Poetry Reading with Minnie Bruce Pratt
July 8, 2021 - 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
As a way to mark the closing of our current exhibition “Leslie Feinberg: SCREENED IN, LOOKING OUT: A Disabilities Photo Exhibit” (closing on July 11) Minnie Bruce Pratt will join us for a reading from her new book of poetry, Magnified. Minnie Bruce Pratt life-partnered with her beloved Leslie Feinberg for 22 fabulous years. Select poems from Magnified are included in the exhibition and books will be available to purchase in the gallery.
Face Masks are encouraged and required for anyone not fully vaccinated.
This collection of love poems draws us into the sacred liminal space that surrounds death. With her beloved gravely ill, poet and activist Minnie Bruce Pratt turns to daily walks and writing to find a way to go on in a world where injustice brings so much loss and death. She chronicles the quiet rooms of “pain and the body’s memory,” bringing the reader carefully into moments that will be familiar to anyone who has suffered similar loss. Even as she asks, “What’s the use of poetry? Not one word comes back to talk me out of pain,” the book delivers a vision of love that is boldly political and laced with a tumultuous hope that promises: “Revolution is bigger than both of us, revolution is a science that infers the future presence of us.” This poetry is testimony to the generative power of love that continues after death.
About Minnie Bruce Pratt
Born in Selma and raised in Centreville, Alabama, Minnie Bruce Pratt came out as a lesbian in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1975. She received her B.A. from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa the year after segregationist Gov. George Wallace “stood in the schoolhouse door”–and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1979. Her books and poems have received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the American Library Association, the Poetry Society of America, Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle. Her second book, Crime Against Nature, about losing custody of her children as a lesbian mother, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. An anti-racist, anti-imperialist women’s liberation activist, Pratt co-authored Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism (1984) with Barbara Smith and Elly Bulkin. Her essay from that volume, “Identity: Skin Blood Heart,” has been adopted in hundreds of college classrooms as a teaching model for diversity issues. Along with lesbian writers Chrystos and Audre Lorde, she received the Lillian Hellman-Dashiell Hammett Award given by the Fund for Free Expression to writers “who have been victimized by political persecution.” She is a managing editor of Workers World/Mundo Obrero newspaper, and lives in her hometown in Alabama and in Central New York. Her most recent book is Magnified (Wesleyan, March 2021), dedicated to her partner and spouse, Leslie Feinberg, trans activist and theoretician. Learn more at minniebrucepratt.net