By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–Ebony Stewart, an international touring poet and performance artist, will speak to an IU Southeast audience via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
Stewart is known for work that speaks to the black experience, emphasizing gender, sexuality, womanhood and race. She hopes it will “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 and mentor, one of the top touring poets in the country, and a Woman of the World Poetry Slam Champion.
She is the author of the poetry collections Love Letters to Balled Fists (2013) and Home.Girl.Hood (2018). Her work has been featured in For Harriet, AfroPunk, Teen Vogue, and The Texas Observer.
Stewart is also a playwright whose one-woman shows, Hunger (2015) and Ocean (2017), have received B. Iden Payne Awards and the David Mark Cohen New Play Award.
Stewart uses poetry, performance, real-life and experiences from teaching in the classroom as resources to address sexual health, body image and self-esteem.
Building on the positive reception to her work, Stewart has also produced educational materials. Her Home.Girl.Hood curriculum “aims to reach literary artists, creative writers, teachers, and facilitators, plus anyone with an interest in the use of generative language, the writer’s craft, and discussion to promote diversity.”
As stated on her website, Stewart’s mission is to improve, support and protect the lives of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community by creating a healing space, through workshops and discussion, where all know their worth, acknowledge their struggles and celebrate their victories.
On her virtual “visits” to universities and schools during the pandemic, Stewart is inspired by young people who remain determined and hopeful.
“I’m proud to be a part of a community of doers and folks that care about one another,” Stewart said. “It’s refreshing to perform for and share with people who are conscious, appreciative, and making space for marginalized people, hard conversations and mental wellness.”
Ebony Stewart is hosted by the Campus Activities Board , It’s On Us at IU Southeast, Sigma Kappa, and The Writing Center.
To attend the performance and discussion, visit the Grenadier Central website.