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Poetry at the Point: Jason Vasser-Elong & Asha Marie Larson-Baldwin
February 20 @ 7:30 pm
Part of the intention of what became Black History Month was, and still is, to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans since Emancipation. Equally necessary, however, is an acknowledgement of the path left to walk, especially in St. Louis, a town known globally for both racism and resistance. Jason Vasser-Elong and Asha Marie Larson-Baldwin will read from their poetry and, in conversation afterwards, explore themes of being an American abroad, of stories buried and unearthed, and of Black futures that deserve the excitement of our imaginations.
Patrons are encouraged to wear face masks when attending Poetry at the Point in-person at Focal Point. Learn more >>
ABOUT THE POETS
Jason Vasser-Elong is assistant teaching professor in the Pierre Laclede Honors College and a doctoral candidate in the College of Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where he earned an MFA in creative writing and studied cultural anthropology and African Diaspora studies. He is the author of Shrimp (2Leaf Press, 2018), a collection of poetry that analyzes identity in a post-colonial context. His current research is centered on peacemaking, with an additional focus on student learning environments. Recently, Jason received the University of Missouri South African Education Program Fellowship and will continue his research, as Dr. Elong, this summer at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. An avid reader and writer, Jason has poetry and prose forthcoming in River Styx, Uno, and Callaloo. In 2022, he served as poet-in-residence for Sapiens, and will travel to Toronto for the American Anthropological Association annual meeting this year to read poetry as part of the Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA) Transforming Anthropology reception. A proud member of the ABA and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Jason is currently curating an anthology of poetry with the Lights of Alpha mentoring program with his local chapter.
Asha Marie Larson-Baldwin (she/her) is a South Carolinian living in St. Louis while she works towards her PhD in Sociology. She writes at the intersections of poetry and prose, experimenting with brevity and intimacy while exploring the contours and interiorities of her own fleeting girlhood. When she’s not at school or staring at a screen, you can find her running around Forest Park or reading cheesy pop-lit on Art Hill.