States Air Force, she lives in Kentucky. www.damarishill.com.

Crystal Wilkinson is the Poet Laureate of Kentucky. She is the author of Perfect Black and The Birds of Opulence, winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award; Blackberries, Blackberries, winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature; and Water Street, a finalist for both the UK's Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. The winner of a 2020 USA Artist Fellowship, she serves as associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

This event will use Zoom's Live Transcription technology for closed captioning. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we connect across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
ZOOM
Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781635576474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - January 25th, 2022

A Netgalley "Must-Read Books by Black Authors in 2022"

From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing comes a new book of narrative in verse that takes a personal and historical look at the experience of Black girlhood.


A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland Cover Image
$17.00
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781635574616
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - January 14th, 2020

Nominated for an NAACP Image Award
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 History Title for the season
Booklist's Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction titles for the year
BookRiot's "50 Must-Read Poetry Collections"
Most Anticipated Books of the Year--
The Rumpus, Nylon


The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland Cover Image
By Damaris B. Hill, Jason Barrett-Fox (Contribution by), Damaris B. Hill (Contribution by)
$50.39
ISBN: 9780739197899
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lexington Books - March 23rd, 2018

The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland engages in an important conversation about race relations in the twentieth century and significantly extends the historical narrative of the Civil Rights Movement.


Perfect Black Cover Image
By Crystal Wilkinson, Nikky Finney (Foreword by), Ronald W. Davis (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780813151168
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University Press of Kentucky - August 3rd, 2021

Crystal Wilkinson combines a deep love for her rural roots with a passion for language and storytelling in this compelling collection of poetry and prose about girlhood, racism, and political awakening, imbued with vivid imagery of growing up in Southern Appalachia.


The Birds of Opulence (Kentucky Voices) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780813174990
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University Press of Kentucky - February 23rd, 2018

From the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of Blackberries, Blackberries and Water Street comes an astonishing new novel. A lyrical exploration of love and loss, The Birds of Opulence centers on several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness.


Event Summary: 
From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing comes a new book of narrative in verse that takes a personal and historical look at the experience of Black girlhood.