avery r. young & Dorothée Munyaneza:

Poetry off the Shelf


© Photos: Sulyiman Stokes, Richard Schroeder

10/30 | 7:00 PM
Poetry Foundation
61 W Superior St,Chicago
More Info and Tickets

After presenting her last piece Unwanted at the MCA in 2018, Dorothée Munyaneza is coming back to Chicago this fall for a two-month artistic residency, during which she will collaborate with interdisciplinary artist avery r young, among others. 

She will join avery r. young for a unique performance at the Poetry Foundation, sharing his debut poetry collection, neckbone. The evening includes an introduction to the visual verses from young’s new collection exploring the life of jazz vocal legend Billie Holiday. young discusses how his new form and structure are interdependent with content that interrogates racism, gender, colorism, religion, music, and Holiday’s relationship with saxophonist Lester Young.

About the Artists

Born in Rwanda, Dorothée Munyaneza left Kigali in 1994 when she was 12 for England, where she studied music at the Jonas Foundation in London and social sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University. In 2004, she composed and performed the original soundtrack for Terry George's Hotel Rwanda, before appearing a year later on the album Anatomic by Afro Celt Sound System. In 2006, without any formal training, she danced for the first time in François Verret's Sans Retour. After performing in several of the French choreographer's creations, Dorothée Munyaneza worked alongside Mark Tompkins, Robyn Orlin, Rachid Ouramdane, and Alain Buffard. In 2013, she founded her own company, Kadidi, and in 2014, she created her first show, Samedi Détente, which evoked the Rwandan genocide by returning to those moments of laughter that punctuated life before the tears of war. A singer, musician, dancer, actress, writer and choreographer, she has established herself in the French cultural landscape as a unique artist who refuses boundaries and speaks out “to force us to listen to the silences and see the scars of History.” Her last piece, Unwanted, has been presented in 2018 at MCA Chicago.


avery r. young is an interdisciplinary artist and educator from the West Side of Chicago. young’s work chronicles Black life, history, imagination, and culture through language, visuals, sound, and performance.


Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.

The Poetry Foundation works to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in our culture. The Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry. 

Established in 2003 upon receipt of a major gift from philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the Poetry Foundation evolved from the Modern Poetry Association, which was founded in 1941 to support the publication of Poetry magazine. The gift from Ruth Lilly allowed the Poetry Foundation to expand and enhance the presence of poetry in the United States and established an endowment that will fund Poetry magazine in perpetuity.