Poet Chantel Massey

Noted Indiana poet Chantel Massey will present a virtual evening of poetry reading and conversation Thursday, May 20. The appearance is made possible through the support of an Indiana Authors Award grant, administered by Indiana Humanities.

The virtual event, which begins at 7 p.m., is open to the public, free of charge. Registration is required. A Zoom link will be provided at registration.

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Massey is on a lifelong mission to inspire curiosity, celebration, creativity and challenge how we engage with the world. Her work advocates for human rights and social justice. She explores these issues with a confessional and emotional honesty through Blackness, womanhood, identity, memory and familial relationships.

She published her first collection of poetry, “Bursting at the Seams,” in 2018. The work earned a 2020 nomination for the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Author Awards, which recognizes the Hoosier State’s top emerging authors. She was also a nominee for a 2019 Best of the Net Award, an annual online anthology curated and hosted by Sundress Publications to honor the best online writing.

Massey’s work has been featured in “The Indianapolis Review,” an online quarterly publication featuring poetry, art, and visual poetry. Her work has also appeared in “Turnpike,” a literary and art magazine that focuses on positive themes and under-represented voices.

Massey, an Indianapolis-area special education teacher, founded the UnLearn Arts poetry workshop series, created to inspire writers through a Black classic- and contemporary arts-centered curriculum. In addition, she serves as a board and community outreach committee member for Word as Bond, a youth poetry organization, editor at Sidepiece Magazine and co-host for the Tea’s Me Café’s open microphone nights.

Massey will read selected poems from her work, share stories about her poetic journey and discuss the role poetry plays in our challenging and divided world. The event, which includes an opportunity for audience discussion, will be moderated by Saul Lemerond, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at Hanover.

Indiana Humanities logo

Through the Indiana Authors Award grant, Massey’s appearance is sponsored the Hanover College Racial Justice and Equity Committee in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, English department and student organizations including Black Student Union, Sister-2-Sister, Rhythm & Poetry and “Kennings,” the College’s literary publication.

About Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the public humanities. The entity was started in 1972 when the?National Endowment for the Humanities asked a small group of Indiana citizens to form a grant-making agency. The organization encourages Hoosiers to think, read and talk through grants for programs such as ‘Quantum Leap,’ Next Indiana Campfires, INconversation, Novel Conversations, “Chew on This” and more.

The Indiana Authors Awards honor the best books written by Hoosier authors in multiple categories every two years—books that build on the state's bedrock of literary tradition and provide a vast mine of material for Indiana Humanities' rich literary programming.