• Glory Be…Poetry Reading <br> with Aura Valdes

Glory Be…Poetry Reading
with Aura Valdes

February 9, 2024
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Join us in the Oasis, a space for programming and rest in the exhibition Keioui Keijaun Thomas: Magma & Pearls for a poetry reading curated by Aura Valdes. 

Glory Be… is a series of poetry readings that centers Trans, Queer, Black, Indigenous, and POC life and stories. Titled Glory Be… Restorative, Healing and Care-Full, the reading features poets kumari giles, Naomi Ortiz, and Eva Sierra.


About the poets

kumari giles (they/them) is multidisciplinary artist, facilitator, food maker and consultant based in tkaronto. A mixed maker of many things, they believe in art, movement and food as tools for liberation, transformation and healing. They work alongside BIPOC queer and trans communities, often at the intersections of disability and class. kumari has worked with many local arts collectives notably, ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company, and co founded Unapologetic Burlesque. Driven by radical hope and collective care, their work gathers folks to experiment and build internal embodied archives exploring what it feels like to be free towards collective wayfinding and possibilities of new worlds.

Naomi Ortiz (they/she) explores the cultivation of care and connection within states of stress. Reimagining our relationship with the U.S./Mexico borderlands and challenging who is an environmentalist is investigated in their new collection, Rituals for Climate Change: A Crip Struggle for Ecojustice. Their non-fiction book, Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice provides informative tools and insightful strategies for diverse communities on addressing burnout. Ortiz is also a co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Every Place on the Map is Disabled: Poems and Essays on Disability. For their work to reimagine the future of arts and culture they were nominated and selected by both the Ford and Mellon foundations as a 2022 Disability Futures Fellow. Ortiz was also nominated as a Reclaiming the US/Mexico Border Narrative Grant Awardee. They emphasize interdependence and spiritual growth through their poetry, writing, facilitation, and visual art. www.NaomiOrtiz.com

Eva Sierra is a queer poet, teaching artist, born in Douglas, Arizona. They are also co-founder and director of The Reading Series: a local poetry open mic.

Aura Valdes is a poet and activist based in Tucson AZ. As a Queer Disabled Trans artist their work and presence are an interruption to the conventional norms and binaries. Through participation in events such as Artistic Inqueeries, Tucson Poetry Fest, Gender Unbound in Austin, Texas, Tucson’s first Disability Pride Festival and other events, Aura has become known for creating spaces that prioritize care and invite self expression.  In 2023 they co received the 2023 Nightbloom Grant. For artists through the Museum of Contemporary Arts Tucson. Aura also has work featured in  Crip’d Ecologies: Unfurling Expanding Environments at the Roots Gallery, in San Francisco CA Spring 2024. See more at their website auravaldes.wordpress.com 


About the Exhibition

Magma & Pearls: Oceans Rise and Fall Like Meteorites is the first solo museum exhibition by artist and performer Keioui Keijaun Thomas presenting a large-scale sculptural installation, video, performance, and community-generated programming. The exhibition builds on over a decade of the artist’s work exploring the affective and material conditions of Black and trans identity and expands on her ongoing practice of world-building to create spaces of safety, joy, and healing. The artist transforms MOCA’s Great Hall into a post-apocalyptic geography to imagine new ways to relate to the American landscape centering interdependent systems of care for all living beings.

Accessibility Information 

Masks are required at this event.

Designated accessible parking (with access to a ramp) is available on the south side of McCormick St. in front of MOCA. MOCA has an accessible restroom in the lobby and all exhibition and lecture spaces are ADA compliant. MOCA is committed to providing access to the arts for everyone; for additional information or to arrange accommodations, please call MOCA’s front desk at 520.624.5019 or email info@moca-tucson.org.