#latinxwriters

Mazza Writer in Residence Ari Banias and Brandon Som, at Medicine for Nightmares

  • This program also available via live-stream and at the same link after the event.
     
  • Masks are required for those attending in person.

Co-presented by The Poetry Center and Medicine for Nightmares.

Ari Banias is the author of A Symmetry (2021), winner of the 2021 Publishing Triangle Award for Trans & Gender Variant Literature, and Anybody (2016), both from W. W. Norton. Recent poems have appeared in bæst, Georgia Review, Hyperallergic, The Nation, The New Republic, Triple Canopy, Verse, Washington Square, and The Yale Review. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and residencies including at Yaddo, Headlands Center for the Arts, MacDowell, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Currently, Ari lives in Chicago. aribanias.com

Brandon Som is the author of The Tribute Horse (Nightboat Books), winner of the 2015 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and the chapbook Babel's Moon (Tupelo Press). His new book Tripas is forthcoming with the University of Georgia Press in 2023. He lives on the unceded land of the Kumeyaay Nation and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of California San Diego. 

Related event: Ari Banias and Demian DinéYazhi', at Beyond Binary

New Voice Series, featuring Raul Ruiz, with Zêdan Xelef, Alexiz Angel Romero, and Bianca White

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

The Poetry Center presents the New Voice Series, in its second annual iteration. The series features a poet alum of SF State, in combination with a current SF State Creative Writing graduate student poet, and (this year) two undergraduate student poets at SF State, to each read their work and engage in conversation. Participants in the series are selected by Poetry Center student staff. For this year's event, Raul Ruiz will appear as featured poet, along with Zêdan Xelef, Alexiz Angel Romero, and Bianca White. Please join us!

  • Please note: proof of vaccination and mask are required in order to attend in person.
  • And then one day we decided we weren’t children anymore, we decided we weren’t going to drag our lives across this country of fences to live out the heartbreaking demands of walls. We weren’t going to become men, weren’t going to wake up in the burning mouth of last night’s whiskeys for the rest of our yellow days like our fathers and the broken guns before them. We weren’t going to wait until our dust forgave us in death to touch with eager hands our wings. We weren’t going to forget the piano part of our bodies, the part of us every flower touched when we slept, the corner of our hearts more secret than poems (do you think you’ve ever held a poem in your hand? Prove it. Prove it with the eager shadow of your shadow)
    —Raul Ruiz

Raul Ruiz is a Spanish interpreter who lives and works in San Francisco. An MFA graduate of SF State (2015), Ruiz has a chapbook titled Mustard forthcoming in 2022 from Drop Leaf Press.

Zêdan Xelef is a poet, translator, and cultural preservationist from Mesopotamia. His poems and translations have appeared in Poetry, Los Angeles Review of Books, Words Without Borders, World Literature Today, Tripwire Journal, Asymptote, Epiphany, and Plume, among others. His translation of Selim Temo's Selected Poems from Kurmanji, in collaboration with Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse, comes out from Pinsapo Press in Fall 2022. He attends the MFA program at San Francisco State University. 

Alexiz Angel Romero is a queer, gender-nonconforming, Latinx poet from Oxnard, CA, studying for their BS in Chemistry and minor in Queer Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University

Bianca White is currently a Creative Writing and Liberal Studies major at SFSU. She lives in the East Bay with her mom and sisters. Her poem "Now that I'm Blooming: Things I Hope to Learn" can be found in Transfer Magazine Issue 122. You’ll find her drinking boba milk tea and writing more poetry!

Poetry Center Book Award Reading: jayy dodd and Lourdes Figueroa

With emcee Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta

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

Join us as jayy dodd, whose book The Black Condition ft. Narcissus (Nightboat Books, 2019) — "an irreverently tender profile of Black trans life surviving and thriving during contemporary political turmoil" — was selected to receive the Poetry Center Book Award, reads from her work. She’ll be joined by award judge Lourdes Figueroa, in Oakland, who will read from her own work and engage in conversation. With emcee, Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta.

  • ...far more than a critical mirror or melancholy echo, dodd’s Narcissus emerges as a generative principle, birthing the most vulnerable of possibilities, and deftly intimate, if joyously irreverent, a critique. Their book is beautiful, voluptuous, daring, and demanding of new shapes for becoming, loving, and where necessary, destroying. jayy dodd is a genius and I will say that again. —Trish Salah
     
  • If Amiri Baraka the poet, the pure technician, musician, chronicler of all that is black, blue, purple, and lyric, were to metamorphosize and return as a blxk trans femme in spirit they would be jayy dodd. dodd’s poetry captures the magic and the ‘tude, the swing, swagger, and tender hands of their experience. It’s an epic, a record, recording, A&B side, CD with a bonus track, most importantly it is gospel bristling with raw and tender truths and yearning. —Pamela Sneed

jayy dodd is a blxk trans womxn from Los Angeles, California– now based in Portland, OR. she is a literary & performance artist. her work has appeared / will appear in Broadly, The Establishment, Entropy, LitHub, BOAAT Press, Duende, and The Poetry Foundation among others. she is the Executive Director for Dovesong Labs (a development of Winter Tangerine), editor of A Portrait in Blues (Platypus Press 2017), author of Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017) and The Black Condition ft. Narcissus (Nightboat Books 2019). she has been a Pushcart Prize nominee and co-editor of Bettering American Poetry. her visual & written work has been featured in West Hollywood, Portland’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Teen Vogue, and Entropy. she is also a volunteer gender terrorist & artificial intellectual. find her talking trash online or taking a selfie.

Lourdes Figueroa is the author of ​Ruidoso = To Learn Speak (Alley Cat Books Resident Writers Collection, December 2019) and yolotl (Spooky Actions, October 2012). Her artistic work involves "a series of poems, images & collaborations that are a dialogue of my lived experience when my family worked as migrant farmworkers in Yolo County, California... Overall, this is the writer that I am. My work tastes of pesticides, love, sweat, blood, and llanto. It relates to everything that we eat and are, it is about the stink of el azadón, the queer & brown in el azadón, everything to do with la x on our bodies, the femicides around us, the femicide of our earth & the nopal on my forehead. Quite honestly it is a life of migration = love. The poems are in constant conversation with each other. As the descendants of the nopal, they are the ancient un/remembered human heart. What inspired me to write was and is, survival." More at lourdesfigueroa.net

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event phone: 

415-338-2227

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center

Jaime Cortez and Camille Roy, at The Green Arcade

Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts

Cosponsored by The Poetry Center and The Green Arcade

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

Join us on-site at The Green Arcade (where Market Street, Gough, Valencia, and Haight all intersect) for a reading of new prose works by local s/heroes Jaime Cortez and Camille Roy. The evening event is cosponsored by The Poetry Center and The Green Arcade. 

  • Some people have to walk around with so many sad stories. They have to get up, brush their teeth, wash their face, go to work like everybody else, but they’re not like everyone else. Jaime Cortez is a wise guy with a wide heart, who sees what ‘no one else wants to see.’ These funny/tragic tales, luminescent with love, are lanterns for our dark times. —Sandra Cisneros
     
  • What a voice, what a charming, idiosyncratic voice! Cortez tells the untold stories of California. Set what you know aside, lay your expectations on the couch next to you, put your feet up, pick up this book, and journey into land as real and complex as the state itself.—Rabih Alameddine
     
  • This is a huge book; it belongs in the canon of the best queer writers. To read Honey Mine is to be inhabited by the largesse of the word ‘lesbian,’ body, sex, sexuality. And by a lesbian aesthetic of human relations, bookended by the author’s magnificent enduring love with her late partner Angie. These fictions, in resisting…before the theorems arrive… teleological primness, parade language nimble enough to absorb class, cities, memory, grief, shame, without sacrificing a cornucopia of pleasures. Like a tarte tatin, Honey Mine spills over with deliciousness. My tactic vis a vis narrative, says Camille Roy, is really just to bring abandonment into the relationship. She succeeds marvelously. —Gail Scott

Jaime Cortez is a graphic novelist, visual artist, writer, teacher, and occasional performer. Cortez has historically used art and humor to explore sexuality, social justice, HIV/AIDS, and Chicano identity. The first-ever collection of short stories by Jaime Cortez, Gordo (Black Cat/Grove Atlantic, 2021) is set in a migrant workers camp near Watsonville, California in the 1970s. 

Camille Roy’s most recent book is ​Honey Mine: Collected Stories, edited by Lauren Levin and Eric Sneathen (Nightboat Books, 2021). Other books include Sherwood Forest​ (Futurepoem), ​Cheap Speech​, a play from Leroy Chapbooks, and ​Craquer​, a fictional autobiography from 2nd Story Books, as well as ​Swarm​ (fiction, from Black Star Series). She co-edited ​Biting The Error: Writers Explore Narrative​ (Coach House 2005, re-issued 2010). Earlier books include ​The Rosy Medallions​ (poetry and prose, from Kelsey St. Press) and ​Cold Heaven​ (plays, from Leslie Scalapino’s O Books). Recent work has been published in Amerarcana and at Open Space (SFMOMA).

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event phone: 

415-338-2227

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center and The Green Arcade

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: 

415-338-2227

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center

Mazza Writer in Residence Angel Dominguez and Hannah Kezema, reading and in conversation

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 a guest writer in classes across the SF State campus during the week of October 11, 2021. Theyl also present two public events, the first along with poet Hannah Kezema, an early afternoon reading, and conversation at The Poetry Center. Please join us.

  • I keep trying to write the same book, which is not a book. There’s a Clarice Lispector translation of Agua Viva with a line that reads, “There is much I cannot tell you. I am not going to be autobiographical. I want to be 'bio.'"

    I too want to be bio. Herewith you. What is the gesture needed to compress the body until it becomes the page? How might we (re) capture the spirit(s) of lived experiences, here? Sometimes I hear a training call out to the ocean from the redwoods. Sometimes, a small mountain town street calls out my name with no one there. Sometimes I let myself sleep and become the rain elsewhere.
    —Angel Dominguez, from ROSESUNWATER

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.

Hannah Kezema is an artist who works across mediums. She is the author of chapbook, three (2017, Tea and Tattered Pages), and her work appears in Black Sun LitGrimoire, New Life Quarterly, Full StopSpiral Orb, and other places. She was the 2018 Arteles Resident of the Enter Text program, and she is currently the co-editor of Moving Parts Press’s broadside series of Latinx and Chicanx poetry, in collaboration with Felicia Rice and Angel Dominguez. Listen to her songs at soundcloud.com/hannahkezema

Related event: 

Mazza Writer in Residence Angel Dominguez and Ronaldo V. Wilson, in performance and in conversation
Saturday, October 16, 7:00 pm, at Alley Cat Bookshop, 3036 24th Street, San Francisco

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event phone: 

415-338-2227

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Amy Sonnie and James Tracy, reading and in conversation

With emcee Patrick Marks

Guest poets Leticia Del Toro and Josiah Luis Alderete

Copresented by The Poetry Center, the Howard Zinn Book Fair, and The Green Arcade

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

Three outstanding Bay Area writer-activists, reading and in conversation on the radical potential written in the margins of history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, renowned historian and activist (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States), reads from Not "A Nation of Immigrants": Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion (Beacon Press, 2021) and Amy Sonnie and James Tracy read from their newly updated Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Interracial Solidarity in 1960s-70s New Left Organizing (Melville House, 2011/revised edition 2021). Following their readings, the writers engage in conversation with one another and the audience. With emcee Patrick Marks, and guest poets Leticia Del Toro and Josiah Luis Alderete. Copresented by the Howard Zinn Book Fair, The Green Arcade, and The Poetry Center. 

  • "...This myth-shattering book [Dunbar-Ortiz's Not "A Nation of Immigrants] addresses one of the most pressing challenges of our time. If there is hope for transformation, it is through the careful, systematic work that this book exemplifies by examining the roots of racism and structural inequality, and bringing forward alternative narratives and movements." —Alexandra Délano Alonso
     
  • "Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz rightly argues that the United States is not 'a nation of immigrants but, more accurately, a nation of colonizers. A must-read." —Nick Estes (Lakota)
     
  • Hillbilly Nationalists recovers the voices of white, working-class radicals who prove abolitionist John Brown’s legacy is alive and well... Focusing on the 1960s–70s and touching on issues just as relevant today, these authors challenge the Left not to ignore white America, while challenging white America to recognize its allegiance to humanity and justice, rather than the bankrupt promises of conservative politicians.” —Angela Y. Davis

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize and is the author or editor of many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award. She lives in San Francisco. Connect with her at reddirtsite.com or on Twitter @rdunbaro.

Amy Sonnie is an activist, educator, and librarian who has worked with U.S. grassroots social justice movements for the past seventeen years. She is co-founder of the National Center for Media Justice. Her first book, Revolutionary Voices, an anthology by and for queer and transgender youth (Alyson Books, 2000), is banned in libraries in New Jersey and Texas and appears on the American Library Association’s list of “Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books.” Her work has appeared in the San Fransisco Bay Guardian, Alternet, Philadelphia Inquirer, Clamor, the Oxygen Television Network, Bitch magazine, and The Sojourner.

James Tracy is a long-time social justice organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the founder of the San Francisco Community Land Trust and has been active in the Eviction Defense Network and the Coalition On Homelessness, SF. He has edited two activist handbooks for Manic D Press: The Civil Disobedience Handbook and The Military Draft Handbook. His articles have appeared in Left Turn, Race Poverty and the Environment, and Contemporary Justice Review.

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event phone: 

415-338-2227

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center, The Green Arcade, and Howard Zinn Book Fair

New Voice Series, featuring Dan Lau, Edward Gunawan, and Carlos Osoria

With emcee, Carlos Quinteros III

  • Video live-streamed to our YouTube channel. Media captioning available there after the event.
  • "...gut me and make me new..."
    —Dan Lau, from "Molt"

The Poetry Center is delighted to announce the New Voice Series, initiated in Spring 2021 as an annual reading series that will pair a poet alum of SF State, a current SF State graduate student poet in Creative Writing, and a current undergraduate student poet at SF State (any major), to each, read their work and engage in conversation. For the premiere event, poet Dan Lau has been invited to appear along with student poets Edward Gunawan and Carlos Osoria. Please join us!

Dan Lau. A Kundiman, William Dickey, and Kustra fellow, Dan Lau has received grants and awards from the GAPA Foundation, APICC, Queer Cultural Center, Browning Society of San Francisco, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He has accepted residencies at Caldera, Show Us Your Spines: A Radar Archives Residency, Willapa Bay AiR, and a Blue Mountain Center. He holds a B.A. from CUNY: Hunter College; an M.A. from San Francisco State University where he was the 2012 San Francisco State University Creative Writing Department Distinguished MA Graduate Honoree, and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Boise State University. Since 2012, Lau has worked at different capacities in grassroots fundraising. Currently, he serves his community as the Managing Poetry Editor at the award-winning Bay area-based literary journal, Foglifter, and as the Development Director at Kundiman, a national non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature.

Edward Gunawan. A queer immigrant from Indonesia and of Chinese heritage, Edward Gunawan is a writer and interdisciplinary storyteller whose essay has been published in an Asian LGBTQ anthology Intimate Strangers (Signal 8 Press) and films have been screened in international film festivals such as Berlin, Locarno, and Clermont-Ferrand. He is also the creator of the award-winning webcomic Press Play, which was published as a chapbook by Sweet Lit in 2020. Now based in Oakland, he is pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, with the support of the Marcus Recruitment Award. Visit addword.com to learn more.

Carlos Osoria is a trans, Indigenous feminist activist. Their pronouns are she/her/they/them. Much of their fieldwork and research is centered around sex, gender, sexuality, and Ethnic studies; however, literary studies aren’t far from their scope either, as they also research lost queer and trans representations within the literature. They have written for The Ana a quarterly arts magazine. Currently, they are on a path to receive their BA in Comparative and World Literature and American Indian Studies with a minor in Queer Ethnic Studies. Community building, gossiping, and buying unneeded books are their favorite pastimes.

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event email: 

poetry@sfsu.edu

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center, New Voice Series

Black Freighter Press, a celebration: with Mahogany L. Browne, Christopher Malec, Josiah Luis Alderete, Tongo Eisen-Martin, and readings from the final book by the late Q.R. Hand Jr.

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

With emcee, Tonya M. Foster

Cosponsored by The Poetry Center and Black Freighter Press

This remote access event starts promptly at 7:00 pm Pacific Time and is free and open to the public. We welcome people with disabilities and want to do what we can to make the event accessible to you. *** Live captioning will be provided. *** Media captioning will be available after the event at our YouTube channel and at Poetry Center Digital Archive.

The program supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

  • “Black Freighter Press publishes revolutionary books. We are committed to the exploration of liberation, using art to transform consciousness. A platform for Black and Brown writers to honor ancestry and propel radical imagination. We aim to create a world where the collective determines cultural reality.”

The Poetry Center, in conjunction with Black Freighter Press—newly launched by San Francisco’s recently-named Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin and Alie Jones—presents a celebration of this welcome Bay Area-based poetry press. Featured will be Mahogany L. Browne, Christopher Malec, and Josiah Luis Alderete, reading from their new works, with Tongo Eisen-Martin reading from the final book of late poet Q.R. Hand. They’ll be joined by special guest Alie Jones during the conversation following their readings, along with emcee, Tonya M. Foster.

Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer, and educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club, Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC, and Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College, Browne is the author of Woke: A Young Poets Call to JusticeWoke Baby & Black Girl Magic (Macmillan), Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books), Dear Twitter (Penmanship Books), and the young-adult coming-of-age novel in verse, Chlorine Sky (Crown Books, 2021). She is also the founder of the Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign), and as an Arts for Justice grantee, is completing her first book of essays on mass incarceration, investigating its impact on women and children. Black Freighter Press brought out the collaborative limited edition book Wash the Dead, “an investigation of the mass incarceration pandemic through the eyes of its survivors, and a culminating response to the space Art for Justice Fund has cultivated for these difficult conversations,” featuring the work of artist Russell Craig and Browne’s writings. Some copies remain for sale from Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. More here.

Christopher Malec was recently named the Luis Hernandez Florida Prison Poet Laureate by Exchange for Change, in collaboration with O, Miami Poetry Festival. Responsibilities of the Laureate include writing commissioned poems for special occasions and events; promoting the work of other inmates; and acting as a representative for the incarcerated voice. Malec’s work has been commissioned by the University of Arizona’s Art for Justice project, and Black Freighter Press will bring out his first book, Pendulum Under a Dead Clock, in 2021. Listen to his work here.

Josiah Luis Alderete’s Baby Axolotls & Old Pochos is just out from Black Freighter Press. These poems hold space inside a colonized time and place we can still recognize as San Francisco.” Aldete is a full-blooded Pocho Spanglish speaking poeta from La Area Bahia. He began to write poetry in the kitchen of his Mama’s Mexican restaurant, began performing his work in the Mission District of San Pancho at Cafe Babar back in the ’90s, and was a founding member of word troupe The Molotov Mouths. He is also a radio insurgente whose stories have appeared on KALW’s “Crosscurrents" and whose show “The Spanglish Power Hour” aired on KPFA. Alderete curates and hosts the (pre-pandemic) Latinx reading series SPEAKING AXOLOTL in Oakland.

Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker, and educator. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. A finalist for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize for his book in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series, Heaven Is All Goodbyeswhich received the California Book Award and American Book Award, he is also author of someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press), Waiting Behind Tornadoes for Food (Materials, UK), and the forthcoming Blood on the Fog, due from City Lights as Pocket Poets No. 62 in September 2021. Eisen-Martin was the Poetry Center’s inaugural Mazza Writer in Residence in Fall 2017. A native of San Francisco, he is co-founder and editor of Black Freighter Press and San Francisco’s eighth Poet Laureate.

Q.R. Hand Jr. (1937–2020) was a beloved poet, community mental health care worker, and longtime presence in the Mission District, has come to San Francisco from New York City in 1960 at age 23. Along with giving hundreds of readings, he worked with performance poetry and music group WordWind Chorus with late poet Reginald Lockett, Brian Auerbach, and poet-musician Lewis Jordan. Hand published three books of poems: i speak to the poet in man (1985), how sweet it is (1996), and whose really blues (2008). Black Freighter Press will bring out his final book, Out of Nothing, in Spring 2021. Q.R. Hand Jr. read his work for The Poetry Center two times, in 1983 (with Genny Lim and Juan Felipe Herrera) and in a solo reading in 2012. Read Clara-Sophia Daly’s illuminating obituary for the Mission Local here.

Alie Jones is a self-care advocate, writer, and Creole mermaid. Currently pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing and Literature at Mills College, she is the founder of Bodacious Bombshells, a wellness-focused art collective based in Oakland. Her work on Black Mental Health and self-care has been featured on AfropunkxoNecole, and Medium.com. Alie is the host of the podcast called Chit Chat with Aliecat, exploring self-care practices and journeys of self-love in the community. She is co-founder and director of Black Freighter Press.

Photos of Mahogany L. Browne and Q.R. Hand Jr.

Featured:

Visit and order from Black Freighter Press

“Q.R. Hand Jr., a poet of jazz-like verses, dies at age 83,” Clara-Sophia Daly for Mission Local, January 18, 2021

”Unity and Struggle: A collective inaugural address,” with San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin and family, sponsored by San Francisco Public Library, Wednesday April 21, 2021, 6:00 pm

 

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event email: 

poetry@sfsu.edu

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center

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

 

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 7:00 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.

The Poetry Center welcomes 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 writers of color reading and round table with Bay Area friends Cisco GuzmanMason J., and Melissa Merin, also with emcee TreVaughn Malik Roach-Carter.

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. 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.

Cisco Guzman was born in LA long before it was cool, imagining himself the love child of David Bowie and Patti Smith and entrusted to the loving but hilariously dysfunctional care of Mexican immigrants—whose job it was to toughen him up for the cosmic battles ahead. In an effort to outrun what felt like fated suffering, he went to Stanford University where he majored in Feminist Studies, though his resume says he majored in Interdisciplinary Studies because he is a pragmatic revolutionary who would rather dismantle the master’s house than have a conversation about it. Poetic status updates on whether this Trojan horse approach to social change is working can be gleaned via printed word, collage, song, and should hopefully be evidenced by his everyday actions to design humane software that helps people to hate their lives less.

Mason J. is a Black & Indigenous SF-born artist, historiographer, media strategist, and community organizer with varied interests ranging from Klaus Nomi to Keeping up with The Kardashians. Their focused passions include land use, youth empowerment, LGBTQ senior services, disability justice, intersex rights, gender/sexuality. In addition to previously working with the SFPL James C. Hormel Center and Transgender Cultural District, Mason currently acts as Program Manager and Co-Founder of RADAR Productions Show Us Your Spines BIPoC queer archives residency. They are the author of Crossbones on My Life (Nomadic Press, 2021) and co-editor of Still Here SF: An Anthology of Queer and Trans People Raised in San Francisco (Foglifter, 2019), and additionally take great pride in their Public Health Nerd, Two-Spirit, Jewish, Nightlifer, Ballroom, Leather, Punk, and Soul Boy identities.

Melissa Merin is a queer Black woman, parent, and educator who has been living on Ohlone Land/SF Bay Area since 1999. She plays music—as Suspect, Suspect—and has self-published a handful of chapbooks and blogs. She participates in advocating and facilitating work toward accountability from transformative and restorative perspectives. Check out her writings and recordings on these activities here. Melissa is actively working for the destruction of white power and dreams of bankrolling Antifa.

Featured:

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

Related event:

Brontez Purnell, Mazza Writer in Residence, a solo reading and conversation
with emcee, TreVaughn Malik Roach-Carter
Wednesday April 7, 4:00 pm Pacific Time
remote access event, free and open to the public

 

Event contact: 

The Poetry Center

Event email: 

poetry@sfsu.edu

Event sponsor: 

The Poetry Center, Mazza Writer in Residence