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Saeed Jones in Conversation with

Dionne Custer Edwards.


DAYTON (March 23, 2023) – The Contemporary Dayton (The Co) is proud to continue its new lecture series, CONVERSATIONS, with author and poet Saeed Jones in conversation with Dionne Custer Edwards, Director of Learning and Public Practice at Wexner Center for the Arts, on Thursday, April 13 at 6 p.m. in The Tank at the Dayton Arcade. This event is free and open to all; however, registration is required at

A reception with cash bar will take place from 6-7 p.m. with the conversation beginning at 7 p.m. Limited copies of Jones’ book, Alive at The End of the World, will be available for purchase at the event for $20 + tax (credit cards only) with a book signing scheduled to take place immediately after the conversation.

Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. His debut poetry collection, Prelude to Bruise, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry. The collection also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which described the book as, “a fever dream, something akin to magic.” In 2019, Saeed released his highly anticipated memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives. As the New Yorker observed “his title carries an edge of social critique. To be black, gay, an American, the book suggests, is to fight for one’s life.” NPR raved “Jones’s voice and sensibility are so distinct that he turns one of the oldest of literary genres inside out and upside down.” The memoir won the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, a 2020 Lambda Literary Award, as well as a 2020 Stonewall Book Award.

Dionne Custer Edwards is an arts educator, arts administrator, programmer, and practicing artist. Edwards has published critical and literary writing both nationally and internationally and in 2005 she became the Director of Learning & Public Practice for the Wexner Center for the Arts (Wex). In addition to her other duties at the Wex, Edwards leads institutional equity work and helped conceptualize the work of the Shumate Council’s group of Wex supporters.

The Co’s new lecture series, CONVERSATIONS, was announced earlier this year featuring some of the most incisive people and perspectives for our time. The 2023 Season features diverse programs from literary and performance thought leaders from across the country and within the Miami Valley.

CONVERSATIONS are generously supported by Susan Strong and Bob Pohl.



CONVERSATION: Saeed Jones, Apr 13

Artist Talk: Arturro Herrera, Apr 14

Annual Art Auction, April 28

Artist Talk: Tyler Macko, May 5

CONVERASATION: Debbie Blunden Diggs, May 11

Artist Talk: Kevin Jerome Everson, Jun 2


ON VIEW / April 14 – July 2, 2023

Arturo Herrara: Between

Tyler Macko: A voice from I don’t know where

Kevin Jerome: films



Wednesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Closed Monday and Tuesday

First Fridays May–Sep ‘til 10 p.m.




Mission: To provide art for the community and a community for artists.

Overview: The Contemporary Dayton (The Co) is the region’s contemporary art center. Established in 1991 as The Dayton Visual Arts Center, a 501c3, The Co produces and presents original exhibitions and educational programs, events, community partnerships, and artist opportunities. Exhibitions and education programs feature the most exciting and meaningful work of our time created by artists living and working today, with an emphasis on the artists of Ohio, women artists, and artists of color.