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Wed, Aug 02


Sankofa Video, Books, & Café

Casual Conversation: Book Discussion + Poetry Reading

Join us for Howard Alumna Renia White in conversation with Maria Fernanda on Renia's new book of poetry Casual Conversation!

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Casual Conversation: Book Discussion + Poetry Reading
Casual Conversation: Book Discussion + Poetry Reading

Time & Location

Aug 02, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Sankofa Video, Books, & Café, 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA


About The Event

Watch Conversation  HERE

About the book:

A Blessing the Boats Selection with a Foreword by Aracelis Girmay

Renia White’s debut poetry collection strikes up a conversation, considering what’s being said, what isn’t, and where it all comes from. From her vantage point of Black womanhood, White probes the norms and mores of everyday interactions. In observations, insights, and snippets of speech, these poems look to the unspoken thoughts behind our banter, questioning the authority of not only the rule of law but also of our small talk itself—the concepts we have accepted and integrated without pause.

Casual Conversation imagines a new way of knowing, a way that encourages us to think through how we structure and stratify ourselves, inviting something strange and other to spill out. White challenges us to question whether there is anything casual about this life, even as she invites us to consider other logics and to think alongside each other. This book gives space to hold what we fear out of formality: consequence, embarrassment, anger. It plays, it tarries, it disrupts. It pulls apart what seems sound in an effort to see: what did we make here? How’s it going?

About the author:

Renia White is a poet and writing instructor originally from Maryland. Her first book, Casual Conversation (BOA Editions, 2022) was selected as a part of the Blessing the Boats series. She earned her BA from Howard University and her MFA from Cornell University. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Recluse, Southern Indiana Review, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. She teaches writing in NYC where she lives and is at work on her next book-length project.

About the host:

María Fernanda (she/hers) is a poet whose work explores the intimacy of sisterhood and, “the breaking and making of family.” (OkayAfrica). She has received literary appointments from The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Arizona Commission on the Arts. A DC native, her poems and translations appear in The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, The Acentos Review, The Wide Shore, and elsewhere. For more information, visit


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