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This February’s BONK! event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Central time). The event will be held on Zoom webinar and streamed on Facebook Live at the BONK! Facebook page. Curated and hosted by Dasha Kelly Hamilton, BONK! will feature spoken word artists Charles Payne and Dasha Kelly Hamilton herself, followed by a small open mic portion. For more information visit the BONK! website.

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist and creative change agent, applying the creative process to facilitate dialogues around human and social wellness.

She is the author of two novels, three poetry collections, four spoken word albums, and one collection of personal vignettes. She has taught at colleges, conferences, and classrooms and curated fellowships for emerging leaders.

An Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy, Dasha has facilitated community-building initiatives in Botswana, Toronto, Mauritius and Beirut. Her touring production, Makin’ Cake, uniquely engages communities in a forward dialogue on race, class and equity.

Dasha is a national Rubinger Fellow and a National Laureate Fellow with the American Academy of Poets. She is concurrently Poet Laureate for the City of Milwaukee and for the State of Wisconsin.

Dasha Kelly HamiltonCredit: Jamie Robarge
Charles Payne – Image Credit: Charles Payne

Charles Payne is a South Madison transplant, a certified teacher, and a self-taught social artist from Michigan. As a child, he loved hearing the sound of Paul Harvey’s voice; his innate ability to describe every intricate detail truly inspired Charles to tell stories himself. And, yes, Charles can’t wait to give you the rest of the story.

Charles believes good stories foster empathy and help people see the world from different perspectives. Charles has won the Arts + Literature Laboratory’s inaugural ALL Originals Prize competition for his poems and the Moth’s Inaugural Central GrandSLAM storytelling competition.

His work has also been featured in issue 7 of the River South Review, issue 1 of Soulin Space Magazine, Madison Magazine, The Madison Isthmus, and Arts + Literature Laboratory’s ALL Review.

About BONK!

BONK! exists to bring healing, justice, equity, joy, connection, and quality of life to the Racine community and beyond, through a variety of educational and community-building initiatives, including a world-class performing arts series. The BONK! series showcases poets, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and all sorts of talent in between. Founded in the fall of 2008, the BONK! series has been running with an event every month for over thirteen years now. BONK! Is made possible by The Racine Public Library, the Racine Community Foundation, the Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, the Friends of the Racine Public Library, and Olde Madrid restaurant.

For more information about BONK!, you can visit the BONK! website, contact Alex Reilly at 262-989-2930 or e-mail them at contact@bonkseries.org.


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