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Besaydoo – Book Launch

January 19 @ 6:00 pm 9:00 pm

Contemporary Arts Center – Black Box Theater



Come to Besaydoo, A Celebration with Yalie Saweda Kamara and Ross Gay, at the Contemporary Arts Center on January 19 at 6 p.m.

Join us to launch Besaydoo, the award-winning, highly acclaimed debut full-length poetry collection from Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate Yalie Saweda Kamara. Following this reading, Yalie will be joined in conversation with poet, author and professor Ross Gay. The audience will also be able to ask questions during the event.


This free event, open to the public, requires registration.

  • 6:00 p.m. – Reception
  • 7:00 p.m. – Program
  • 8:15 p.m. – Book sales & signing

About Besaydoo

Selected by poet and professor Amaud Jamaul Johnson for the 2023 Jake Adam York Prize, Yalie Saweda Kamara’s Besaydoo is an elegantly wrought love song to home—as place, as people, as body, and as language.

About Yalie Saweda Kamara

Yalie Saweda Kamara is a Sierra Leonean American writer, educator, and researcher from Oakland, California. Selected as the 2022–2023 Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate and a 2023 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, she is an editor and an author.

Kamara earned a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Cincinnati. She is an assistant professor of English at Xavier University and resides in Cincinnati.

About Ross Gay

2023 Hearth & Home Lecturer Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

In addition to his poetry, Ross has released three collections of essays—The Book of Delights was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller; Inciting Joy was released in 2022; and his newest collection, The Book of (More) Delights was released in September of 2023.

About the Venue

The Contemporary Arts Center is a contemporary art museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is one of the first contemporary art institutions in the United States. The museum is at 44 E. 6th Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45202.

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job postings, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

Image from Mercantile Library


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44 E. 6th Street
Cincinnati, Oh,45202
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