ADMIT ONE AN EVENING OF POETRY AND CONVERSATION WITH MARTHA COLLINS
In this inaugural Founder’s Project, we’re pleased to welcome award-winning poet Martha Collins for a poetry reading and on-stage conversation with MWPA co-founder Lee Sharkey.
The signal quality of Martha Collins’s poetry has long been its exploration of how “whiteness” as a linguistic/aesthetic/social construct made possible her own history of unconscious privilege, and how that privilege has enabled the enslavements, humiliations, separations, forced sterilizations, and imperial escapades pervade our country’s history.
The shock of discovering that her father had witnessed a lynching as a boy propelled Collins into several years of research and the writing of 2006’s Blue Front. White Papers (2012), a personal account of growing up white, continued her work, interweaving historical material with compressed linguistic explorations of the vocabulary undergirding our assumptions and acts.
Collins’s new book, Admit One: An American Scrapbook, begins with a description of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, where human beings acquired from various parts of the world were displayed as living dioramas of ” beings acquired from various parts primitive peoples,” and traces from there to the origins of the eugenics movement that Hitler would soon emulate.