Dasan Ahanu & Belle Boggs
The So & So Series, one of the Triangle’s longest running reading series.
Dasan Ahanu, is a public speaker, organizer, workshop facilitator, poet, spoken word performer, educator, songwriter, writer, emcee, and loyal Hip Hop head born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to performing, Dasan has hosted many poetry, jazz, Hip Hop, and cultural arts events across the state. He is one of the founders of Black Poetry Theatre (BPT) where he has been a writer, director, producer, and cast member for their productions. As an active participant in poetry slam, Dasan has competed regionally and nationally as a founding member and coach of Durham, NC’s own Bull City Slam Team. In 2010 and 2014, Ahanu led the Bull City Slam Team in winning the Southern Fried Southeastern Regional Poetry Slam, the largest regional poetry slam in the country. He also led the team to a 3rd place finish at the 2010 National Poetry Slam and a 2nd place finish in Group Piece Finals at the 2012 National Poetry Slam.
Belle Boggs's essay collection, The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, the Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, and O the Oprah Magazine, and was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Her first book, Mattaponi Queen, a collection of linked stories, won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. She teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.
SPARKcon is an interdisciplinary creativity, art & design festival produced by the non-profit creativity incubator, Visual Art Exchange, in Raleigh NC. SPARKcon happens each September (since 2006!) in Downtown Raleigh.