Friday Night Poetry Series with Shawnte Orion, Jia Oak Baker and Julie Bloemeke

Read It Again Bookstore is excited to welcome Julie E. Bloemeke, Shawnte Orion and Jia Oak Baker to our new weekly poetry series. Shawnte, Jia and Julie are old friends. This should be a fun and lively conversation about ekphrastic poetry.

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Shawnte Orion attended Paradise Valley Community College for one day, but he has published three collections of poetry, Gravity & Spectacle (Tolsun Books), The Existentialist Cookbook (NYQBooks) and Faithful as the Ground (Five Oaks Press). He is a former Copper State Haiku Slam Champion and his poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Barrelhouse, Gargoyle Magazine, and New York Quarterly. He has performed at bookstores, bars, universities, hair salons, museums, and laundromats.  

Jia Oak Baker's poetry chapbooks include Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City (Dancing Girl Press) and Well Enough to Travel (Five Oaks Press). Her photography can be seen in *82 Review, Lime Hawk, Shrew, Rascal, Thimble Literary Magazine, Stirring: A Literary Collection, A Dozen Nothing, and elsewhere. Gravity & Spectacle, a full-length collection of photography and poetry in collaboration with Shawnte Orion was released in April, 2020 from Tolsun Books.  Jia received a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and has been awarded residencies from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation and Hedgebrook. See more on Instagram @violetsky29. 

Julie E. Bloemeke is a native of Toledo, Ohio. She received an MFA through the Bennington Writing Seminars, and an MA from the University of South Carolina, where she was chosen as a Ramsaur Fellow and studied with James Dickey. Currently in Atlanta, Georgia, she has served as a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has also been in residency at the Bowers House Literary Center. Her poems have been widely anthologized and appeared in numerous literary journals including Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Palooka Magazine, South Dakota Review, The Cortland Review, Bridge Eight Literary Magazine, and others. Her ekphrastic work has been published and showcased in collaborations with the Toledo Museum of Art and Phoenix Museum of Art. A freelance writer, editor, and guest lecturer, her interviews have recently appeared in The AWP Writer’s Chronicle and in Poetry International. Slide to Unlock was a finalist and semi-finalist for multiple book prizes including the May Swenson Poetry Prize in 2016. It is her first full-length poetry collection.


Event date: 

Friday, May 8, 2020 - 8:00pm

Event address: 

Gravity & Spectacle Cover Image
By Shawnte Orion, Jia Oak Baker (Photographer)
ISBN: 9781948800334
Availability: Available online. Call store for local availability.
Published: Tolsun Books - April 14th, 2020

Slide to Unlock Cover Image
ISBN: 9781943977765
Availability: Available online. Call store for local availability.
Published: Sibling Rivalry Press, LLC - March 12th, 2020