Claiming All the World as Our Stage: Contemporary Black Poetry, Performance, and Resistance


LAC Burkhardt




For residence at the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University during academic year 2019-2020


“Claiming All the World as Our Stage” emphasizes the cultural and political resonances that link artists across temporal and geopolitical spaces to a twenty-first century poetics of resistance that is firmly anchored in a Black diasporan tradition of writing and performance. Foregrounding the work of poets who successfully negotiate both performance and publishing venues, and thereby trouble distinctions between the “page” and “stage,” this project also considers spoken word poetry as a distinct form with the field of Africana literature. Ultimately, this analysis of contemporary Black poetics challenges and disrupts the restrictive boundaries into which artists have been placed in order to articulate a fuller understanding of the contexts, contours, and consequences of their work.