|Jayne Cortéz is an outstanding experimental New York wordsmith, author and poet, whose work has been deeply involved with the birth of the Black Arts Movement and its presence on the arts scene. In her poetry night, she will be reading texts giving a political and surrealist expression to those specific realities of life where resistance communicates with its essential complement, the utopian dream world.
Cortéz's performances use sound and text to narrate the struggle - especially that of Black women - to carve out a place in the art world, in society, and in the world at large. Both her texts and her particular way of "presenting" them - a kind of tonal reading - constantly reference music, its historical, political and communicative significance and the concrete effect of its sounds.
Jayne Cortéz was born in Arizona and grew up in Los Angeles. She is currently living in New York City where she is considered one of the most outstanding experimental spoken-word artists. An author and a poet, she has published ten volumes of poetry and has also performed her poems in exchanges with musicians. Jayne Cortéz has performed in her unique style at a variety of venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; UNESCO, Paris; the Berlin Jazz Festival; 11 Perfil da Literatura, Sao Paolo, Brazil; the Arts Alive International Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa; and the Banlieus Blues Festival, France. Her poetic texts are a political-surrealistic expression of resistance, lived realities and dream worlds; her poems always create a their very own world of sounds. Jayne Cortéz uses music and poetry as forms of communication and protest, revealing a close attachment to Afro-American cultural history. Her artistic work is closely linked with the Black Arts Movement.
Jayne Cortéz has developed her own aesthetics: her texts are an expression of the struggle - also and especially as a Black woman - to establish a place for herself in society, in the world and in the arts scene.
Apart from writing poems, which have been translated into many different languages and have appeared in various anthologies, newspapers and magazines, Jayne Cortéz has also worked as a film director. Her film Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future is a memorable documentary of the Conference of Black Authors, which first took place in 1997.