Gramsci Monument: an attempt at unity
Heroine. That was the topic of one poem by visiting artist Tracie Morris. "Some of you might be familiar with this," she said. In front of me, an older black woman paused from crocheting a colorful flower to look up and say, "yep."
Tracie Morris was part of the Gramsci Monument's visiting lecture series, which took place on a ramshackle stage made of plywood and tarp amidst the Bronx Forest Houses. Like the residents there, Morris also grew up in public housing. She is now a professor of poetry and a published poet. She has developed an energetic, improvisational style that infuses slam poetry with her body as an instrument, and she beats on her chest while she speaks in syncopated rhythms.