On the heels of her acclaimed novel, Another Brooklyn, award-winning writer Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, Miracle’s Boys) hosts a National Sawdust+ program showcasing two powerful voices from her borough: Carl Hancock Rux and Toshi Reagon. The unusual evening will feature music, readings and conversation in an intimate setting. Woodson will be joined by Rux, the charismatic poet, playwright, novelist and musician, in reading from their respective works. She’ll then have a musical conversation with Reagon, the dynamic, big-hearted singer-songwriter-guitarist whose music spans rock and blues to folk and funk. Rux, accompanied by guitarist Dan Kajeckas and pianist Lon Kaiser, closes out the evening with a riveting set of music.
Jacqueline Woodson is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, and the NAACP Image Award. Woodson was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Her latest novel, Another Brooklyn, is a National Book Award Finalist in Fiction. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner.
Carl Hancock Rux (born March 24, in Harlem, New York City) is an award winning playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, performer, theater director and recording artist. He is the author of several publications including “Pagan Operetta” (poetry), Asphalt (novel) and the OBIE award winning play Talk. Rux has released five albums, the first being the critically acclaimed Rux Revue (Sony 550). His musical work has been described as an amalgam of “Brecht and Weill influences, along with Massive Attack, whose spirit is deep in the sensual slinking spiritual jazz of Billie Holiday through William S. Burroughs‘ cut-up treatment, while unleashing old-fashioned, straight-ahead R&B Stax soul” (All Music Review). Rux is the recipient of numerous awards including the Doris Duke Awards for New Works, the Doris Duke Charitable Fund, the New York Foundation for the Arts Prize, and the Alpert Award in the Arts.
Toshi Reagon has been described as “a talented, versatile singer, songwriter and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana—from folk to funk, from blues to rock” by critic/blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa (InfiniteBody). “She masters each of these genres with vocal strategies that easily spiral and swoop from the expressively sinuous to the hard-charging, a combination of warmth and mischief.” While her expansive career has landed her comfortably in residence at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House and Madison Square Garden, you can just as easily find Reagon turning out a music festival, intimate venue, or local club. She finds home on any musical stage. Reagon has had the pleasure of working with Lenny Kravitz, Lizz Wright, Ani DiFranco, Carl Hancock Rux, Nona Hendryx, Pete Seeger, Chocolate Genius, and many other amazing artists, including her favorite collaborator, her mom, Bernice Johnson Reagon. She has been the recipient of a NYFA award for Music Composition, The Black Lily Music and Film Festival Award for Outstanding Performance. She is a National Women’s History Month Honoree, and is the 2010 recipient of OutMusic’s Heritage Award.