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BONK! performance Series

Sat, 02/23/2013 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Racine Arts Council (316 6th Street, Racine, WI)
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SUBJECT: BONK! Performance Series February event
CONTACT: Nick Demske, nick.demske@racinelibrary.info, 262-619-2570

Racine – The next event held by the BONK! performance series will take place on Saturday, February 23rd beginning at 6p.m. This month's BONK! will feature Milwaukee-based poet Ching-In Chen, Chicago-based poet Quraysh Ali Lansana and Milwaukee-based Hip Hop emcee Kiran Vee of the group Fresh Cut Collective.

Created to expose the public to both local and nationally recognized artistic talents, the BONK! series showcases poets, writers, musicians, film makers and all sorts of talents in between. Founded in fall of 2008, the BONK! series has been running with an event every month for over 4 years now. A completely free program, BONK! is usually held at The Racine Arts Council at 316 6th Street. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with seating available on a first come/first served basis. Each BONK! event features a short question and answer session with the artists at the end of the program.

FRANKIE FLOWERS first came to be in November of 2006 in the stock room of a Foot Locker. He had been writing since childhood and, after coming into contact with some co-workers and friends, he decided to try his hand at rapping. By the fall of 2007 he moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in music full-time. In December of 2008, he released his first album titled The Storyteller. After he returned home to Milwaukee, Frankie released his sophomore album New Beginning (Dec 2009), followed by Never Forget (Mar 2011). By the summer of 2011, Frankie teamed up with long time friend Jay One to form a high energy dynamic duo known as The Local Nobodies. In 2012 they released two projects, The Ep and The Ap, ultimately leading up to their full album The L. By the spring of 2013 Frankie plans to release his fourth solo album titled Phase II: The Journey. To learn more or to check out Frankie’s music and videos, visit http://frankieflowersmusic.com/.

CHING-IN CHEN is author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). A Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, Ching-In is part of Macondo, Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and Sharon Bridgforth's Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have been awarded fellowships from Soul Mountain Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and the Norman Mailer Center. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside, and Boston. They are cream city review's editor-in-chief.

QURAYSH ALI LANSANA is author of They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems (Third World Press, 2004) and the poetry collection Southside Rain (Third World Press, 2000); The Big World, a children's book, (Addison-Wesley, 1999); and three poetry chapbooks, bloodsoil (sooner red) (Center for the American Land, May 2009), Greatest Hits: 1995-2005 (Pudding House Publications, 2006) and cockroach children: corner poems and street psalms (nappyhead press, 1995). His work has been published widely in journals and magazines across the country and internationally, including Callaloo, American Poetry Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. He is Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing at Chicago State University, and a former faculty member of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. Passage, his poetry video collaboration with Kurt Heintz, won the first ever Image Union/Bob Award from WTTW-TV (PBS). Quraysh earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Creative Writing Program at New York University, where he was a Departmental Fellow. He has been a literary teaching artist and curriculum developer for over a decade and has led workshops in prisons, public schools, and universities in over 30 states.

KIRAN VEE (aka Bellse Soneek) is a writer, musician, producer, and youth advocate from Milwaukee, WI. He is best known for his powerful and engaging live performances with hip hop fusion quintet, Fresh Cut Collective. Winner of the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) award for best hip hop group, Fresh Cut Collective has been building a substantial regional following for the past few years, and has had the honor of performing with such hip hop legends as The Roots, De La Soul, and Slick Rick. In 2012, Kiran was named Most Influential Milwaukeean in the area of arts and culture. He is currently working on his thesis project for the Master's program in the Liberal Studies department at UWM. The project is a film built around nine original songs that explore the rights of passage that individuals go through in asking the question "Who am I?" and how those personal quests for authenticity--for truth, for the real--fit into a larger picture in an increasingly connected global society. A graduate of Case High School, Kiran is very excited to come back to Racine and perform.

BONK! is made possible by the Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, the Friends of the Racine Public Library, The Racine Arts Council, Olde Madrid restaurant, Pink Magnolia restaurant and The Urban League of Racine and Kenosha.

For more information or to view video of past BONK! performances please visit http://bonkperformanceseries.wordpress.com. You may also contact Nick Demske at the Racine Public Library: 262.619.2570 or nick.demske@racinelibrary.info. If you would like to receive monthly e-mail updates about the BONK! series, please send a blank e-mail to the address above with the subject heading “BONK! e-mail.”

Kiran Vee (of Fresh Cut Collective), Ching-In Chen (poet) and Quraysh Ali Lansana (poet)