The Lowertown Reading Jam Returns to the Black Dog with

Irna Landrum’s “A World Without End, Amen”


Clarence White,

SAINT PAUL (September 22, 2016) October marks the return of the popular Lowertown Reading Jams. The Saint Paul Almanac presents Irna Landrum and four other artists in this year’s inaugural performance, “A World Without End, Amen.” On Wednesday, October 26, the Lowertown Reading Jams mark their return at the Black Dog Cafe at 7:30 p.m. at 308 East Prince Street.

Irna Landrum is an essayist, campaign writer, and world-class emoter with a ravenous curiosity about the human condition and why we love and hate the way we do. She has invited Erin Sharkey, Katie Robinson, Maya Beck, and Stephanie Chrismon to perform on a theme that asks, “What kind of society do you imagine we would have, absent policing?”

Landrum asks us to join her and “four of the most fiendishly creative minds and passionate co-conspirators I know as we imagine for a night a post-police landscape through essays, poetry, and short fiction.”

Katie Robinson uses poetry as a salve and a tool to translate wordless human truths and stories into knowable bits of wisdom. Her work is rooted strongly in Black feminism, the existence of other worlds, and the idea that the unfettered imagination is integral to social change.

Maya Beck refers to herself as a lapsed Muslim and a recovering otaku. She is a lover of thought, Paper Darts staff member, socially awkward blipster, and genre-blurring wri

Stephanie Chrismon is a writer, Afrofuturist, and pop culture junkie. Her writing explores issues of race, sexuality, family karma, and social justice. Stephanie is a participant in the 2016 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose.

Erin Sharkey is a writer, producer, educator, and graphic designer and the co-founder of an artist collective called Free Black Dirt. Erin co-hosts Black Market Reads, a weekly podcast about literature and Black cultural production. All performers are veterans of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature’s Emerging Writers Fellowship.

Landrum’s inspiration for “A World Without End, Amen” came in an image. As she recounts, “I fell asleep one night and woke up in a world with no dress codes, official or unofficial, to abide by. Bodies of all shapes and sizes roamed freely without the (dis)approving gazes of passersby. Folks wandered the streets at all hours of the night, traveling from one place to the next unchaperoned and unafraid. There were no contracts and rules for romantic partnership. And there were no uniformed people given utmost, unquestioned authority over the rest of us. And life was challenging. Life was rewarding. Life and living didn’t end.”
The Lowertown Reading Jams are open to all ages, no cover, donations welcome. As always, food and beverages will be for sale.


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