In honor of National Poetry Month, this reading celebrates Audre Lorde and her book The Black Unicorn as an inspiration for writing, reading, and being in the world. Bronx poets and writers will share original work centering themes of Black feminisms, female empowerment, queer pride, revolution, survival, and joy.

Meet our April Speakers!

Egypt Alford (She/They)

Egypt is in her senior year at Lehman College majoring in Creative Writing. Writing has always been a way to express how she’s feeling when she wasn’t always able to. Outside of writing she loves anime and manga, with an ever growing collection of manga. Her writing is influenced by her current state of mind and the media that she consumes, which ranges from paranormal and occult videos to slice of life anime .

Yenick Gonzales

was born and raised in New York City. A single mom with 4 daughters in tow; she graduated with High Honors in English from Lehman College and is now earning her Masters. Yenick’s love of books and poetry inspired her to start writing poetry at a young age. She has had her poems published in “Obscura” and “The Lit” Magazines. Yenick hopes to one day win a Pulitzer Prize in poetry, become part of the Literary Canon and inspire her daughters and the world. Instagram: @yenickg

Roxann Turner (She/Her)

is a first generation Jamaican-American, born and raised in between the Bronx and the sunny rhythmic island. She is a senior in her last semesters at Lehman college, finishing up her English (creative writing) major with a minor in anthropology.  She loves to watch and analyze film and tv shows, reading, writing, and doing her nails herself. She loves to express herself through fashion, and one day in the near future will hopefully translate that expression of love and embracing one’s own skin through an amazing character as an author, while working at a publishing house. But that’s all in good time.

Edna M. Norman (She/Her)

is originally from Charlotte, NC, but considers herself a New Yorker.  Edna graduated from Long Island University (LIU) Brooklyn Campus, M.Sc in 2013.  Edna is working on a second master’s, an MA with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition Writing Studies at Lehman College.   Edna is a seasoned City University of New York (CUNY) higher education college administrator and a visionary leader with a keen sense of strategy and forward-thinking.  Prior to her career in the Office of the Provost within CUNY, Edna worked as an office administrative assistant in the Business department and taught (as an adjunct) presentation classes at LIU from 2011 through 2018.

Jwendlen Nivens

is an English professor at Lehman college.  He is also a Lehman alumnus. He has performed at the Moth.  He enjoys pulling his readers into his story, while he twists and turns their mental state into an illusion they will never forsake.  “I love everything about life. Poetry is all around, just look for the unseen.  No one will listen to you better than a pen and paper

Angela Petani (She/They)

is a recent graduate from Lehman College, earning a bachelor’s degree in English/Creative Writing. Angela’s longtime love of Disney made itself useful in writing an Honors Thesis on the subject of Disney Princesses and their connection to feminism, covering topics such as girlhood, gender, mental health, familial relationships, loss, romance, body image, magic and female friendships.

Antwan Weatherington

is a 39-year gay black man who is a NYC transplant born and raised in Hartford, CT. He is a Senior at Lehman College majoring in English, minoring in Childhood Education. A poetry class last semester at Lehman ignited an old passion of his that helped him get through the trauma experienced by the recent death of his best friend. His poetry reflects a need to understand the depths of emotions and thoughts that we usually keep hidden by sharing stories of societies invisibles. These are the stories of people that grew up like him ; poor, black, and rejected by society. His hopes after graduation are to reach his goal of being an elementary school educator.

Renée Pendarvis

is a recent graduate from Lehman College where she majored in English, African American Studies and minored in Women’s Studies. She enjoys screenwriting and poetry as hobbies and aspires to create her own television series. Renee wants to use her writing as a means to motivate her audience both socially and spiritually.

Gray Torres (She/They)

studied English at Lehman College. She was born and raised in New York. They have been published in The Rumpus and Broad! Magazine.

Roberto Rodriguez

is a 33 year old gay latino who has a New York state of mind but was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachussetts. He is studying social work at Lehman College and his poetry began as a hobby but it has helped him put past traumas on paper to help him heal from it; like a form of therapy, which he hopes to try and mimic in the future with prospective clients. @robear117

Rhue Ivy

is a Guyanese-American poet, visual novel enthusiast, vegan baker, and human rights advocate. They currently work for PEN America, a nonprofit that stands at the intersection of literature and human rights, and protects free expression worldwide. Rhue is a first-generation high school and college graduate who obtained their Bachelor’s in English & Philosophy at Lehman College. They are in their second semester at Baruch College, where they are pursuing their Master’s in Public Administration. They reside in the Bronx, where they are raising 3 cats with their partner, and working on their book of poetry.

Isha S. Serrano

is a senior at Lehman College who is an English Honors major with a specialization in creative writing. She was the 2020 Honorable Mention of the Grace C. Croff Memorial Prize for Poetry contest and has published poems in 22 Under 22: The Young People Speak! (Anthology of fiction, essay, and poetry from young authors).

Shanik Carvey

educator and speaker who was born and raised in the Bronx neighborhoods that shaped her to always speak boldly with truth and love. Recently graduated from Lehman College with her MSed in January 2021. She is passionate about attending to the inner child and giving freedom to pursue joy endlessly. It is this joy that she hopes carries through her speaking publicly and in everyday conversations.