Oliver Baez Bendorf: Showing Up in Our Own Lives

Oliver Baez Bendorf shares recordings of poets that encourage him to “show up in [his] own life” through both their poetry and the way they themselves move through the world as thinkers, activists, and people. He celebrates Trish Salah’s intelligence and generosity of mind (“Tiresias as Cuir (on the run)”), CAConrad’s expressiveness of voice and connection to the body (“I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead”), and Ching-In Chen’s call to reconsider histories (“dear story of a risk, 1878.”). Baez Bendorf closes by reading a poem written this summer, titled “Michigan,” inspired by the life and work of transgender activist Sylvia Rivera. Listen to the full recordings of Salah, CAConrad, and Chen reading for the Poetry Center on Voca:Trish Salah (2017)CAConrad (2014)Ching-In Chen with the Thinking Its Presence Board (2017)

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Poetry Centered features curated selections from Voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s online audiovisual archive of more than 1,000 recordings of poets reading their work during visits to the Center between 1963 and today. In each episode, a guest poet introduces three poems from Voca, sharing their insights about the remarkable performances recorded in our archive. Each episode concludes with the guest poet reading a poem of their own.