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FRUIT: A Literary Reclamation for the Unseen

FRUIT is an independent, community-led reading and dialogue series for and by marginalized voices, hosted in Literati Bookstore. This month's readers are Alise Alousi, Kamelya Youssef and Tariq Luthun.

FRUIT is a moment and a movement of reclamation. It is a space of and for literary artists representing the marginalized: the colored, the queer, the silenced, and the unseen. Each event showcases the work of fresh, revolutionary artists and features a conversation around their lives and their crafts. In this space, FRUIT strives to serve as a carefully curated reading and dialogue series for those who live at intersections ignored. This experience exists both physically and digitally in order to help those marginalized voices reclaim their flesh and plant their roots through short-form literature. Our goal is to create an experience that is intentional in its centering of the historically othered. Through this exploration of identity and craft, we hope to cultivate a platform in which the growth and sharing of radical joy— both encumbered and despite— happens in the presence of solidarity and healthy community.

Alise Alousi’s poetry has appeared in several journals and anthologies including, We are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War, Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, and I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You. In 2014, she was a Knight Arts Challenge Detroit awardee for From Detroit to Baghdad: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, a five month exhibit, workshop, and performance series commemorating the bombing of Baghdad's centuries old street of booksellers. Alousi is the Associate Director of the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, a nationally recognized writing program for K-12 students in metro Detroit.

Kamelya Youssef is a Detroit-based poet, organizer, student, and teacher. She is a member of the Z Collective and a board member of the Radius of Arab American Writers Inc (RAWI). Her poetry and essays have been published in Mizna and Bitch Magazine and she has shared her work on stages across the US. You can find her on Fridays hosting open mic nights at The Bottom Line Coffeehouse right near what will always be called the Cass Corridor. She's a daughter of Lebanese immigrants with a special love for 90s freestyle and she makes a mean pecan pie.

Tariq Luthun is a Palestinian-American data strategist, community organizer, and Emmy Award-winning poet from Detroit, MI. He is currently an MFA candidate for poetry in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Amidst other things, Luthun is the Social Director of Organic Weapon Arts Press and a co-founder of the PoC-dedicated literary arts series FRUIT. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vinyl Poetry, The Offing, Winter Tangerine Review, and Button Poetry, among other credentials. He is a deep dish pizza evangelist, and can best be described as the end-result of Drake falsetto-rapping Edward Said's Orientalism.

Event date: 
Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
124 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104