Featuring Melissa Castillo-Garsow, James “SoSoon” Gantt, and Damien Tillman
Hosted by Thomas Fucaloro
Plus open mic
$3 suggested donation. Two drink min, alcoholic or non.
Melissa Castillo-Garsow is a Mexican-American writer, poet and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. She is the author of the poetry collection Coatlicue Eats the Apple, editor of the anthology ¡Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets, co-editor of La Verdad: An International Dialogue on Hip Hop Latinidades and co-author of the novel, Pure Bronx. Called “the iconoclast we all need” by poet Willie Perdomo and “Fearless” by Latinx Scholar Arnoldo Cruz-Malave, her poetry explores the experience of being Mexican American in New York, gendered traumas of the body and survival in the new borderlands, with a multilingual interplay of linguistic registers. To learn more visit www.melissacastillogarsow.com
James “SoSoon” Gantt is a New York City Hip-Hop artist, producer, scholar and educator. The moniker SoSoon, an acronym for S ound O f S omething O ut O f N othing represents the heart of Hip-Hop culture which was developed by people who had no access to outlets for creative expression. The self-proclaimed “Spike Lee of Hip-Hop” often strives to mesh entertainment with education. His sound often draws comparisons to Kendrick Lamar and J-Cole. Notable accolades include opening for noteworthy artist Dead Prez, M.O.P, Saigon, Leaders of the New School, Smoothe da Hustler and Trigga Tha Gambla. James is currently the After School Program Coordinator at Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, where he works with youth filmmakers and their professional filmmaking mentors to assure the success of each student. James also oversees Reel Futures, a program that prepares students for internships and careers in the film and entertainment industry.
Damien Tillman is a licensed teacher, educator, and writer from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of Hunter College, earning degrees in Media Studies and Creative Writing as a double major; Damien is a versatile artist. He also holds a master’s degree in Childhood Education from The City College of New York. When he isn’t working with young people in underserved communities or facilitating creative writing workshops, Damien leads the New York Writing Club, a diverse meetup group with over four thousand members. A staunch believer in artist ownership, Damien is independently publishing his books, by choice, and pursuing partnerships to empower other artists. Damien has been featured at the Poets Settlement open mic and interviewed on Second Saturday TV, as well as performed on its national poetry month celebration episode.