Photo Courtesy of Ciona Rouse.


Wednesday, May 10, 2023
11:00 AM


Join Senior Curator Heather Hakimzadeh for a conversation with Ciona Rouse, poet and co-curator for Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick. Find us on Instagram @virginiamoca

About Ciona Rouse

Poet, editor, and educator Ciona Rouse is the author of Vantablack, the first chapbook of Third Man Books (2017). Her poetry has appeared in Oxford American, Wildness, The Account, Still, Talking River, Gabby Journal, Matter: a journal of political poetry and commentary, and other publications.

A visiting writer-in-residence, Rouse teaches Medicine & Literature at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She is on faculty at the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference (2019–present). Recognizing the kindred nature of the arts, she often collaborates with other poets and artists. In 2017–2018, she served as a resident poet for the Nick Cave: Feat exhibition at Frist Art Museum, culminating in a poem called “We,” which was named 2018’s “Best Poetry Performance” by Nashville Scene. In 2021, she was a guest co-curator for Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation at Frist Art Museum and Cincinnati Art Museum. She works with legendary saxophonist Jeff Coffin and award-winning composer Jason Shelton to create the annual solstice celebration The Longest Night at Oz Arts. Her poetry was featured on NPR Music in collaboration with musician and poet Adia Victoria and poet Caroline Randall Williams in August 2019. A graduate of Columbia College of South Carolina, Rouse currently lives in Nashville.