Ana Lara & LaTasha Diggs
Governor’s Island was Lenape land, settled by the Dutch in exchange for “two ax heads, a string of beads and a handful of nails” in 1637, was also the home to multiple generations of military families and those who worked for them. Today, the mansions on Governor’s Island are emptied, cared for by the Parks administration and groundskeepers. In this writing/performance, we invite folks to meditate on the known and unknown histories of the house and the land itself, to engage with feeling the space, listening to and observing it. Alternating between cleansing and writing, audiences will be invited to reflect upon and respond to who was here before us, who is here with us in the now, who will be here after us.
Nolan Park, House 11, Governor’s Island
Ana-Maurine Lara, Ph.D., is a national award-winning poet and fiction writer. She is author of the fictional works Erzulie’s Skirt (RedBone Press, 2006), When the Sun Once Again Sang to the People (KRK Ediciones, 2011), and Watermarks and Tree Rings (Tanama Press) and the poetry manuscript Kohnjehr Woman (RedBone Press, 2016). In 2015, she completed the first of her decade-long projects, Cantos, including her original poetry, with music composition by Martin Perna and original artwork by Youmna Chlala. She is an assistant professor at the University of Oregon.
A writer, vocalist and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Her interdisciplinary work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, the Poesiefestival Berlin, Museum of Modern Art, the QOW conference in Slovakia, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center and the 2015 Venice Biennale. As a curator and director, she has staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The David Rubenstein Atrium, The Highline, Poets House and El Museo del Barrio. LaTasha is the recipient of numerous awards; of them include New York Foundation for the Arts, Barbara Deming Memorial Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Japan-US Friendship Commission, Creative Capital and the Whiting Literary Award. Co-founder and co-editor of Coon Bidness/SO4 magazine, she lives in Harlem.