For Immediate Release — February 26, 2004

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BLACK POET

TO GIVE MARCH 4 PERFORMANCE AT SUNY GENESEO

GENESEO, N.Y. – Recognized as one of a new generation of Black performance artists, Dorothea Smartt will perform her poetry at the State University of New York at Geneseo on Thursday, March 4, at 6 p.m. in the George D. Newton Lecture Hall, room 204. The reading is free and open to the public.

Smartt was Brixton Market’s first Poet-in-Residence, and a former Attached Live Artist at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. London’s Brixton Market, home to one of Europe's biggest collections of Afro-Caribbean foods and produce, was established in the 1870s, and with the huge wave of immigration in the 1950s it soon became an important focal point for the black community.

Smartt’s medusaplay project, an ongoing live art work-in-progress, premiered at the British Festival of Visual Theatre. Her poetry appears in several ground-breaking anthologies, including Bittersweet (Women’s Press, 1998), The Fire People (Payback Press, 1998), Voice Memory Ashes (Mango Publishing, 1999), Mythic Women/Real Women (Faber, 2000), and IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (2000). She continues to perform in Britain and abroad, and lectures part time at Birkbeck College in London.

 According to the Caribbean Times, Smartt, who was born and raised in London and is of Barbadian heritage, is receiving critical attention as a poet and live artist in both Britain and the U.S.A. "She is acknowledged as tackling multilayered cultural myths and the real life experiences of Black women with searing honesty," the paper reports. Her evocative and spirited voice "coils up your feelings, around granite chips of truth...unwinds solace, in the most soothing volleys."

Smartt’s collection Connecting Medium, was published by Peepal Tree Press in 2001, and will be available at the Geneseo performance for signing.

For more information, contact Associate Professor of English Maria Lima by phone at (585) 245-5242, or by e-mail at lima@geneseo.edu.

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