May 4, 2015

Poetry Electric: Only Yes – Poetry on Consent

a black arrow pointing downward

Enthusiastic consent is crucial — but not just in regards to sex. What does it mean to consent fully to our own own lives, and the different aspects of it? To sex, to relationships, to work arrangements, to ideology, to family dynamics, to identity, to self-care, to fighting for justice, to all of it? What does it mean to honor someone’s consent, to ask for it, to even ask ourselves for it? On May 4th, come hear a stellar line up of poets answer and explore and magnify these questions.

Poetry by Timothy DuWhite, Lauren Whitehead, Justin Woo, Nicole Goodwin, Sarah Duncan, Taylor Steele, Carol Brown, Teniece Divya Johnson, Alyssa Kerec Harley & Anna/Kate

Through mistakes, short-comings, and failures Timothy DuWhite has been able to fashion himself a body of work that speaks directly to the value of transparency as well as self-accountability. Timothy has dedicated his journey of both artist-hood as well as person-hood to the preservation of stories, all of our stories, and all of the purpose they bare. As a Spoken Word artist Timothy enlists his audience members in narratives spanning from: the pain of love, the insurmountable teeth of joy, the importance of forgiveness, the realities of living with a disease, the struggles of a man of color, the struggles of a queer man, the interconnections of the human experience, and every bit of beauty that can be found in the small and seemingly insignificant. Timothy’s work has been featured at the United Nations, Apollo Theater, San Diego State University, Nuyorican Poet’s cafe, as well as many other places. Timothy believes that by sharing our individual experiences and maintaining a dialogue of honesty amongst ourselves we can better navigate this behemoth we call life.

Lauren Whitehead is a writer, educator and Master of Fine Arts recipient in Dramaturgy from Columbia University where she was a Schubert Presidential Fellow and an Undergraduate Writing Teaching Fellow.  Lauren has performed around the country including at The Sundance Film Festival, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, The Nokia Theater and The Nuyorican Poets Café. She was featured on HBO’s documentary, “Brave New Voices” and has appeared on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.” Her most recent work is the full length play “stunning, still” which was read at the Vineyard Arts Project and Naked Angels 1st Mondays Play Reading Series. Most recently, Lauren worked as a research assistant to Oskar Eusits at New York University in partnership with The Public Theater. She was the assistant director of “Paradox of the Urban Cliche” by Craig “muMs” Grant and the festival dramaturg for The Fire This Time Festival.

Justin Woo is a Chinese-American poet, playwright, DJ, audio engineer, videographer, and photographer. He yells on the internet too much. He’s a married dog owner, which means he’s finally starting to calm down. He’s currently writing a play called Emily Six, about androids, artificial intelligence, and sex, writ small on an American family.

Nicole Goodwin is 2013-2014 Queer Art Mentorship Queer Art Fellow for Literature, as well as the and finalist for the Poets House’s 2013 Poets House Emerging Poets Fellowship Program. Recently, she published the articles “Talking with My Daughter…” and “Why is this Happening in Your Life…” (personal essay/review for award-winning documentary Tough Love) in the New York Times Parents Blog.

Originally from Normal, Illinois (really), Sarah Duncan now lives in Brooklyn and spends her time arts organizing, planning and performing in poetry and theatre events, writing plays, and singing the anti-capitalist gospel with Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir. She has performed her work at The Cherry Lane Theatre with the Guerrila Girls, The Living Theatre, the Honey & Poison Salon, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, with Poetic Theater Company at The Wild Project, Nimba Cafe, The New York Poetry Festival, Silent Barn… and of course, at the wonderful Judson Memorial Church’s Bail Out. Her full length play Bees and Lions was produced in 2012 by Sanguine Theater Company — and this theatre company will be producing the premiere of her play Come Back Up this Summer, 2015. Her ten minute play, Beat Parable, was performed at Baruch Performing Arts Center in 2013 as part of GMHC Aids Walk Fundraising Arts Benefit. Most recently, Sarah completed an artist’s residency at Takt Artist-In-Residency program, in Berlin, Germany.

Taylor Steele received her BA from The New School University, graduating with Departmental Honors in Cultural and Screen Studies. As a spoken word poet and writer, she has competed on both a national and local level, including the Collegiate Union Poetry Slam Invitational of 2010 and 2011, has been published on various online journals (Thought Catalog, Apogee Journal, Heart Journal, Wicked Banshee Press, and Blackberry: a Magazine) and has written and recorded with M-1 of Dead Prez. As a screenwriter she has written under the tutelage of such illustrious screenwriters and filmmakers as Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby) and Caveh Zahedi (The Sheik and I). She makes it her business to write about politics of the body.

Carol Brown is a performance poet and student. She currently studies poetry and psychology at Eugene Lang College. As a poet, Carol enjoy working across mediums, often performing with graphic and/or music to accent the spoken words. She is a member of The Fractal Ensemble, a New Jersey based band combining spoken word and music, whose second album Portraits, Elements Etc was released in February 2015. Only 19 years old, she has already been featured at the New York City Poetry Festival, the 2014 TedYouth Conference, the 2013 Ideas City festival, the Jersey City Slam and on Indiefeed. When not otherwise occupied, she delights in ranting about cultural appropriation, privilege, feminism and the social construction of gender.

Teniece Divya Johnson is an activist, blactress, athlete, teacher and student of life. A MFA graduate of the University of Florida and now Harlem resident,Teniece Divya is also Lehigh University alum twice over having  played division I basketball, marketing degree then earning masters in sociology. She fell in love with performance and began a hip hop theater production company, Redsun productions, with best friend and tenured professor of theater at LU, Kashi Johnson. Since moving to NYC Teniece has performed on stage and on film and is honored to be a part of tonight’s presentation under Sarah’s leadership. Teniece Divya is also a personal trainer, henna artist and vinyasa yoga teacher. Email her at A proud ensemble member of Poetic Theater Productions and The Black Latina Movement, Teniece is currently training for her next action film with ASC Productions.  Be love, so Fly.

Anna/Kate are a queer folk-pop band consisting of Anna Gothard–a teacher, solo artist and red-nose clown–and Kate Foster, playwright, activist and jazz singer. Together they perform for theater companies, pop-up performance parties and protests. Their song-cycles have been produced by Culture Project/Women CenterStage Festival, Dixon Place/HOT! Festival, Poetic Theater Productions/Poetic License Festival, and Judson Church/Magic Time and BailOut All-Stars. They have developed original content for FIGMENT Festival, LaMama, American Folk Art Museum, Bowery Poetry Club, the Duplex, and multiple music venues throughout NYC, including Friends & Lovers, Pete’s Candy Store, Pianos, Rockwood and Sidewalk. Recently they have been road tripping out of the city to venues in the Berkshires/No. 6 Depot to Syracuse/SubCat Music Studios; and this summer they will be traveling to Bethlehem, PA for Musikfest on August 14th. See or or for more!

Alyssa Kerec Harley is an artist out of Brooklyn, a poet, playwright and storyteller. Her works include Hootenanny, Metal Circus, Neologisms, Digging, and Number Ten Dream, a spoken-word opera. All of her works are published in Heaven.

Poetry Electric


The Poetry Electric fuses music, movement, sound, and dance with the spoken word and presents artists working in a wide range of styles including beatboxing, jazz and hip-hop theatre. This series has presented over 200 emerging poets from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Special Event