In conjunction with the 2015 Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, Leeway presents the Third Annual Trans Literary Salon highlighting the work of emerging literary artists from a diversity of genres including poetry, fiction, memoir, and spoken word. At the Philadelphia Convention Center, June 4 from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.

Featured Performers: poet Cyrée Johnson (ACG ’13), sci-fi writer Maggie Eighteen (ACG ’14), poet, Kavindu Ade, performer Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, and writer/activist, Tyler Vile. Co-curated and Hosted by Annie Mok (LTA ’14, ACG ’13), and J Mase III (ACG ’07). Audience members are invited to bring work to share!

Special thanks to the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

Community Partners: Apiary Magazine, awQward, Gender Reel Lambda Literary, Metropolarity, Morris Home, Thread Makes Blanket, Trans Oral History Project, Topside Press, Trans Masculine Alliance Network, Trans* Wellness Project, Trans Women of Color Collective

In conjunction with the 2015 Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, Leeway presents the Third Annual Trans Literary Salon highlighting the work of emerging literary artists from a diversity of genres including poetry, fiction, memoir, and spoken word. At the Philadelphia Convention Center,  June 4 from 7:30pm – 9:30pm.

Featured Performers: poet Cyrée Johnson (ACG ’13), sci-fi writer Maggie Eighteen (ACG ’14), poet, Kavindu Ade, performer Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, and writer/activist, Tyler Vile. Co-curated and Hosted by Annie Mok (LTA ’14, ACG ’13), and J Mase III (ACG ’07). Audience members are invited to bring work to share!

Special thanks to the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

Community Partners: Apiary Magazine, awQward, Gender Reel Lambda Literary, Metropolarity, Morris Home, Thread Makes Blanket, Trans Oral History Project, Topside Press, Trans Masculine Alliance Network, Trans* Wellness Project, Trans Women of Color Collective

Cyree Jarelle Johnson is a Black non-binary essayist and poet living and working in Philadelphia, PA. Their writing considers disability as a cyborg femme reality, femininity as resistance and rebellion, and Black pessimism. They are a founding member of A Collective Apparition, a Black queer and trans interdisciplinary arts collective. Their work has been featured in publications both domestically and internationally including Black Girl Dangerous, Feministing, and most recently in the anthology Poems for the Queer Revolution.

Kavindu Ade
Kavindu Ade is a 24 year old Wordsmith, Jedi, and Black Boy Extraordinaire. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Afro-Caribbean immigrants his poetry is a dance between cultures. While best known for his gender identity poem entitled “IT,” Kavi’s work centers on his navigation of intersecting identities – among those, the relation of his Blackness to his transcendence of gender. Through his poetry the world unfolds itself into moments of cruelty, but also beauty, wonder, and becoming. Kavi has been performing since 2009 when he made his debut into the spoken word scene at Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. After two consecutive years competing on the international stage Kavi went on to coach the Philly Youth Poetry Slam Team that competes at BNV. He is also the coach of Temple University’s Slam Team. Kavi has performed at conferences from Vancouver, Washington to Saint Paul, Minnesota, and has had the pleasure of gracing the stage at Grinnell College, Rutgers University, Ursinus College, and Clark University among others. Off stage, he is probably in his room enjoying a good bowl of cereal, binge watching detective shows, or posting his best attempts at immaculate selfies.

Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi
An actor, singer, dancer and writer she began producing her own cabarets at the age of seventeen and made her New York cabaret Debut at Don’t Tell Mama’s in 2011. After beginning to study the Dances of her Ancestors at Mamasita Studio, she began combining African, Latin and Native American rhythms to her shows. Although primarily known for her explosive style of cabaret, Lady Dane is a passionate actor who has worked at such theaters as the Kennedy Center, Adventure Theater, Round House Theater, Theater for the New City, Spooky Action Theater, Arena Stage, and LaMama in New York in which she originated the role of Madame Cordelia Mcclain. She has also produced a reading of her new musical Roaring, and premiered a workshop of her one woman show Klytmnestra at SpookyAction Theatre. A Poet, and advocate for Trans Voices in the arts she became the first Trans Woman of Color in DC published author of a work of fiction, Yemaya’s Daughters.

Maggie Eighteen
A hybrid kid cyborg, Philadelphia native, and former girl-object prototype. Eighteen is frustrated/pissed with academic distinction, white supremacy, and fixed rather than fluid treatment of language and identity. A co-founder of Metropolarity sci-fi collective, they enjoy slang/dialects, brand confusion, bushido Mars death stuff, and nuance. When they are not working professionally in critical media literacy and empowerment areas, they write speculative fiction about bodies/objectification, intimacy/class, neighborhood/community, and the violence in relying on binaries to understand the world.

Tyler Vile
Tyler Vile is a poet, performer, and activist from Baltimore, Maryland whose work has been published in Gadfly, The Bicycle Review, and Bluestockings Magazine. She’s done reviews and interviews for Punk Globe Magazine since 2007, has spotlighted at Sparkle, DC’s monthly queer open mic series, and slammed at Capturing Fire, DC’s annual queer spoken word festival. Her full-length book of poetry, Never Coming Home, is forthcoming on Topside Press.

[FACEBOOK RSVP]

Join Leeway on Saturday, April 11 for a direct action workshop led by writer, social justice facilitator, and co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements adrienne maree brown. During this training, participants will use familiar stories of other worlds (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Oz, Harry Potter, etc.) to design campaigns that parallel the world we are fighting for in the here and now. By the end of the session, regimes will be toppled, evil forces vanquished, and solid skills in direct action organizing developed.

Copies of Octavia’s Brood will be on sale and light snacks will be served. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

This workshop is presented in partnership with: AfroFuturist Affair, Bread & Roses Community Fund, Jewish Voice for Peace, Media Mobilizing Project, MetroPolarity, MythMedia: 21, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, and Training for Change.

An Octavia’s Brood book release event happens earlier on Friday April 8th at Wooden Shoe Books. More info on that here: https://www.facebook.com/events/833424306751725/

Join Leeway on Saturday, April 11 for a direct action workshop led by writer, social justice facilitator, and co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements adrienne maree brown. During this training, participants will use familiar stories of other worlds (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Oz, Harry Potter, etc.) to design campaigns that parallel the world we are fighting for in the here and now. By the end of the session, regimes will be toppled, evil forces vanquished, and solid skills in direct action organizing developed.

Copies of Octavia’s Brood will be on sale and light snacks will be served. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

This workshop is presented in partnership with: AfroFuturist Affair, Bread & Roses Community Fund, Jewish Voice for Peace, Media Mobilizing Project, MetroPolarity, MythMedia: 21, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, and Training for Change.

An Octavia’s Brood Book Release event happens earlier on Friday April 8th at Wooden Shoe Books. More info on that here: https://www.facebook.com/events/833424306751725/

Over the past several months, the four of us at Metropolarity HQ have seen our likenesses, labor, and wordsmithing appear on myriad outlets across cyberspace and IRL, but visitors to this site probably wouldn’t know about any of that since our primary propagandist is a slovenly beast with failing prosthetics and not enough time discipline, limbs, or plausible fake names to keep up appearances. They now wish to apologize for this lowly recap post, the contents of which you might already know about if you follow us on tumblr, where we are slightly more active, or if you peep the #metropolarity tag on twitter and instagram

But without further ado, we present a small collection of our articles and celebratory bits of news, in screencap format.
Click the pictures to read the articles in full. =}

 

MARCH 2014 ~ We appear in a very favorable arts & culture feature in our local City Paper. Contrary to the headline, we are not all based in West Philly…
crew-city-paper-feature1

 

JUNE 2014 ~ The squad and network organize the Liberation Technologies: Science Fiction for World Building and Survival programming track for the 2014 Allied Media Conference in Detroit. One of several, the LibTech track contains eight sessions of speculative workshops and panels for radical educators, artists, and activists involved in media-based organizing.
amc-libtech

 

AUGUST 2014 ~ Ras and Eighteen write about our current operating parameters for Broken Pencil magazine’s Zine Philosophy section. Eighteen is especially fond of the cover tagline “Queer Cyborgs Liberate High Tech,” a delicious conflation of Metropolarity’s work with Eighteen’s own.
us-in-broken-pencil

 

AUGUST 2014 ~ Rasheedah begins a stint as contributing columnist to the Atlanta Blackstar’s BLERDS series, with a solid array of interviews and topical features covering the arts, technology, and the in-between.
rasheedah phillips for atlanta blackstar's blerds series

 

OCTOBER 2014 ~ Eighteen is named a recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Art & Change grant, money which will help them on their Quest to self-publish a print book and audiobook of their dystopian cyborg series, All That’s Left.
leeway-grant-Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.07.05

A few days later, they find out their work was included on the syllabus of a gender and sexuality class for the University of Penn’s English department. One of the required reading pieces is Gentry, a piece written for the 2nd Metropolarity zine, which namedrops Penn in a speculative tirade about a gentrified and flooded out future Philly…………..
our-cyborgs-our-selves-penn-class

 

OCTOBER 2014 ~ Alex writes a Highly Appropriate article for the Philly Weekly about one of the grand masters of sci-fi, Samuel R. Delany. People are rightfully stoked.
alex talks delany

We also did a few zine fests, put out the Future Now collab zine, and Rasheedah incredibly (bow down) put on her yearly AfroFuturist Affair‘s annual costume and charity ball, this year themed Black Holographic Memory, which expanded from the original ball into several days worth of film screenings, workshop days, and rock and roll shows (AND is a community fundraiser that you can still donate to!!). So that’s what we’ve been up to, besides our full time jobs of course. ¬__¬

Make sure to check out our Events Calendar for what we’ve got coming up for these final weeks of 2014.

The quoted part of this post’s title comes from Ursula K. LeGuin’s acceptance speech at this year’s National Book Awards. We consider it a call to arms.

In conjunction with the 2014 Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, the Leeway Foundation presents their Second Trans Literary Salon highlighting the work of emerging literary artists from a diversity of genres including poetry, fiction, memoir, and spoken word. The salon will feature readings from Annie Mok, (ACG ’13), Darkmatter, Imogen Binnie, J Mase III (ACG ’07), and Kokumomedia Inc.. Audience members are invited to bring work to share. Hosted by J Mason III. Thursday, June 12 from 7:30pm – 9:00pm at the Leeway Foundation (1315 Walnut Street, Suite 832). Location is wheelchair accessible.

Co-sponsors:The Apiary Corp., Thread Makes Blanket, Trans Masculine Alliance Network, Topside Press, Sisterly Love, and William Way LGBT Community Center

In conjunction with the 2014 Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, the Leeway Foundation presents their Second Trans Literary Salon highlighting the work of emerging literary artists from a diversity of genres including poetry, fiction, memoir, and spoken word. The salon will feature readings from Annie Mok, (ACG ’13), Darkmatter, Imogen Binnie, J Mase III (ACG ’07), and Kokumomedia Inc.. Audience members are invited to bring work to share. Hosted by J Mason III. Thursday, June 12 from 7:30pm – 9:00pm at the Leeway Foundation (1315 Walnut Street, Suite 832). Location is wheelchair accessible.

Co-sponsors:The Apiary Corp., Thread Makes Blanket, Trans Masculine Alliance Network, Topside Press, Sisterly Love, and William Way LGBT Community Center

RSVP HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-trans-literary-salon-tickets-11372283807

===================

Annie Mok

Annie Mok writes and draw comic books, both solo, and collaboratively with artists including Emily Carroll and Sophia Foster-Dimino. She recently illustrated and designed a zine edition of Casey Plett’s short story ‘Lizzy & Annie.’ Annie draws an ongoing diary comics strip for ‘Comics Workbook’ called ‘Bleed-Throughs.’ She sings in the pop band See-Through Girls. Find out more about Annie’s work here.

DarkMatter

DarkMatter is a trans/national queer South Asian activist creative hivemind that likes to think about alternative post/colonial cyborg digestive futures && spit expletives about prison abolition and heteropatriarchy. You can read more about their work @DarkMatterRage and/or darkmatterrage.com.

Imogen Binnie

Imogen Binnie writes the zines The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke and Stereotype Threat. She also writes a monthly column for Maximum Rocknroll magazine, and her work has been featured in The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, as well as on prettyqueer.com, lambdaliterary.org and elsewhere. She writes about books at KeepYourBridgesBurning.com and her first novel, Nevada, was published in 2013. It is the recipient of a MOTHA Award and a finalist in the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards.

J Mase III

J Mase III is a black/trans/queer poet currently based in Brooklyn. The creator of the traveling performance event Cupid Ain’t @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Poetry Movement, J Mase has shared his special brand of poetry on stages around the U.S. and UK. An organ donor, he is the author of If I Should Die Under the Knife, Tell My Kidney I Was the Fiercest Poet Around. In J Mase’s other life as an educator and activist, he has worked with thousands of community members and service providers across the country on the needs of LGBTQ youth and adults in spaces such as faith communities, elementary schools, domestic violence shelters, medical agencies, juvenile justice organizations, and foster care programs, among others. An advocate of really fierce scars and queering scripture, he currently spends his offstage time teaching poetry at various youth organizations. To find out more about J Mase III, feel free to stalk (follow) him on Twitter @jmaseiii, Facebook J Mase III, or track him on his website at jmaseiii.com.

KOKUMỌ

KOKUMỌ is the CEO/Founder of KOKUMOMEDIA INC., a Black transwoman run and operated multimedia production company that uses music, film, theatre, and literature to illuminate experiences of TGI people of color. For more information, please visit kokumedia.com.

Join Leeway Foundation on December 8 to welcome writer and cultural organizer Adrienne Maree Brown for a lively conversation inspired by the work of visionary, post-apocalyptic, science-fiction author Octavia Butler. This discussion will explore the visionary qualities of science/speculative fiction with radical community organizing practice using Butler’s work.

Butler’s writing in The Parable series and other works instigates and provokes new thinking about how we can bring into being the kind of society that we want and expands what we might imagine. Through her protagonists, Butler illustrated adaptive, intuitive, shared leadership in practice. This recurrent theme, dubbed “Emergent Strategy,” will be a key focus of the afternoon’s discussion.

The event is free, but you must RSVP at http://leewayemergent.eventbrite.com/

About Adrienne
Adrienne is a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow writing science fiction in Detroit. She is co-editor, with poet/activist Walidah Imarisha, of the forthcoming anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements She has helped to launch the Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategy Reading Network for people interested in reading Octavia’s work from a political and strategic framework, and is building with the Octavia Butler Legacy Network on other ways of extending Butler’s work.

This workshop is presented in partnership with the following organizations: The AfroFuturist Affair, Apiary Magazine, ART SANCTUARY, Blackprint, Bread & Roses Community Fund, GriotWorks, Media Mobilizing Project, Metropolarity, Myth Media Studios, Thread Makes Blanket, and Training for Change.