Photos of Leona and Andy flank the Bluestockings entrance with its old tattered blue awning hanging above and the white painted lettering: “Bluestockings: Books, Café, activist center. www.bluestockings.com. We’ve overlaid the show info on the door. Leona Godin faces her portrait on the left: She’s standing to the side of and facing a six-foot canvas on which is painted a hyper-realistic close-up of her head. In the painting she’s smiling and wearing purple and gold sunglasses (which sit slightly askew, and which reflect the lighting umbrellas). In the studio she’s standing in a black wrap dress, wearing black Doc Martens, and holding Moses, her white cane, which bisects the painting from the sunglasses downward. Her black sunglasses are perched on her head. Photo by Alabaster Rhumb, painting by Roy Nachum. Andy Slater holds a copy of There Plant Eyes on the right: Standing behind a bar, he’s wearing a black turtleneck with a gold lion’s head medallion hanging from his neck. His hair is red and brown and his beard is cayenne grey he is wearing round framed sunglasses that Bob Snyder gave him. Bob got them in Amsterdam in the 70’s and he calls them Dutch Hipster shades. Behind Andy is a dark brown wood panel wall with rows of shelves. These shelves hold wine and liquor bottles cocktail glasses, accoutrement, and other assorted bar tools. The bar itself is white with gold flecks. In his right hand he holds a cocktail glass filled with bourbon. The glass has a gold leaf design. Also, on one of the shelves is an ice bucket that looks like a knight’s helm. The bar itself is on par with most Wisconsin basement bars. Photo by Tressa Slater.

Author M Leona Godin & Artist Andy Slater Discuss ‘There Plant Eyes’ and Radical Blindness * In-Person in NYC!

I was over the moon to learn that my first in-person book event for There Plant Eyes–to celebrate the paperback release on August 30–would be hosted by the radical Lower East Side bookshop, Bluestockings! So when I asked my friend Andy Slater, a Chicago-based sound artist to join me in conversation and he said “yes,” I was rocketed off to a happy starry faraway galaxy!! Below find all the info and details…

Author M Leona Godin & Artist Andy Slater Discuss There Plant Eyes and Radical Blindness

Tuesday, August 30, 6:30-8:00pm.

Hosted by Bluestockings and held in Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Community Garden, 174 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002.

In the heart of NYC’s Lower East Side!

Link to register HERE.

Please note:

Bluestockings will be asking everyone attending for proof of vaccination AND a recent negative COVID test, no more than 72 hours prior to the event start time. If you need rapid COVID tests, please come by Bluestockings anytime between 11 AM – 7 PM to pick up some for free. You may show a time-stamped photo as proof of the negative Covid test. You will be asked to wear your mask during the event. Thank you for helping us to keep this event as safe as possible for everyone!

For anyone who cannot access a COVID test for disability-related reasons, you are welcome to come to the garden at 6 pm and someone can assist you to administer the test and take photos of it. Or if it is more convenient to take the test at home, we can mail a test to you (please make this request at least a week ahead of time). Email me with any questions: leona@drmlgodin.com.

About the book THERE PLANT EYES:

Probing, witty, deeply insightful, and rich with personal anecdotes, THERE PLANT EYES takes us on a journey across Western cultures’ representations of blindness from Homer to Stevie Wonder; from King Lear to Star Wars. Along the way Godin highlights key technological developments in accessibility, writing as clearly and engagingly about the science of the physiological condition as she does about the cultural representations of it. Vast in scope, but totally readable, it is a book for lovers of literature, history, social justice, and science alike.

Pre-order the paperback from Bluestockings HERE!

About the people Leona & Andy:

  1. Leona Godin (pronounced like French sculptor Rodin) is a writer, performer, educator, and the author of There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural history of Blindness. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesPlayboyO MagazineElectric LiteratureCatapult,and other print and online publications. She produced two plays: “The Star of Happiness” about Helen Keller’s time performing in vaudeville, and “The Spectator and the Blind Man,” about the invention of braille. Godin holds a PhD in English, and besides her many years teaching literature and  humanities courses at NYU, she has lectured on art, accessibility, technology, and disability at such places as Tandon School of Engineering, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the American Printing House for the Blind. Her online magazine exploring the arts and sciences of smell and taste, Aromatica Poetica, publishes writing and art from around the world.

Andy Slater is  a Chicago-based media artist, writer, performer, and Disability advocate/loudmouth. He is a member of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists and a teaching artist with the Atlantic Center for the Arts’ Young SoundSeekers program, Midwest Society For Acoustic Ecology, and 3Arts Disability Culture Leadership Initiative. Andy holds a Masters in Sound Arts and Industries from Northwestern University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a 2022 United States Artists fellow, 2022-2023 Leonardo Crip Tech Incubator fellow and  a 2018 3Arts/Bodies of Work fellow at the University of Illinois Chicago. In 2020 Andy was acknowledged for his art  by The New York Times in their article, “28 Ways To Learn About Disability Culture.” He has exhibited and performed at many museums, festivals, and digital spaces around the world including: the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, the Contemporary Jewish Museum SF, Transmediale Festival Berlin,  and Flux Factory New York City.

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