Stellar Masses

A series of site-specific events featuring poetry, video, music, performance + sermons that embrace the sacred and interstellar

Featuring King Britt, Samuel R. Delany, V. Shayne Frederick, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Husnaa Hashim, Madison McFerrin, Sirius Juju, Moor Mother, Raquel Salas Rivera, Ursula Rucker, and Marvin K. White, among others, and short films by Renee Cox, Terence Nance, Frances Bodomo, Johan Grimonprez, and Saya Woolfalk.

Organized as a series of gatherings that explore the sacred roots and interstellar potential of spoken word practices, Stellar Masses upholds the spoken word as at once ancient and futuristic, capable of testifying, time traveling, and spellbinding. The site-specific events will feature writers, musicians, and filmmakers, guiding attendees through a mind-expanding continuum of ritual and performance. Curated by Curator of Spoken Word Yolanda Wisher.

Visit the image gallery for this project.

See the full schedule and performer bios below:

+ Stellar Mass I | Firmament
May 9, Skyline Terrace, Free Library of Philadelphia

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Presented in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia

Blessing by Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate Husnaa Hashim
The Stellar Mass Choir directed by V. Shayne Frederick
Performance by Sirius Juju
Film shorts by Terence Nance, Frances Bodomo, Johan Grimonprez, and Saya Woolfalk
Moor Mother delivers The Word. Featuring Rasheedah Phillips of Black Quantum Futurism.

Tickets to Stellar Mass I

+ Stellar Mass II | Heaven
May 10, Iron Gate Theater

3700 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19104

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Benediction by Philadelphia Poet Laureate Raquel Salas Rivera
The Stellar Mass Choir directed by V. Shayne Frederick
Samuel R. Delany and Alexis Pauline Gumbs deliver The Word
Performance by Bethlehem and Sad Patrick
A book signing, with Samuel R. Delany, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Raquel Salas Rivera, will follow.

Tickets to Stellar Mass II

+ Stellar Mass III | Earth
May 16, Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute

222 N 20th St,
Philadelphia, PA 19103

6 – 8:30 PM

Libation by Ursula Rucker
The Stellar Mass Choir directed by V. Shayne Frederick
Marvin K. White delivers The Word
King Britt presents Fhloston Paradigm
Star show by Madison McFerrin
Film shorts by Renee Cox and Will Haughery & Kris Harzinski

Tickets to Stellar Mass III

+ Hive Revival: A Stellar Masses Get-Down

Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, May 12

7:00 – 11:00 pm

Featuring music by WORLDTOWN

No Cover




The series is presented with support from the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation and the Barra Foundation. Stellar Mass I is in partnership with The Free Library of Philadelphia.