Literature: Danez Smith — HIV/AIDS in the 21st Century Conference
- Thu 16 Jan 2020
- 7:00 pm
The keynote event for the HIV/AIDS in the 21st Century: Memorialisation, Representation & Temporality academic conference will be a reading from poet Danez Smith, who will read from their work before being joined on stage by Keisha Thompson for a Q&A session.
Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer, and one of the foremost contemporary poets writing on HIV/AIDS. Their poetry often presents a trajectory of living with HIV, responding to the fulcrum of diagnosis, navigating the virus publicly and socially, and reading the narratives through which HIV/AIDS is afforded meaning, be they PrEP, dire statistics, or hook-up culture. Smith has been particularly important in assessing the contemporary ramifications of HIV/AIDS in terms of race, sexuality, and gender — as such, their poetry has galvanized both public and academic work, making us reassess the role of HIV in our daily lives, whether one is positive or not, and raising political concerns over access to treatment, information, and a public voice for those in proximity to the virus. Danez is the author of “Don’t Call Us Dead” (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Pushcart Prize.
Keisha Thompson is is a Manchester based writer, performance artist and producer. Keisha is the Young People’s Producer at Contact, chair of radical arts funding body, Future’s Venture Foundation, is a fellow of the MOBO x London Theatre Consortium Fellowship and is a member of Greater Manchester Cultural and Heritage Group. She is currently touring award-winning solo show, Man on the Moon. Her debut book, Lunar, features her poetry and the show script. Her work has been presented at venues high profile venues and platforms such as Tate Modern, Blue Dot Festival and the British Council Showcase in Edinburgh.
The HIV/AIDS in the 21st Century: Memorialisation, Representation and Temporality academic conference (@HIVHumanities) will take place on January 16 and 17 at the University of Manchester. It aims to interdisciplinarily address issues surrounding cultural representations of HIV/AIDS, and assess the relationship between aesthetic representation and lives lived with or without HIV/AIDS. The entirety of the conference is free and open to the public: see our blog for a schedule and further details.