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Come Up
Come Up

Sun, Mar 10


The Contemporary - Laguna Gloria

Come Up

Torch Literary Arts joins Origin Studio House and The Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria for an artistic journey from shadows to light.

Time & Location

Mar 10, 2024, 6:00 PM CDT

The Contemporary - Laguna Gloria , 3809 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703, USA

About the event

Origin Studio House presents Come Up annually during SXSW in Austin, Texas, in partnership with The Contemporary Austin, to showcase those molding the future of Black Austin. With a focus on creativity, innovation, and collaboration, Come Up is an inspiring day of discovery with some of the city's most impactful brands, vendors, and local businesses.

Torch Literary Arts will curate a reading featuring Amanda Johnston, Tova Charles, and Ebony Stewart. 

Free and open to the public. 

Click here to RSVP. 

Amanda Johnston is a writer, visual artist, and the 2024 Texas Poet Laureate. She Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter. Her work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Callaloo, Poetry Magazine, The Moth, Puerto del Sol, Muzzle, and the anthologies, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. She has received fellowships, grants, and awards from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, Tasajillo, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Watermill Center, American Short Fiction, and the Austin International Poetry Festival. She is a former Board President of Cave Canem Foundation, a member of the Affrilachian Poets, cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founder of Torch Literary Arts.

Tova Charles is a powerhouse-performing spoken word artist who has been taking the slam poetry community by storm since 2008. Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and raised in Austin, Texas, and daughter of a librarian and Zydeco percussionist, her childhood was never boring! She acquired a passion for writing from her mother and for performing from her father. In the spring of 2003, she was inducted into the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., one of the original historically Black national collegiate sororities in the U.S. An award-winning writer and dynamic performer, Tova is a mother to two busy children, Harper and Harlem, serves as a primary-level literacy achievement specialist, and is the creative director, CEO, and host of Austin Poetry Slam.

Ebony Stewart is an international touring interdisciplinary poet, writer, and performance artist. Her work speaks to the Black experience, with emphasis on gender, sexuality, womanhood, queer-positivity, and race, with the hopes to be relatable, remove shame, heal minds, encourage dialogue, and inspire folks in marginalized communities. As one of the most decorated poets in Texas, Ebony is a respected coach & mentor, one of the top touring poets in the country, and the 2017 Woman of the World Poetry Slam Champion. She has shared stages with many prestigious figures in the artist world such as, the late-Amiri Baraka, Carmen Carerra, Marsha Ambrosius, Patricia Smith, Rudy Francisco, Ariana Brown, Lupe Mendez, and so many more. She has performed in 49 states, at over 200 colleges and universities across the country, as well as featured internationally in Canada, Australia, Ghana, and Norway. She is the author of BloodFresh, Home.Girl.Hood., and Love Letters to Balled Fists. Her work has been featured in Button Poetry, AfroPunk, For Harriet,  Teen Vogue, The Texas Observer, Houston Public Media, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic, 2021 Colorism Healing Writing Contest, Write About Now Poetry, plus countless others. As a playwright, Ebony’s one-woman shows, Hunger and Ocean, have received B. Iden Payne Awards & the David Mark Cohen New Play Award. Ebony is also a mental health advocate and former sexual health educator. With her recent Master's in Clinical Social Work, she is the hood's favorite mental health specialist.

Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. Torch has featured work by Colleen J. McElroy, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.

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