Founded in 2011, @Salon is an interdisciplinary event welcoming artists and arts enthusiasts to come together for conversation, poetry, spoken word, music, sound, performance, visual and digital art.

@Salon hosts live and virtual events. For the live events, in addition to featuring renowned local and regional artists, @Salon includes presentations and discussions of works-in-progress using Liz Lerman’s Format for Critical Response—a format for feedback that affords the artist an active role in the dialogue.

Long a sponsor of @Salon, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, edited by Duriel E. Harris, has taken up the mantle to host and curate this beloved annual event. Obsidian’s @Salon welcomes Black writers and artists and their allies to come together for conversation and exchange. 


About the Founding Curator

Duriel E. Harris, Founding Curator of @Salon

Duriel E. Harris is a writer, performer, conceptual artist, and scholar. She is author of three critically acclaimed volumes of poetry, including No Dictionary of a Living Tongue (Nightboat, 2017), Drag (2003), and Amnesiac: Poems (2010). Multi-genre works include the one-woman theatrical performance Thingification, the video collaboration Speleology (2011), and the sound+image project “Blood Labyrinth.” Recent appearances include performances at the Black Midwest Initiative, Lake Forest College Allan L. Carr Theatre, Naropa, the Chicago Jazz Festival (with Douglas Ewart & Inventions), Poet’s House, the Greenhouse Theater, The Votive Poetics Workshop (New Zealand), the Art Institute of Chicago, and Festival Internacional de Poesía de La Habana (Cuba).

Cofounder of The Black Took Collective, Harris has been a MacDowell and Millay Colony fellow and has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Her work has appeared in numerous venues, including the New York Times, The Poetry Foundation, BAX, PEN America, &Now Awards, Of Poetry & Protest, Troubling the Line, Poets.org, and Letters to the Future; and her compositions have been translated into Polish, German, and Spanish.

Harris is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Illinois State University and Editor in Chief of Obsidian.


Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process is a widely recognized method that nurtures the development of artistic works-in-progress through a four-step method for facilitated group feedback that affords the artist an active role in the dialogue.

The Process engages participants in three roles:

The artist offers a work-in-progress for review and is prepared to question that work in a dialogue with others; responders, committed to the artist’s intent to make excellent work, offer reactions to the work in a dialogue with the artist; and the facilitator initiates each step, keeps the process on track, and works to help the artist and responders use the Process to frame useful questions and responses.

After the presentation of artistic work, the facilitator leads the artist and responders through four steps:

  • Statements of Meaning
  • Artist as Questioner
  • Neutral Questions
  • Permissioned Opinions

Our Sponsor

Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora

Celebrating over forty-five years of continuous publication, Obsidian supports—through publication and critical inquiry—the contemporary poetry, fiction, drama/performance, visual and media art of Africans globally. A premier platform dedicated to African and African Diaspora Literatures, Obsidian is published biannually in print, and year round online.