On Thursday, August 3rd, The Jasper Project will present the first east coast preview of the new play Black Super Hero Magic Mama by Inda Craig-Galvan, accompanied by an art exhibit curated by visual artist Cedric Umoja comprised exclusively of art by Black artists from Columbia, SC, and followed by a panel presentation, moderated by poet Joy Priest, addressing the state of inclusivity in the Columbia arts community.
Among the artists exhibiting and participating in the panel are Dogon Krigga, Henry H. Henderson, Sarah Macklin, Thomas Washington, Asia Ca, and Corey Davis. Poets Monifa Lemon and Jennifer Bartell will also participate in the panel which will immediately follow the presentation of the play in its entirety.
The event starts with a reception for the artists at 6:30, with the play at 7:30 and the panel following the play. Tickets are $15 inclusive, (non-preview tickets will be $25), and are available at www.jasperproject.org. Everything takes place at Trustus Theatre.
Over the next few days we’ll be highlighting the work of some of these exciting artists whose work you’ll get to see on Thursday night.
Panel moderator Joy Priest is a writer and poet born and raised in Louisville, KY. She is the winner of the 2016 Hurston/Wright Foundation College Writers Award, and has received scholarships, grants, and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Joy's work has been published or is upcoming in Blackbird, Callaloo, Drunken Boat, espnW, Muzzle, PUBLIC POOL, Vinyl, and the anthologies Best New Poets 2014, and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, among others. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate in poetry at the University of South Carolina.
Below, please find her poem Derby, which appeared in Drunken Boat: Affrilachian Art 20
First Saturday in May, Mama works my curls into tight pigtails. The only day of the year
she bothers. The up-sweep of skin pulls my face into a grin. Special occasion barrettes
molded into the white plastic body of a horse, gallop behind me
at the tip of my braids
as I race the stretch of our narrow alley
street, waving down the fancy cars,
shouting at the rolled-up windows—
PARK HERE! TEN DOLLARS!
* * *
Eight years old & I am a professional.
Up early to greet the regulars. Mr. Whitlock—black Lincoln Town Car. Mr. Crouch—red topless Corvette. I usher the expensive machines into the VIP space of our carport. Slip stiff money
& keys into envelopes. Pander through the painful pity pats dropped on my freshly-parted scalp.
All day long, up & down Cliff Ave.
I am my mother's gimmick.
Reeling in the big bettors. Giving directions to the track in my tiny voice. Picking the sure horse. Selling our yard &
lemonade to orange-tinted men sweating through linen,
their nameless women under gaudy hats.
* * *
The announcer's voice echoes, blankets our roofs. A kind of distant
Oz over our now-empty streets. Grills warming. Beers hissing. I memorize the faces
stretched out on a scratchy lawn chair
beneath the mellow blimp humming
across the sky. We argue garage-to-garage,
place the real bet—
which ones will remember the way back