Will Alexander and Sotère Torregian, reading and in conversation

Friends and poet correspondents Will Alexander and Sotère Torregian will be honored guests of The Poetry Center for this special online-only event, each reading from new work and in conversation with one another and their audience. They'll be joined by Andrew Joron, poet and SF State faculty member, as online emcee. Please join us, at 6:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. 

Will Alexander works in multiple genres. In addition to being a poet, he is also a novelist, essayist, aphorist, playwright, philosopher, visual artist, and pianist. His influences range from poetic practitioners, such as Aimé Césaire, Bob Kaufman, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, and Philip Lamantia, to the encompassing paradigm of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga, and the Egyptian worldview as understood by Cheikh Anta Diop and R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz. The latter is central to Alexander’s expanding inner range, which has allowed him access to levels of mind beyond the three-dimensional as boundary. He thereby explores the full dimensionality of each word. For him, each word has access to not only the median level of three-dimensional experience, but also partakes of experience on both the supra and subconscious planes. His praxis of language is not unlike the Mayan numerical world, where each letter of the alphabet spontaneously engages in non-limit. Thus, all fields of experience are open for exploration: art, physics, botany, history, astronomy, architecture, and poetics. Alexander’s books include Asia and HaitiCompression and PuritySunrise In ArmageddonDiary As SinInside the Earthquake PalaceTowards The Primeval Lightning Field, Mirach Speaks To His Grammatical Transparents, and three books from New Directions:The Sri Lankan LoxodromeRefractive Africa, and Across the Vapour Gulf. He lives in The City of Angels. (bio, adapted from New Directions Publishing)

City Lights Books just published Alexander's Divine Blue Light (for John Coltrane) as No. 63 in its Pocket Poets Series. 

Sotère Torregian notes, in the "Preface, or Last Will and Testament?" to his latest book, In An Era of Pillage (Anon Edition, 2022): "There are many voices as I write. I find myself a stranger amongst them. In a recent Star Trek rerun Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise finds himself transported in time back to the year 1941. I found myself recognizing those streets — the cityscape, the automobiles, the women's clothes, the bustle of the city when I was born in my first natal birth. My second birth, which occurred at age 17, was by way of French Surrealism...." Sotère Torregian is an American poet, born in Newark, New Jersey on June 25, 1941. Associating early on with the New York School poetic milieu of early 1960s New York City, "admidst the warmth and friendship of such poet pals as Ted Berrigan, Joe Ceravolo, Ted Joans and John Ashbery," he attended Rutgers University, and taught briefly at the Free University of New York and at Stanford University, where he helped establish the Afro-American studies program in 1969. At that time he proposed a kind of American “orthodox Surrealism” based on “reinterpretations of surrealist stands on Revolutionary perspectives in art, poetry, and theology.” He presently resides in Morgan Hill, California.

Torregian, as Dale Smith noted for The Poetry Foundation, "can spin the world without the glaze of irony. This is perhaps what is most surreal about him: he embraces the full force of things with a curiosity and a sincere persistence that helps increase perspectives of the truly strange cultural carnivals of celebrity and loneliness, public action and private pain." (Lives of the Poets: Sotère Torregian, March 17, 2010).

Kiki Petrosino and Tongo Eisen-Martin, Poetry Center Book Award Reading

Kiki Petrosino’s book of poetry White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia (Sarabande Books, 2020) was selected for The Poetry Center Book Award by Tongo Eisen-Martin. Join us for this remote-access event, as both poets read from their work and engage in conversation with one another and their online audience. London Pinkney kindly joins the poets as emcee for this online-only event. 

Kiki Petrosino is the author of White Blood: a Lyric of Virginia (2020), three other poetry books, and most recently Bright: A Memoir (2022), all from Sarabande Books. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her memoir, Bright, is forthcoming from Sarabande in 2022. She directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia, where she is a Professor of Poetry. Petrosino is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Fellowship in Creative Writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, the UNT Rilke Prize, & the Spalding Prize, among other honors. More here.

Tongo Eisen-Martin was born in 1980 in San Francisco, California, to a revolutionary mother, Arlene Eisen. His parents named him after Josiah Tongogara. Muralist Miranda Bergman is his godmother. He earned a bachelor's and master's degree in African-American Studies, all from Columbia University where he taught at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, creating the 2012 curriculum We Charge Genocide Again! He has also taught at detention centers, including San Quentin and Rikers Island. He is the co-founder of Black Freighter Press. Eisen-Martin’s books of poetry include someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press), Heaven Is All Goodbyes, Blood on the Fog (the latter two in City Lights Books Pocket Poets series), and Waiting Behind Tornados For Food (Materials), a UK volume including poems and a selection of prose works. The poetry LP I go to the railroad tracks and follow them to the station of my enemies came out from Rocks In Your Head Records. He was the inaugural Mazza Writer in Residence for The Poetry Center at SF State, and is currently Poet Laureate of San Francisco.


Video from recent Poetry Center Book Award readings:

jayy dodd and Lourdes Figueroa: October 28, 2021

Ashley Toliver and Jason Bayani: September 17, 2020

Lauren Levin and Melissa Mack: February 21, 2019

Bao Phi and Sarah Menefee: November 14, 2019

Orlando White and Patrick James Dunagan: April 27, 2017

Krip-Hop Nation: featuring Toni Hickman, Keith Jones, Leroy F. Moore Jr., DJ Quad, Wheelchair Sports Camp

Co-presented with the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability

With Dawn-Elissa Fischer, moderator

  • ASL and CART will be provided. For any other access concerns, please email Emily Beitiks at beitiks@sfsu.edu.

One of many events taking place beginning March 2022 in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition, under the collective heading “The future lives in our bodies*: Poetry & Disability Justice,” with thanks to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Ford Foundation for support of Poetry Coalition programming. Dr. Dawn-Elissa Fischer, who writes and consults about popular culture, policy and political activism with a focus on antiracism, social media and education in a global context, will kindly join the program as moderator (more here). 

Krip-Hop Nation is a worldwide association of artists with disabilities. Founded in 2007 by Leroy F. Moore Jr. in Berkeley, California, the Movement campaigns for equality for people with disabilities worldwide with concerts, tours, workshops and much more. In 2020, four Krip-Hop Nation artists received Emmy Award accolades for Outstanding Music Direction on the Paralympic documentary film Rising Phoenix

In addition to Leroy F. Moore Jr. and co-founder Keith Jones, this event presents three other outstanding artists affiliated with Krip-Hop Nation — Toni Hickman, DJ Quad, and Wheelchair Sports Camp — joining in performance and conversation. 

  • "It is important to us to be seen as artists and musicians who do their thing seriously, purposefully and professionally. We want to show, that a person with a disability also has the right to equal opportunities, that nobody has to hide, that a person with a disability can also discover their talents, promote them and live them out and thus be a valuable part of society. According to our understanding of inclusion, this is exactly what this means: that the focus is on people with their skills and abilities, not their disabilities. We do not want pity, we want consideration, equality, respect and recognition to the same extent that every physically and mentally healthy person enjoys them."
    —from the Krip-Hop Nation website


Leroy F. Moore Jr., 2021 Emmy award winner, is founder of Krip-Hop Nation and a newly-announced United States Artists 2022 Fellow. Since the 1990s, Moore has been a key member of Poor Magazine, starting with the column “Illin-N-Chillin” and then as founding member of the magazine’s school, the Homefulness and Decolonize Academy. Moore is also a founding member of the National Black Disability Coalition and an activist around police brutality against people with disabilities, and has started and helped start organizations including Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization and Sins Invalid. His cultural work includes film documentary Where Is Hope, Police Brutality Against People with Disabilities, spoken-word CDs, poetry books and the children’s book Black Disabled Art History 101, published by Xochitl Justice Press.

Keith Jones is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences LLC, an organization aimed at bringing a perspective to the issues of access inclusion and empowerment, which affect him as well as others who are persons with and without disabilities. The issues he tackles are wide ranging, from immigration, criminal justice reform, and health care to environmental justice. Paralleling his policy and social justice work, Mr. Jones is a multi-talented artist who along with Leroy Moore and Rob Temple co-founded Krip-Hop Nation, currently celebrating 13 years with the recent Emmy Award winning success of their title song for the Netflix documentary of the Paralympic Games, Rising Phoenix and its acclaimed soundtrack. 

Combining humor, playfulness, radical political perspectives, compassion and undeniable musical chops, Wheelchair Sports Camp is Denver's biggest smallest band. Fronted by the wheelchair using, rap heavy, beat-making, freedom fighting producer, educator, foul mouthed, queer rebel rouser Kalyn, the band is a combination of live and electronic instruments with a more noisy, jazzy, experimental, combination to the traditional hip-hop group. Raised by the DIY (Do It Yourself) spirit of experimental independence, the band has since relied on interdependence in order to stretch into theatre, performance art, public television, politics, prison tours, permanent installations, and more to come. The vinyl release of All Is Wonder will be in print soon. More here.

Jesse DJ Quad Morin is a disabled hip hop artist who became paralyzed at the age of 16 from a diving accident at Venice Beach in July of 1984. Once he started getting into DJing he would practice to perfect his craft, still not having full function of his arms and hands. As a producer/beat maker DJ Quad started a hip hop crew called 5th Battalion, with his best friend Fernando Escobar, that was showcased on the underground hip hop scene all over California. He and Leroy Moore got connected as the Krip-Hop Nation was taking off, and his work is on Krip-Hop Nation CD’s Vol’s 1, 2 and 3, Police Brutality Profiling, and Krip-Hop Nation’s 10 year anniversary album.

Toni Alika Hickman is not only a talented singer-songwriter; she is the survivor of two brain aneurysms and a stroke. Using her voice and music to inspire others, she has been featured on the Deborah Duncan Show, Radio One, featured in Shape magazine and other publications throughout the world. She has spoken at numerous colleges and other organizations on subjects of depression and recovery, physical, mental, and spiritual health, living one’s purpose, chemicals in beauty products, and a host of other subjects. She is a speaker/performer for YoungStroke and the American Heart Association, an author, artist, Certified Naturopath, mother, and activist, and Emmy Award winning artist for her role in the theme song for the Paralympics documentary Rising Phoenix. More at tonihickman.com.

* The line “The future lives in our bodies” is from the poem “Femme Futures” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.

• Poetry Coalition program news at Publishers Weekly

#KripHopNation #DisabilityJustice #PoetryCoalition

Prose at The Poetry Center: Matthew Clark Davison, Stacy D. Flood, and Patrick Earl Ryan

  • This program also available via live-stream and at the same link after the event.

Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts

Join us at The Poetry Center (or tune in via live-stream) for this in-person reading and conversation with three friends and SF State alums. Matthew Clark Davison, Stacy D. Flood, and Patrick Earl Ryan will each be presenting their newly published fiction, and talking with each other and the audience. 

  • Please note: proof of vaccination and mask are required in order to attend in person.

Matthew Clark Davison is the author of Doubting Thomas (Amble Press, 2021). He is creator and teacher of The Lab :: Writing Classes with MCD, a non-academic school started in 2007 in a friend's living room on Douglass Street. The textbook version of The Lab, co-authored by bestselling writer Alice LaPlante, will be published by Norton in 2022. His prose has been published in or on BOMB, LitHub, Lambda Literary, The Advocate, Exquisite Pandemic, Guernica, The Atlantic Monthly, Foglifter, Lumina Magazine, and others; and has been recognized with a Creative Work Grant, Cultural Equities Grant, Clark Gross Award for a Novel-in-Progress, and a Stonewall Alumni Award. He earned a BA and MFA in Creative Writing from SFSU, where he now teaches full-time in the BA/MA/MFA departments.

Stacy D. Flood, originally from Buffalo, and currently living in Seattle, has had his work published nationally, and performed on stages nationwide as well as in the Puget Sound Area. He has been an artist-in-residence at DISQUIET in Lisbon, as well as Millay Arts in New York, and he is the recipient of a Getty Fellowship to the Community of Writers. Published in 2021 by Lanternfish Press, The Salt Fields is his first novella.

Patrick Earl Ryan was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a family spanning 5 continents and 7 generations in the city. His debut short story collection If We Were Electric was chosen by Roxane Gay as the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and published in 2020 by University of Georgia Press. His stories have appeared in Ontario Review, Pleiades, Best New American Voices, Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction for the Millennium, Cairn, James White Review, and Gertrude; and he was the founder and editor-in-chief of the LGBTQ+ literary journal Lodestar Quarterly. More here.

Mazza Writer in Residence Angel Dominguez and Ronaldo V. Wilson, at Alley Cat Bookshop

Supported by the Sam Mazza Foundation

  • Video live-streamed to our YouTube channel. Media captioning available there after the event.

Poet Angel Dominguez, as The Poetry Center's 7th Mazza Writer in Residence, is guest writer in classes across the SF State campus during the week of October 11, 2021. They'll also present two public events, the latter of these with poet-performer Ronaldo V. Wilson, in the welcoming gallery space at Alley Cat Bookshop in San Francisco's Mission District. Please join us, in person or by live-stream video.

Angel Dominguez is a Latinx poet and artist of Yucatec Maya descent, born in Hollywood and raised in Van Nuys, CA, by their immigrant family. They’re the author of ROSESUNWATER (The Operating System, 2021) and Black Lavender Milk (Timeless, Infinite Light 2015). Angel earned a BA from the University of California Santa Cruz and an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. You can find Angel’s work online and in print in various publications. You can find Angel in the redwoods or ocean. Their third book, DESGRACIADO (the collected letters) is forthcoming with Nightboat Books in 2022.

Interdisciplinary artist, poet, and scholar Ronaldo V. Wilson, Ph.D., is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other (Counterpath Press, 2015), and Lucy 72 (1913 Press, 2018). Two books, Wilson’s Carmelina: Figures (Wendy’s Subway, 2021) and Virgil Kills: Stories (Nightboat Books, 2022), are forthcoming. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Kundiman, MacDowell, the Center for Art and Thought, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, among others.  Wilson is Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at UC Santa Cruz, serving on the core faculty of the Creative Critical Ph.D. The program, and principal faculty of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

Related event

Mazza Writer in Residence Angel Dominguez and Hannah Kezema, reading and in conversation
Thursday, October 14, 1:00 pm at The Poetry Center, Humanities 512 

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event phone: 


Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center

Mark Nowak and Worker Writers School: Coronavirus Haiku, a reading and conversation

With emcee, Tanya Hollis

Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts

Copresented by The Poetry Center and the Labor Archives and Research Center

  • Video live-streamed to our YouTube channel. Media captioning available there after the event.

Join us as Mark Nowak and Worker Writers School poets Lorraine Garnett, Davidson Garrett, Seth Goldman, Christine Lewis, Alando McIntyre, and Kele Nkhereanye present Coronavirus Haiku, new from Kenning Editions, and talk about their life as “frontline workers” during the Covid 19 crisis and their engagement with the Worker Writers School. Copresented by SF State's Labor Archive and Research Center and The Poetry Center. With emcee Tanya Hollis, Interim Director, LARC.

     Stimulus package     
     Can't buy the acre nor the mule.
     Oh, our pow'r wanes.
                                          —Alando McIntyre

     ok, key, wallet, mask
     stay away, too close, hold that train!
     S*** I forgot the milk
                                         —Paloma Zapata

     Covid 19 took
     A mother away, her kid
     Waits for her return

     No way to explain
     No more hugs and no more kisses
     Now: just ashes
                                     —Nimfa Despabiladeras, two haiku in memory of Arlena Juanico

The Worker Writers School supports writers from one of New York City’s most ubiquitous yet least-heard populations: low-wage workers. Mark Nowak, a writer and founding director of the school, presents a selection of haiku written by “frontline workers” during the Covid 19 crisis. The poets included here had already been studying examples of the form and its connection to political resistance from seventeenth-century Japan to the Black Arts Movement of the twentieth century, as well as it's capacity to amplify voices of everyday life. These “coronavirus haiku” convey moments of protest, solace, wonder, certainty, love, and strife. The writers in this anthology hail from the school’s worker center partners in New York City including Domestic Workers United, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Street Vendor Project, and Retail Action Project: Thomas Barzey, Kerl Brooks, Estabon Chimilio, Nimfa Despabiladeras, Lorraine Garnett, Davidson Garrett, Seth Goldman, Christine Lewis, Doreen McGill, Alando McIntyre, Kelebohile Nkhereanye, Alfreda Small, and Paloma Zapata.

Mark Nowak is a poet, cultural critic, playwright and essayist, from Buffalo, New York. Nowak is the author of three poetry collections: Coal Mountain Elementary (Coffee House Press, 2009), Shut Up Shut Down (Coffee House Press, 2004), and Revenants (Coffee House Press, 2000). A portion of his critical book, Social Poetics (Coffee House Press, 2020), chronicles his work with the Worker Writers School.

  • “Whether unpacking Mikhail Bakhtin’s ‘unity of the emerging idea,’ demonstrating the practical application of alliteration, or recalling his daughter teaching youth prison poets origami, Mark Nowak testifies to the urgency and intimacy of poetry in our prisons, union halls, and workers’ centers. Social Poetics tracks what happens when people gather around poems: conjunctions, dialogues, imaginative militancy, solidarities. This supple, comprehensive book is a study in the poetics of bearing witness, bearing tools, and bearing possibilities.” —Terrance Hayes
  • Social Poetics materializes imaginative militancy. With a litany of the social as pervasive and intimate, and political memories of life-and-death struggles for justice, Nowak crafts a transformative workshop for the collective. This is an important record of how the people’s power, poetry, and history maintain us and the beauty of our world(s).” —Joy James

Worker Writers School

Labor Archives and Research Center

Image: Mark Nowak and Workers Writer School poets at PEN America

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event phone: 


Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center and the Labor Archives and Research Cente

Keith Donnell Jr. and Antony Fangary, reading and in conversation

Our first event back in The Poetry Center since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Hear new work from, and conversation with, fellow Bay Area poets and SF State alums Keith Donnell Jr. and Antony Fangary

  • Video live-streamed to our YouTube channel. Media captioning available there after the event.

Keith Donnell Jr., originally from Philly, is a Bay Area poet and book editor. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State and his MA in English from the University of Southern California. He was the 2017-2018 Editor-in-Chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review and has taught in SFSU’s Creative Writing Department. Keith’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Puerto del Sol’s Black Voices Series and the 2019 edition of Best American Non-required Reading. He lives in Hayward, CA with his wife, Alivia, and two cats, Ember and Mika. His first poetry collection, The Move, is new this Fall 2021 from Nomadic Press. More at keithdonnelljr.com

Antony Fangary is a Coptic-American poet, educator, and artist living in San Francisco. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Oakland Review, New American Writing, Interim, The Sycamore Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. His paintings have been featured in art shows around San Francisco and Los Angeles. His chapbook, HARAM, was published by Etched Press in 2019. Antony was Honorable Mention of the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Prize, finalist for the 2019 Wabash Poetry Prize, runner-up for the 2020 Test Site Poetry Series Book Prize, and nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes. His work has received support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. 


Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event phone: 


Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center

Poetry and Environmental Justice, featuring Ed Roberson, Tiffany Higgins, Eli Clare, Lehua M. Taitano

With emcee, Steve Dickison

Presented in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition

Cosponsored by The Poetry Center and the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, SF State

We welcome people with disabilities and want to do what we can to make this event accessible to you. *** ASL interpretation and Live Captioning will be provided. *** Media captioning will be available after the event at our YouTube channel and at Poetry Center Digital Archive.

Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Academy of American Poets in support of Poetry Coalition programs

  • ...There are names each thing has for itself,
    and beneath us the other order already moves.
    It is burning.
    It is dreaming.
    It is waking up.
    —Linda Hogan, from "Map"

The Poetry Center, in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition, presents one in a series of programs across the country during March and April around this shared topic. Four poets, whose work is recognized for its address to ideas of justice, to our global climate crisis, and to the effects of colonialism and racial capitalism, read from their work and join in conversation with one another and, time permitting, in response to questions from the audience. Ed Roberson, Tiffany Higgins, Eli Clare, and Lehua M. Taitano will be joined by emcee, Steve Dickison.

Ed Roberson is the author of many books of poetry, including the newly, released Asked What Has Changed (Wesleyan University Press, 2021) and the forthcoming MPH and Other Road Poems (Verge Books, 2021). A former special programs administrator at Rutgers University’s Cook Campus, Roberson has lived in Chicago since 2004 and is an emeritus professor in Northwestern University’s MFA creative writing program. He has also held posts at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Cave Canem retreat for black writers. His honors include the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, and the African American Literature and Culture Association’s Stephen Henderson Critics Award. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Roberson has worked as a limnologist’s assistant (conducting research on inland and coastal freshwater systems in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and in Bermuda), as a diver for the Pittsburgh Aquazoo, in an advertising graphics agency, and in the Pittsburgh steel mills.

Tiffany Higgins, a 2022 Fulbright scholar to Brazil’s Amazon, writes on Brazil and the environment. As well as translating from Portuguese, she is the author of two collections of poems, And Aeneas Stares into Her Helmet (2009), selected by Evie Shockley as the winner of the 2008 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Prize, and the long-poem chapbook, The Apparition at Fort Bragg. Her poetry, literary translation from Portuguese, and journalism appear in Granta, Mongabay, Poetry, and elsewhere. She was the 2020 Annie Clark Tanner Fellow in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah.

Eli Clare. White, disabled, and genderqueer, Eli Clare lives near Lake Champlain in the occupied Abenaki territory (also known as Vermont) where he writes and proudly claims a penchant for rabble-rousing. He has written two books of creative non-fiction, the award-winning Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (Duke U Press, 2017) and Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, and a collection of poetry, The Marrow's Telling: Words in Motion, and has been published in many periodicals and anthologies. Eli speaks, teaches, and facilitates all over the United States and Canada at conferences, community events, and colleges about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice. He is currently a University at Buffalo Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar. Among other pursuits, he has walked across the United States for peace, coordinated a rape prevention program, and helped organize the first-ever Queerness and Disability Conference.

Lehua M. Taitano is a queer CHamoru writer and interdisciplinary artist from Yigu, Guåhan (Guam) and co-founder of Art 25: Art in the Twenty-fifth Century. She is the author of two volumes of poetry—Inside Me an Island and A Bell Made of Stones, and her chapbook, appalachiapacificwon the  Merriam-Frontier Award for short fiction. She has two recent chapbooks of poetry and visual art:  Sonoma and Capacity. Her poetry, essays, and Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction have been published internationally. She is the recipient of a 2019 Eliza So Fellowship and the 2019 Summer Poet-in-Residence at The Poetry Center at The University of Arizona. She has served as an APAture Featured Literary Artist via Kearny Street Workshop, a Kuwentuhan poet via The Poetry Center at SFSU, and as a Culture Lab visual artist and curatorial advisor for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Center. Taitano’s work investigates modern indigeneity, decolonization, and cultural identity in the context of diaspora. Future Ancestors, Art 25’s collaboration with Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng, was part of AFTER LIFE (we survive), Winter 2021–22 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. More here.


Brontez Purnell, Mazza Writer in Residence, a solo reading and conversation


Watch the unedited video at YouTube before the finished program gets posted at Poetry Center Digital Archive

With emcee, TreVaughn Malik Roach-Carter

Supported by the Sam Mazza Foundation

This remote-access event starts promptly at 4:00 pm Pacific Time and is free and open to the public. Media Captioning provided after the event, at our YouTube channel, and at Poetry Center Digital Archive. For other reasonable accommodations please contact poetry@sfsu.edu. Please note the early start time!

The Poetry Center is very pleased to welcome Brontez Purnell, as Mazza Writer in Residence for Spring 2021. For this sixth iteration of the twice-annual Mazza Residency, this prolific and astoundingly versatile writer and artist will be visiting as a guest in classes across the SF State campus through the week of April 5, and offering two public performances: a solo reading and conversation, with emcee TreVaughn Malik Roach-Carter, on Wednesday, April 7 at 4:00 pm Pacific Time, and on Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm Pacific, a queer writer of color reading and round table with Bay Area friends Cisco Guzman, Mason J., and Melissa Merin. 

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, and two novels. Recipient of a 2018 Whiting Award for Fiction, he was named one of the 32 Black Male Writers for Our Time by The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, the co-founder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and, most recently, the documentary Unstoppable Feat: Dances of Ed Mock.

Two books of fiction, Since I Laid My Burden Down, and Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger, were published by The Feminist Press at CUNY. His short film 100 Boyfriends Mixtape is screening at the Criterion Channel, and his new novel 100 Boyfriends is out now on MCD Books from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Born in Triana, Alabama, he’s lived in Oakland, California, for over 18 years.


Brontez Purnell's New Book 100 Boyfriends Feels Right at Home in 2021, by Quinn Roberts, Interview magazine, February 17, 2021

Related event:

Mazza Writer in Residence Brontez Purnell and Friends:
Cisco Guzman, Mason J., and Melissa Merin

queer writers of color reading and roundtable
Thursday, April 8, 7:00 pm Pacific Time
remote access event, free and open to the public

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event email: 


Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center, Mazza Writer in Residence