Sunday, September 29, 2019

renga in Berkeley Times, August 15, 2019

The Berkeley Times publishes an annual poetry issue. This year’s issue (August 15, 2019, vol. 9, no. 19) includes excerpts from the renga Alan Bern, Rebecca Radner, and I composed last fall/winter. 

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Backyards: Poets for Local Change, Sept 28, Alameda

This will be the second stop on my September “Islands” tour. First Angel, then Alameda. 

Backyards: Poets for Local Change
Hosted by Sharon Coleman and Jeanne Lupton

Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM


Frank Bette Center for the Arts
1601 Paru St, Alameda
California 94501

Come join us for a poetry reading by eight incredible poets who are also dedicated to creating change locally and beyond. This is part of the ongoing 100 000 Poets for Change, a global poetry reading on the last Saturday of September. 

We are also honoring Jeanne Lupton, who has spent years running the reading series at Frank Bette.  She is retiring and this is her final reading. 

Rohan DaCosta
Alison Hart
Glenn Ingersoll
Tobey Kaplan
Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross
Dena Rod
Kimi Sugioka
Maurisa Thompson

Rohan DaCosta is a multi-disciplinary artist from the city of Chicago, working primarily through photography, writing, and song. Rohan explores complex dilemmas, and frequencies found in lovers, in families, in ecosystems, and in places. His book of photography, poetry, and song, The Edge of Fruitvale, was published by Nomadic Press on April 28, 2018, and has been nominated for a California Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a CLMP Firecracker Award.  His photography has been featured at The Flight Deck Gallery as a solo exhibition titled Ordinary People (2018). His photography has also been featured at Root Division Gallery as part of a group exhibition titled Let Me Be a Witness (2018). In 2018, he was awarded the Individual Artist Funding Grant by the City of Oakland for his arts exhibition, Trap : Trauma : Transformation (April 9 – May 18).

Alison Hart’s debut novel Mostly White (Torrey House Press, 2018) was praised by the National Book Award-winning author Isabel Allende as "So compelling it gave me goosebumps…” Alison identifies as a mixed race African American, Passamaquoddy Native American, Irish, Scottish and English woman of color. She is the author of the poetry collection Temp Words (Cosmo Press, 2015), a play Mother Daughter Dance, and her poems appear in Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California, (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2016).

Glenn Ingersoll works for the Berkeley Public Library, hosting Clearly Meant, a reading & interview series, out of the Claremont Branch. His longest stint running a series was Poetry & Pizza in San Francisco, a monthly reading co-curated with Clive Matson and Katharine Harer, which lasted for seven years. Glenn Ingersoll’s multi-volume prose-poem-epic 'Thousand' (Mel C Thompson Pub) is available from Amazon; ebook at Smashwords. He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recent work has appeared in Sparkle + Blink, riverbabble, Humble Pie, and as a Zoetic Press chapbook.

Tobey Kaplan, originally from New York City, with degrees from Syracuse and San Francisco State Universities, has been teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area for forty years.  An active member of California Poets in the Schools and Associated Writing Programs,  Ms. Kaplan has given readings, workshops and presentations throughout the country regarding creative process, literacy and social change. For several years, she worked with the Native TANF program/Washoe Tribe to coordinate a range of educational services and identify career building programs for the Native American community in Alameda Country.
Ms. Kaplan has received grants from the California Arts Council, 1979-1982 to serve as poet in residence at community mental health centers. Her honors include: being named Dorland Mountain Colony Fellow, honorable mention Crazyhorse poetry prize 2008 and Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts, as well as being the recipient of a Bay Area Award (New Langton Arts, 1996). Among her publications are: Across the Great Divide ( Androgyne, 1995). Her poems are published in numerous literary anthologies.  

Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross is a multi-talented, award-winning Bay Area Native well-versed in singing, poetry/spoken word, and journalism. Aqueila has studied and performed throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and is a graduate of Napa Valley College and University of California, Berkeley. Her book of poetry, Stop Hurting and Dance, published by Pochino Press, is a collection of stories overcoming fear, oppression, gentrification, and police brutality; she honors what it means to live with resilience, love and prosperity.  She holds the titles of Ms. Oakland Plus America 2014, SF Raw Performing Artist of the Year 2015, and was an Oakland Voices-KALW Community Journalist awardee in 2016 and Greater Bay Area Journalism Awardee in 2017.

Dena Rod is a writer, editor, and poet based in the Bay Area. They run the RADAR Productions  weblog and are the Assistant Creative Nonfiction Editor at homology lit. They were selected for RADAR Productions’ Show Us Your Spines Residency, Kearny Street Workshop’s Interdisciplinary Writer’s Lab, and Winter Tangerine’s Summer Writer’s Workshop. Through creative nonfiction essays and poetry, Dena works to illuminate their diasporic experiences of Iranian American heritage and queer identity, combating negative stereotypes of their intersecting identities in the mainstream media

Kimi Sugioka is a poet, songwriter and educator who tries to confront and illuminate the cognitive dissonance she experiences at every turn in society, politics and media. She has an MFA from The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Publications include various anthologies: Standing Strong! Fillmore & Japantown and Endangered Species, Enduring Values, and Civil Liberties United. She has published a book of poetry, The Language of Birds, and, soon to be published, Wile & Wing.

Maurisa Thompson was born and raised in San Francisco, and is a proud alum of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People.  A poet and educator, she is a graduate of UC Riverside’s MFA program and is currently teaching English at John O’Connell High School in San Francisco. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pedestal Magazine, The Black Scholar, La Bloga, Cosmonauts Avenue, the anthologies A Feather Floating on the Water: Poems for Our Children and En Vuelo: In Celebration of el Tecolote, and The Haight-Ashbury Journal, which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize.  She has worked with arts organizations including Richmond's RAW Talent and the Gluck Fellowship program at UC Riverside.  She is currently working on her first poetry manuscript that combines history and folklore with her grandparents’ stories from Louisiana and San Francisco, and a middle-grade novel exploring police brutality, which won the support of a Walter Grant from We Need Diverse Books.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Quiet Lightning on Angel Island, Sept 15

I will be reading an excerpt from Autobiography of a Book at the next Quiet Lightning event, Poetry in the Parks. 

Here is what looks like pretty darn complete information as copied from Quiet Lightning’s event announcement on Facebook:

Poetry in Parks 2019: 
Quiet Lightning on Angel Island
open to the public

Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM

- Youth readings

- A literary mixtape curated by Katie Tandy and July Westhale, with all work published in sPARKLE & bLINK 101 featuring art by Connie Zheng: 

Norma Smith » David S. Maduli » Kate Hoyle » Syche Phillips » Abigail Licad » Julia Halprin Jackson » Johnny Alvarez » Glenn Ingersoll » Linette Escobar | Maddy Raskulinecz » Donna Laemmlen » Peter Bullen » Christina Newhard » Cassandra Dallett » Eric Darby » C.E. Shue » Kevin Dublin 

- Neighborhood Heroes, with readings by Kirin Khan, Genny Lim, Kenji C. Liu, Janice Lobo Sapigao, Truong Tran, Flo Oy Wong, and others TBA, curated by Kearny Street Workshop

- Music by Cindy Z 

- Live painting by Joshua Coffy, Nathalie Fabri, Dilcia Giron, and Allison Snopek, curated by ArtSpan

:: For links and more information ::

About Quiet Lightning

Now in its 10th year, Quiet Lightning is a San Francisco-based literary nonprofit with the mission to foster community based on literary expression and to provide a safe and supportive arena for said expression. Its flagship is the literary mixtape, a submission-based series with a completely blind selection process and different curators for every show, for which there are no introductions or banter. The shows are published as books, handed out free to the first 100 people at each show. All participating artists are paid and the shows are free to attend.  We’ve now produced 126 shows, featuring 1,200+ readings by 900+ different authors in 80+ venues and 100+ books. Quiet Lightning also maintains, a daily calendar of literary events. For more on QL:

About California State Parks

The mission of CA State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. For more on California State Parks:

About Kearny Street Workshop

Founded in 1972, during the height of the Asian American cultural movement, Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is the oldest Asian Pacific American multidisciplinary arts organization in the country. We offer classes and workshops, salons, and student presentations, as well as professionally curated and produced exhibitions, performances, readings, and screenings. KSW makes artists out of community members and community members out of artists. For the past 45 years, KSW has nurtured the creative spirit, offered an important platform for new voices to be heard, and connected artists with community. For more on Kearny Street Workshop:

About ArtSpan

ArtSpan believes in the power of art to enrich lives. For 20-plus years we’ve championed an inclusive art experience and provided diverse audiences with an authentic connection to local art and artists. We support emerging and established artists who contribute to San Francisco’s inimitable creative energy, while bolstering the next generation of artists and encouraging the public to engage in preserving and furthering our vibrant art community. For more on ArtSpan:

With crucial support from SOMArts Cultural Center

SOMArts leverages the power of art as a tool for social change through multi-disciplinary events and exhibitions. Equipping artists with the space, mentorship and support they need to shift perspectives and innovate solutions, SOMArts fosters access to arts and culture for collective liberation and self-determination. For more on SOMArts:

:: Ferry information / to get to the event :: 

> There are two ferries departing for Angel Island: from San Francisco at Pier 41, starting at 9:45am ($19.5 round trip, takes about 25 min); from Tiburon, starting at 10am ($15 round trip, takes about 15 min). 

> It’s suggested you arrive at least 20 minutes early.
Tiburon accepts cash and checks only, though you can purchase the SF tickets in advance.

> Once you arrive on Angel Island, you will see signs and Quiet Lightning greeters, but to get to the event site you simply take a right when you disembark from the ferry, and walk around the cove until you get to the picnic tables. It’s about a quarter of a mile walk on a flat surface.

> Accessibility is important to us! If you have any special needs, please email and we will do our absolute best to accommodate you.

:: Other possibly helpful information ::

> You are welcome to bring snacks, though there is a cafe on the island and we will have draft beer available for purchase, courtesy of Lagunitas. There are water fountains with potable water at the event site.

> Seating consists of wooden picnic tables, so if you have a cushion, a folding chair, or a blanket you’d like to bring, there’s plenty of space for it. If you need a seat, please email no later than 48 hours before the event and we will do our absolute best to accommodate you.

> Dogs are not allowed on the island, service animals excepted. This does not include the use of emotional support animals which are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

> More information to be added here, but if you have any questions at all please direct them to

at that link we get some statistics:

* For the literary mixtape, they say they received 85 submissions and accepted 17 (20%). Of those:
  • 8 have never read at Quiet Lightning before (47%)
  • 7 are returning (53%):
    • Norma Smith (2)
    • Julia Halprin Jackson (5)
    • Johnny Alvarez (1)
    • Glenn Ingersoll (2)
    • Linette Escobar (4)
    • Donna Laemmlen (2)
    • Peter Thomas Bullen (20)
    • Cassandra Dallett (20)
    • C.E. Shue (2)

As you can see, I’ve read with QL twice before, though I have applied and not been chosen many times. I’ve enjoyed my prior QL experiences and I’m looking forward to doing it again. 

And for those writers who haven’t been in the mix, if you can ask yourself, “Do I write like Cassandra Dallett &/or Peter Bullen?” and answer, “Well, yeah, more or less,” and you aren’t applying to QL, you’re leaving money on the table, man.