2004 | Episodes

2004 || EP. NO. 1: Langston Hughes: Celebrating a Literary Legacy
featuring Tony Medina and Sydnee Stewart; with visual artist Charles Lilly.


phatLiterature kicks off its season by joining forces with the Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center’s annual Langston Hughes Celebration weekend by featuring the Library’s namesake, Langston Hughes. Poet-activist-professor Tony Medina and actor-poet Sydnee Stewart discuss Hughes and how Hughes’ legacy has affected poets and writers, with readings by both Medina and Stewart. This clip features Tony Medina & Sydnee Stewart. (Run Time: 9:11)

2004 || EP. NO. 2: In Conversation
featuring Nelly Rosario and Idra Novey; with visual artist Roberta Berman.


Nelly Rosario and Idra Novey discuss their writing process and the influence different languages and cultures have had on their work. They also speak about how they negotiate and translate culture in their writing. This clip features Nelly Rosario and Idra Novey. (Run Time: 6:48)

2004 || EP. NO. 3: Poetry in the Community: The Afrikan Poetry Theater
featuring John Watusi Branch and student Kamil Gedear; with visual artists Otto Neals and Abdul Badi.


The Afrikan Poetry Theater (APT) , located in the heart of Jamaica, Queens, was initially created to encourage poets and writers in the African American community to develop their art. Since its inception, it has emerged as a cultural, educational, and recreational center that prepares young people to become productive members of their community. John Watusi Branch discusses APT’s impact and presents one of APT’s young poets, Kamil Gedear, to the audience. This clip features John Watusi Branch. (Run Time: 5:11)

2004 || EP. NO. 4: Contemporary Russian Literature
featuring Mikhail Iossel; with visual artist Anders Knutsson.


Throughout Russia’s turbulent history, leaders, rulers, despots came and went, each condemning hundreds and thousands of books to the fate of the literal and metaphorical underground vaults, yet the people of Russia have maintained a strong, distinctive literary culture. Mikhail Iossel, an award-winning Russian novelist and the director of SUMMER LITERARY SERIES (SLS), discusses the history of Russian literature, and shares his personal experience as a Russian-born writer. This clip features hosts David and Handal, and Mikhail Iossel. (Run Time: 3:52)

2004 || EP. NO. 5: Words on Stage: The Kazbah Project
featuring Rana Kazkaz and Bridgit Evans; with visual artist Nikita Hunter.


What happens when an Arab American woman and African American woman come together to create words on stage? Revolution! In this program, producers, screenwriters and actors Rana Kazkaz and Bridgit Evans discuss their works, the founding and development of their production company, THE KAZBAH PROJECT, and their involvement in theatre and political activism. This clip features Bridgit Evans. (Run Time: 4:13)

2004 || EP. NO. 6: Poetry in the Public Space: The Bowery Poetry Club
featuring Bob Holman; with visual artist Louis Gasparro.


In the past 10 years, poetry has been demanding and getting a bigger stage. Witness the advent of poetry slams – barroom competitions in which a jury of patrons judge as poets pound it out with words. Bob Holman discusses the dynamics of educating and presenting poets to the community-at-large through his latest creation, the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. This clip features Bob Holman. (Run Time: 2:43)

2004 || EP. NO. 7: Rivers of Women: Tribute to Margaret Walker
featuring Maryemma Graham & co-hosted by Shirley Bradley LeFlore; with visual artist Michael J. Singletary.


Filling in for Nathalie Handal, Shirley Bradley LeFlore pays tribute to Margaret Walker. This episode explores Ms. Walker’s contribution to American letters, her impact on the African American community and in particular, African American writers. Joined by professor-critic Maryemma Graham, each shares her personal relationship with Ms. Walker and provides insight into the woman and her works. This clip features Shirley Bradley LeFlore & Maryemma Graham. (Run Time: 6:27)

2004 || EP. NO. 8: The Politics of Poetry
featuring Abiodun Oyewole and Kristin Prevallet; with visual artist Lorraine Miller.


Poet-activists Abiodun Oyewole and Kristin Prevallet come from two entirely different schools of poetry: Oyewole is from the Black Arts Movement, while Prevallet comes from the Literary Beat movement. What brings them together is their political and social consciousness that is reflected in their poetry. Oyewole and Prevallet discuss the importance of the politics of poetry, as well as share some of their explosive works with the audience. In this clip, hosts David and Handal introduce Abiodun Oyewole, with a commentary by Kristin Prevallet. (Run Time: 6:54)

2004 || EP. NO. 9: Words Matter: A Conversation with Asian American Writers
featuring Meena Alexander and Ram Prasad Devineni; with visual artist Takeshi Yamada.


Alexander and Devineni discuss new trends and movements in the Asian and Asian American literary scene. As publisher of RATTAPALLAX, a literary magazine, Devineni shares his views on global culture and mix-media, while Alexander discusses her works and their impact in the literary community. This clip features Ram Prasad Devineni. (Run Time: 2:58)

2004 || EP. NO. 10: Behind-the-Scenes @ phatLiterature
featuring Gabrielle David, Andrew P. Jackson, Felix Leo Campos, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and Tonya Foster. Narrated by Angela Sternreich. (video will be available soon)


When viewers watch phatLiterature, they see an entertaining and informative program that features interesting guests. What they do not see is the work that goes into a program of this magnitude, and the challenges the IAAS faced to get the project off the ground. Behind-the-Scenes @ phatLiterature is an all access pass to the inner workings of phatLiterature. This clip features Gabrielle David, Andrew P. Jackson, Felix Leo Campos, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez. (Run Time: 24:58)

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