Close Reading The Emergency!: Marwa Helal & Quenton Baker in Creative Conversation

March 22, 2023 - 6:00pm
Close Reading the Emergency poster featuring Marwa Helal and Quenton Baker

Poets Marwa Helal & Quenton Baker will read fresh work, share creative conversation, & participate in an audience Q&A. Together, in black study, they will work to close read the contemporary emergency. There will be a book-signing in partnership White Whale Bookstore to follow.

Marwa Helal was born in Al Mansurah, Egypt. She earned her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University and her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School. She is the author of Ante body (Nightboat Books, 2022), Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019), the chapbook I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No Dear, 2017) and a Belladonna chaplet (2021). Her work appears in the journals Apogee, Hyperallergic, Boston Review, Poets & Writers, Winter Tangerine, and the anthologies Bettering American Poetry volumes 2 and 3, Best American Experimental Writing 2018, Brooklyn Poets Anthology, Halal If You Hear Me, and BreakBeat Poets: Black Girl Magic. She has edited the Poetry Project’s Newsletter and serves on the advisory board of The Offing.

Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, New York Foundation of the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem, among others. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Quenton Baker is a poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow. Their current focus is black interiority and the afterlife of slavery. Their work has appeared in The Offing, Jubilat, Vinyl, The Rumpus and elsewhere. They are a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and the recipient of the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust. They were a 2019 Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence and a 2021 NEA Fellow. They are the author of we pilot the blood (The 3rd Thing, 2021) and ballast (Haymarket Books, 2023).

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Available tickets are for the in-person event which we hope you'll attend.

Parking & Accessibility info for Heinz Chapel can be found here:

Registration for the livestream is not ticketed and can be found here:

Location and Address

Heinz Chapel

University of Pittsburgh
South Bellefield Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

Directions and Parking Information

Parking & Accessibility info for Heinz Chapel can be found here: