POETRY TALK: Kemi Alabi and Radna Fabias

Ungoverned By The Lie

2023-06-11, 3:30 PM

Clubraum 7/5€ | Tickets


The debut collections of poets Kemi Alabi (born 1990 in Wisconsin) and Radna Fabias (born 1983 in Curaçao) both caused a stir. Each of these works contend with racism, sexism, poverty, and violence. Their work contends with the relationship between Blackness and feminism, finding intimate, at times pixelated images of rebellion, love, and desire.

In Kemi Alabi’s poems, the daughter of a lion tamer recalls how her father beat her – “divine right of kings / turned taxi drivers.” A report on suicide rates among Black Americans, cited, modified, and reproduced. As an alternative: red karaoke duets against innocence. Radna Fabias writes about wives in too-tight leggings, racist quiz shows, “the impossible blue of heaven,” and “newspapers full of blood.” With irony, her work illuminates how neocolonialism, patriarchy, and tourism are entangled; how women are mistreated both as trophies and/or service providers; “whether love is reduction / how small a woman can become.” Artful, multifaced, these poems of embodiment, confinement and eventual liberation testify to all that poetry can be.

Kemi Alabi and Radna Fabias will read from their books and speak with poet Jumoke Adeyanju.


The event will be interpreted in English and German.

With kind support by ECHOO Konferenzdolmetschen

Project management: Alexander Gumz

Nederlands Letterenfonds, the European Poetry Platform Versopolis, funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The 24th poesiefestival berlin is a project of Haus für Poesie in cooperation with Akademie der Künste and is supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.