Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures “Made Local” – Cameron Barnett
February 29 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
A poetry collection that explores the complexity of race and the body for a Black man in contemporary America.
The second book by NAACP Image Award finalist Cameron Barnett, Murmur considers the question of how we become who we are. The answers Barnett offers in these poems are neither safe nor easy, as he traces a Black man’s lineage through time and space in contemporary America, navigating personal experiences, political hypocrisies, pop culture, social history, astronomy, and language. Barnett synthesizes unexpected connections and contradictions, exploring the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and the death of Terence Crutcher in 2016 and searching both the stars of Andromeda and a plantation in South Carolina. A diagnosis from the poet’s infancy haunts the poet as he wonders, “like too many Black men,” if “a heart is not enough to keep me alive.”
Cameron Barnett is a poet and teacher from Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water, the winner of the Autumn House Press Rising Writer Prize and a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He is a graduate of Duquesne University and earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Other honors include a 2019 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for Emerging Artist and serving as the ’22-’24 Emerging Black Writer in Residence at Chatham University. Cameron teaches at his middle school alma mater, Falk Laboratory School. His work explores the complexity of race, place, and relationships for Black people in America.