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Please join us for a film screening of All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (2023), with a post-screening conversation with filmmaker Raven Jackson, film lead Charleen McClure, and Professor Tracy K. Smith.

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
Written and Directed by Raven Jackson
With Charleen McClure, Moses Ingram, Reginald Helms Jr., Zainab Jah, Sheila Atim, and Chris Chalk
2023, 92 min.

A lyrical, decades-spanning exploration across a woman’s life in Mississippi, the feature debut from award-winning poet, photographer and filmmaker Raven Jackson is a haunting and richly layered portrait, a beautiful ode to the generations of people and places that shape us.

Raven Jackson is an award-winning filmmaker, poet, and photographer from Tennessee. Her work often explores landscapes of indefinable experiences and emotions, as well as the body’s relationship to nature. Recently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director, Raven’s debut narrative film, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, made in partnership with Maria Altamirano, PASTEL, and A24, world-premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, and was named one of the top ten movies of the year by The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and RogerEbert.com. The film has received support from Cinereach, SFFILM, the Gotham, Film Independent, Tribeca Film Institute, New Orleans Film Society, Ikusmira Berriak, Indie Memphis, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and Westridge Foundation.

Her short films Nettles and A Guide to Breathing Underwater are currently streaming on the Criterion Channel. Stories From a Place Where All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, the companion book for her debut feature, is currently out from A24. Her photography can be found in the book, as well as in BOMB Magazine. She is a Cave Canem fellow and holds MFAs from New York University’s Graduate Film Program and the New School’s Writing Program. Her chapbook of poetry, little violences, is available from Cutbank Literary Magazine.

Charleen McClure is a Fulbright scholar and 2020 recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. Her debut poetry collection, d-sorientation, is forthcoming from BOA Editions. All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (A24, 2023) is her film debut. She lives a few miles off the Chattahoochee River.

Tracy K. Smith is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, memoirist, editor, translator and librettist. She served as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2017-19, during which time she spearheaded American Conversations: Celebrating Poetry in Rural Communities with the Library of Congress, created the American Public Media podcast The Slowdown, and edited the anthology American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time.

Smith is the author of five poetry collections: Such Color: New and Selected Poems, which won the 2022 New England Book Award; Wade in the Water, which was awarded the 2018 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; Life on Mars, which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Duende, winner of the 2006 James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets; and The Body’s Question, which received the 2003 Cave Canem Prize. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction. She is the co-translator (with Changtai Bi) of My Name Will Grow Wide like a Tree: Selected Poems of Yi Lei, which was a finalist for the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize; and co-editor (with John Freeman) of There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis. Her memoir-manifesto To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul was published in November 2023.

She is a Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

Free admission, general seating

Co-Sponsored by The Film Study Center, the Sensory Ethnography Lab, the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies, the Department of English, and the for African & African American Research