Poetry Foundation and Complexly Announce New Ours Poetica Co-Curators

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Charlotte Abotsi is a writer, educator, and filmmaker from Providence, Rhode Island. As a spoken word poet, she has competed in several international slams, placing in the top 20 poets at the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and winning the 2017 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam competition. Her poems have been written about in The Huffington Post and Mic.com. As a filmmaker, Charlotte has focused on documentary film, debuting her short documentary “Process” at the 2018 Ocean State Film Festival. She is a 2014 Pink Door fellow, a 2019 Poetry Foundation Incubator fellow, a 2020 Tin House Writer’s Workshop Fellow, a 2020 DreamYard Radical Poetry Consortium Fellow, 2021 AIR Serenbe Focus Fellow, and a 2021 Define Immigrant Creative Fellow.

NNPA Newswire

The Poetry Foundation and Complexly announce the new co-curators of the twice-weekly YouTube series Ours Poetica: Charlotte Abotsi and Sarah Kay. The poetic duo will continue inviting guests to share poems they love with audiences in short and sweet readings that evoke the tactile joy of holding a book while experiencing a poem. Ours Poetica returns to screens of all sizes every Monday and Friday, starting September 20.

Ours Poetica delighted audiences in its first season with intimate videos produced by Complexly, the production company behind Crash Course and The Art Assignment. Past guests include author and Complexly cofounder John Green, actress Shailene Woodley, poet and #TheSealeyChallenge creator Nicole Sealey, and, of course, Nando the Cat.

“I’ve been a fan of Ours Poetica since Season 1; I love its celebratory nature and how it uplifts and champions a vast spectrum of poets and poetry,” said new co-curator Charlotte Abotsi. “When Sarah asked me to join her in curating, I was honored and excited to get to work. This season we’re looking to bring Ours Poetica to an even larger audience and widening the diversity of both the guests and the poems selected. If there are people who haven’t yet found poetry that speaks to them in the existing poetry landscapes, we hope Ours Poetica will offer a unique entry point to poetry.”

O Captain! My CoCaptain!

Abotsi and Kay intend to bring their own interest and styles to the series that they love, inviting new audiences into poetry. Upcoming guests include New York Times bestseller Clint Smith, comedian Mike Birbiglia, and Lincoln Center Poet in Residence Mahogany L. Browne.

Charlotte Abotsi is a writer, educator, and filmmaker from Providence, Rhode Island. As a spoken word poet, she has competed in several international slams, placing in the top 20 poets at the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and winning the 2017 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam competition; her work has been written about in HuffPost and Mic. As a filmmaker, Abotsi has focused on documentary film, debuting her short documentary Process at the 2018 Ocean State Film Festival. She has received fellowships from the Pink Door Writing Retreat, the Incubator for Community-Engaged Poets, Tin House, DreamYard’s Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium, AIR Serenbe, and Define American.

Sarah Kay is a writer, performer, and educator from New York City. Kay has published four books of poetry: B, No Matter the Wreckage, The Type, and All Our Wild Wonder. She is the founder and co-director of Project VOICE, an organization that uses poetry to entertain, educate, and empower students and educators in classrooms and communities worldwide. Sarah is a producer of the web series There’s a Poem for That, which seeks to create new pathways to poetry by bringing together poetry and animation; one video from the series won Best Animation Short at the 2019 Raindance Film Festival, and another received a 2019 Annecy Cristal for a Commissioned Film.

When Sarah Kay was approached about taking up the curatorial helm, she knew she wanted to work alongside Abotsi.

“Charlotte is one of the best curators I know. She has impeccable taste, is an avid and discerning reader, and has such an eye for finding talented artists who deserve amplification. Not to mention she’s an incredible poet and editor herself, with such a genuine love of this art form,” said co-curator Sarah Kay of her collaborator. “We have known and admired each other for over a decade, and she has been both my mentee and my mentor! She has incredible creative instincts, and I couldn’t be luckier to learn from her and work with her on this project.”

Twice-weekly posting begins on Monday, September 20. For updates, subscribe and follow along on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at facebook.com/poetryfoundation, facebook.com/poetryfoundationchildren, Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.

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