A Celebration of, Black Joy Unbound: An Anthology

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A Celebration of, Black Joy Unbound: An Anthology

By Charis Books and More/Charis Circle

Charis Presents Black Joy Unbound: An Anthology, a reading and panel discussion featuring: Stephane Andrea Allen, Lauren Cherelle, Esperanza Cintrón, doris diosa davenport, Jasminum McMullen, Shawn Williams, Kwame Sound Daniels. Inspired by a deep longing for writing that embodies the vivacity of Blackness and Black life, Black Joy Unbound is a multi-genre collection that encompasses a broad spectrum of literary writing on Black joy. This event is co-sponsored by BLF Press. BLF Press is an independent Black feminist publishing house dedicated to amplifying the work of Black women and women of color. Click here to learn more.


Stephane Andrea Allen, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary humanities scholar, creative writer, small press publisher, and Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Indiana University. Her research centers Black lesbian cultural histories and Black feminisms through various expressions, including literature, film, and other print and visual media. Dr. Allen is also Publisher and Editor-in-Chief at BLF Press, and co- editor of Serendipity Literary Magazine. Her creative work can be found in various online and print publications, including The Black Femme Collective, Mom Egg Review, Star*Line, Inkwell Black, Big Echo: Critical Science Fic- tion Magazine, Sinister Wisdom, and in her two short story collections, A Failure to Communicate and How to Dispatch a Human: Stories and Suggestions.

Lauren Cherelle uses her time and talents to traverse imaginary and professional worlds. She holds a BFA in graphic design, an MBA from the University of Tennessee, and writing certifications from the University of Louisville. Her co-edited projects include Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color, Black from the Future: A Collection of Black Speculative Writing, and Sinister Wisdom: 122. Her writing reflects the lives of Southern Black girls and women.

Esperanza Cintrón is the author of Shades, Detroit Love Stories, a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, published by Wayne State University Press. Her short story "Shadow Dancer" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and she has written romance under a nom de plume. Cintrón has four books of poetry: Visions of a Post-Apocalyptic Sunrise, the Naomi Long Madgett Award winner What Keeps Me Sane, and Chocolate City Latina. The most recent, Boulders, was published by Chestnut Review Press in January 2023. Her work appears in Manteca! An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ PoetsObsidian and others. Honors include Callaloo Writing Fellowships at Brown and Oxford Universities, a Michigan Council for the Arts Individual Artist Grant and a National Endowment for the Humanities educator’s scholarship.

doris diosa davenport (pronouns: person / per): Performance poet, writer, educator & independent scholar; BA Paine College; MA SUNY/Buffalo, NY; PhD Univ. of So. Calif.  Visionary 75-year-old born (Jan. 29, 1949) & raised in traditional Cherokee Homelands (aka Northeast Georgia). Sapiosexual lesbian-feminist; Member of CLA (www.clascholars.org), Alternate ROOTS (www.alternateroots.org) and The International  (& Intergalactic) LGBTQ+  Nation! Per continually, adamantly works to end all forms of oppression, towards truth & honesty – based egalitarian, inclusive and *magical* realities. New book, testimony: proclamations, poems, potions is person’s 13th published book. Contact: [email protected]. Believes in joy; therefore, VERY happy to be included here.

Jasminum McMullen's last three streams were Random Acts of Flyness, Poker Face, and Sleeping with the Enemy. Her writing has appeared in Baby Teeth, midnight & indigo, Past Ten, A Gathering Together, and forthcoming in midnight & indigo, and Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebel’s (Black Lawrence Press). She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Chicagoland with her wife and senior pets.

Shawn Williams is a VCU alumna who earned her Bachelors in African-American Studies & English. Utilizing their experiences as a queer Afro-Latina and Vietnamese scholar, Shawn writes and crafts narratives that challenge and critique our thoughts around the personal as political, Black transfeminism, and interpreting Black musical performance in identity-making. Shawn is an active member of the Richmond, Virginia community; hosting donation drives, letter writing groups, and Black student wellness events. Her passion for writing comes from a long tradition of honoring her ancestors and the practice of storytelling.

Regina Jamison is a Lambda Literary 2014 Fellow. Her poetry has appeared online / in print in various literary journals including, Magma Literary Journal: Deaf Issue, Sinister Wisdom: Black Lesbian Revolution, and Cloud Women Quarterly Journal Vol. 18. She was a Guest Editor at Gnashing Teeth Publishing. She is the author of the novel, Choosing Grace.

Kwame Sound Daniels is an artist based out of Maryland. Xe is an MFA candidate for Vermont College of Fine Arts. Xir first collection of poetry, Light Spun, was published in 2022 with Perennial Press. Xir second book, the pause and the breath, came out in 2023 with Atmosphere Press with another book (Galaxies and Storms and Airways Above Her) forthcoming late 2023 from the same press. Kwame learns plant medicine, paints, and makes what can tentatively be called potions in xir spare time.

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

Please contact us at [email protected] or 404-524-0304 if you would like ASL interpretation at this event. If you would like to watch the event with live AI captions, you may do so by watching it in Google Chrome and enabling captions: Instructions here. 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 [email protected]. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting 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 [email protected] immediately.

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