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Dalia Elhassan. Image from author’s website.

The Sudanese poet Dalia Elhassan will be launching her chapbook In Half Light at “The Sudanese Gaze,” a cultural production event in New York City on 21 June. Recently, Elhassan, a finalist for the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, sent proceeds from sales of 40 signed copies of the book to support ongoing revolutionary efforts in Sudan.

In Half Light is one of the ten limited edition chapbooks in the New-Generation African Poets (Sita) box set, edited by Kwame Dawes & Chris Abani and published by the African Poetry Book Fund in collaboration with Akashic Books. The New-Generation African Poets series aims to identify the best poetry written by African authors working today, with emphasis on those yet to publish a full-length book of poetry.

“The Sudanese Gaze” will feature an exhibition and film screenings representing the influences in Elhassan’s work. Its title is taken from Elhassan’s own critical paper on visual memory in post-independence Sudan.

This event will entail a reading by Dalia as well as a screening of Suhaib Gasmelbari’s Sudan’s Forgotten Films (AlJazeera Witness) and selections from Tajouj, a film by the forebearer of Sudanese cinema Gadalla Gubara. Part book launch and part exhibition, this event is a presentation of the culmination of influences and inspirations present in Elhassan’s chapbook. Work from featured Sudanese artists, writers, photographers and filmmakers will be on display throughout the evening.

In the preface to In Half Light, fellow Sudanese Safia Elhillo writes:

Dalia Elhassan holds us accountable for the ways we look to a country to name us, and what is left behind when our countries fail to do so—when they fail us . . . . With this collection, with her poetics of naming and of documentation, Elhassan ensures that future generations of Sudanese—and with whatever “Sudan” itself will mean in the years ahead—will know those who came before, those who wrote and painted and made photographs so that our history can be traced clearly after so much erasure has been done to us.”

This event, which is open to the public, is meant “to center and hold space for Sudanis and members of the Sudanese diaspora.”

Event Details

Date: Friday, 21 June 2019

Venue: The New School, 63 5th Ave, Lower Level, New York, NY 10003

Time: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Register to attend HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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