Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hitched. La Palabra. On-line Floricanto for the Only Earth We Live On.

Michael Sedano

Quarterly Poetry Reading Goes On With A Hitch

Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea (link) is the perfect place to be this Saturday afternoon even if the stretch of Alhambra Road in El Sereno looks like nothing special goes down around here. Here is an industrial landscape paralleling a railroad right-of-way. Across the street from a mural tagged alley, visitors are here for something special, the quarterly Hitched reading.

In the sequestered coffee house garden, people chat with one another. Some here for the ambiente, others here for the show. Gente here know each other, friends of the lineup, followers of the Hitched reading series, familiar faces from the busy El Lay poetry community. The garden delightfully fills with conviviality. As an added bonus, Holy Grounds sells Good Mexican Girl gluten-free sweets, along with deliciously brewed coffee. The establishment's core values reflect the service: Nourishment. Community. Culture.

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo brought Hitched to Los Angeles’ far eastside from Venice in December. The series brings writers into community in multiple ways. Two readers, Jamie Moore, Marisol Baca, come from Fresno’s active literary community. Jean Chen Ho, Dana Johnson bring USC to the El Sereno venue, and Reed Maruyama is a 16 year-old Los Angeles poet.

Maruyama makes her debut public reading today, an experience she now shares with a plurality of her audience. Lots of familiar faces dot the crowd. I saludar Desirée Zamorano. Alex Espinoza and Kyle Behen sit with Brian Dunlap. I talk up Brian on “playing to the camera” when he reads in public.

Pasadena Rose Poets Gerda Govine and Carla Sameth have seats behind me and we talk about their Wednesday, April 11 midday reading (link) in Pasadena city council chambers for National Poetry Month.

Visit Hitched at its Facebook page (link) for full bios on the writers. The artists’ principal occupation ranges from high school sophomore to college professor. Their work appears in diverse places, from chap book to journalism to literary journal, including Huizache, The Magazine of Latino Literature, to collection to novel. The writers have hitched to a star and are well on their way.

Today's program features narrative prose work and some poetry. Billed as Hitched: California Women's Voices and a celebration of International Women's Day, Bermejo's invited an all-woman lineup. The five readers take advantage of Holy Grounds’ peaceful stage and  excellent public address system. Not a phrase or word  is lost to technology. The setting's visual satisfaction brings listeners closer than physically. There's a fitting constant din of coffee drinker chatter, tires swooshing past, sporadic glissandi of laughter punctuating the music of the day. Competent readings overcome distractions.

Prose poses challenges to photographers, shared by readers, though perhaps unaware to the latter. Reader and photographer want a dynamic photo, one illustrating the personality of this writer or, ultimately, the Platonic ideal foto of a Rodin-evoking “The Reader.” A perfect foto is possible and I seek it, for the satisfaction of mastering technology and of course, that perfect portrait.

Good and all right fotos are stock-in-trade from readings. Now and again a lens captures one glistening inspired moment: The perfect public speaker photograph.

Writers need good images. A book. A press kit or press release. A memento to send home to loved ones. Every poet should have a bio, a mug shot or action shot, and a web presence; marketing is what happens after you type "the end." A great portrait informs a writer's image, draws attention.

The inspired foto moment doesn’t happen accidentally, though it happens randomly. For the writer reading her own stuff, camera alertness can produce the moment if the photographer is paying attention, and the ineffable “everything” comes together.

I told Brian Dunlap to take a moment during a reading to look directly at the lens. Every reader should consider the lenses and smart phones in the audience. Either during a pause, or as the text reaches an emphatic moment, plan to break eye contact from the page. Memorize the next few words. Look out to the audience. Make contact. Say the lines, from memory. Mark this spot on the page.

Wait. Savor the moment, just for a fraction. You, the reader, had a plan and worked the plan. Now let the words speak for themselves hanging out there in the space of that planned pause. Look at the lens. Then back to your manuscript. The perfect foto came as the reader's eyes looked out, lips and mouth forming meaning, body and hands gesturing, exhibiting readiness to complete the performance.

The alert photographer has observed the reader’s style, listens to the narrative, anticipates the moment. At the key instant, the portrait is perfect if that’s the instant the shutter clicks. Eye contact. Mouth forming sounds. Face meaningful. Posture in control of the setting.

Reed Maruyama is a young activist and a sophomore at Clark Magnet High School where she writes for the school's newspaper, magazine, and yearbook. She spends most of her time writing, making art, and eating good food.

Jean Chen Ho is USC doctoral candidate in creative writing and literature. She's a board member of Kaya Press, an independent publisher of Asian diasporic experimental poetry and prose. Jean is working on a linked short story collection and trying to get herself together to write a novel.

Dana Johnson is pura southern California, growing up in the L.A. area and works as a professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Jamie Moore is a member of Women Writers of Color Central Valley. She works as an English Professor and Coordinator of the Puente Program at College of the Sequoias.

Marisol Baca lives in Fresno with her husband in a house in the center of town. Baca is an English professor at Fresno City College.

La Palabra Welcomes Host Angelina Sáenz To Long-Running Avenue 50 Studio Reading Series

Los Angeles hosts many long-enduring reading series. At the far westside along the Pacific sands, Beyond Baroque hosted Hitched for the better part of a decade. In Central L.A., the World Stage has kept the lights shining thirty years. For nearly twenty years, Avenue 50 Studio in Northeast L.A. has sponsored La Palabra. La Bloga first visited La Palabra in November 2008.

Angelina Sáenz greets her first La Palabra audience

La Palabra at Avenue 50 happens between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., 4th Sunday of every month except December.

Sáenz' accession to this important curatorial responsibility represents continuity, a seamless juncture in the passage of literary history. The curator's goal reflects continuity among younger and older voices. Sáenz introduces a programming design to invite a high school poet to read alongside two featured poets. 

Samuel Davenport aka Rouze and Michael Sedano

Saturday, I arrive early enough to enjoy conversation with young poet Samuel Davenport aka Rouze, his mother, and his sister. The personable familia bursts justifiably with joy at Rouze's appearance today. Davenport is a senior at Cesar Chavez Social Justice Humanitas Academy where he works with spoken word master Tolteka. I look forward to seeing Tolteka and the GetLit team, including Rouze, at the upcoming GetLit Classic Slam (link).

La Palabra Reading Series at Avenue 50 Studio Featured Poets
Luivette Resto, Thelma Reyna, aka Rouze, Angelina Sáenz

Luivette Resto, a former La Palabra host, and Altadena Poet Laureate emerita Thelma Reyna lead the reading. Visit La Palabra's Facebook page for biographical details (link).

Luivette Resto's distinctive voice blends insight, wit, rage, and a Wonder Woman insouciance. There's lots of sorrow in the poet's world, and today's reading mirrors it. Resto, as every conscientious person, shares the devastation of Puerto Rico. For the poet, it's personal, the emotional toll has her worn down. She relates news relayed by her father where hurricane damage in his isolated town remains unaddressed, no construction, no power, no reason to hope.

Resto's poem for Puerto Rico reflects on character, beauty, and suffering in simultaneous measure. She shares a draft that struggles to burst spontaneously from the poet because the page is anchoring her. Look for Resto's next reading and hope she shares the poem.

After the presidential election, Reyna relates, she read Kübler-Ross on mourning, that in the process of grieving she found some satisfaction in imagining how people, casualties like Reyna, are talking about their injuries and what died. Those are the voices in her book, Reading Tea Leaves After [surname] (link).

Among things that died with the election, Reyna numbers friendships. Not the fatuous friendships of social media, though those, too. Enlisting Albie Preciado's voice, Reyna shares a farewell-to-us letter from a tea party brother to his sister. Reyna's trenchant insights and Preciado's emptiness-filled reading leave the audience stunned.  

Rouze expresses powerful words with restrained conversationality. Speaking quietly pulls in his listeners. His genuineness is persuasive. The La Palabra audience notes each word and expression, hearing more than what this poet has seen in his world. Saturday is a day of young people's marches across the nation. Rouze's audience hears the same determination and potential for positive change coming from all quarters.

When we chatted earlier, I asked Rouze to consider two things he liked about his reading the last time he performed, and identify one behavior he would like to change. Keep the first two and work on the second today. In the joy and hubbub following the reading I didn't take the time to ask the poet the same questions. When a poet works to keep the good and work on one opportunity at a time, every reading is better than the one before.

The audience gives Rouze a huge applause and his mom gives him a giant abrazo.
Open Mic

L-R, Top to Bottom: Victor Sotomayor, Harry Gipson, Jose Cordova, 
Rob Poetry Morrow, Saki, Omar Murgia.

L-R, Top to Bottom: H. Baki, Eddy Bellow-Sandoval,
Lea, Paula Achter

La Bloga On-line Floricanto: The Seventh Year of Memory ~ For Fukushima and for the Earth’s healing from wars, and humanity's indifference to natural law
Yumiko K.D., Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Meg Withers, Red Slider, Sharon Elliott, Theo Eliades, Sonia Gutiérrez, Dee Allen, Martina Robles Gallegos

The Moderators of the Poetry Community Poets Responding: Poetry of Resistance, submit nine poets with ten poems in commemoration.

“I Lost My Hometown” By Yumiko K.D
“Soulache” By Odilia Galván Rodríguez
“Ragged Mountain Dream” By Meg Withers
“Twin Sons” By Red Slider
“Water Death” By Sharon Elliott
“As Cherry Blossoms Fall” By Theo Eliades
“Days of Thunder”/Días de estruendos” By Sonia Gutiérrez
“The Repeat Performance” By Dee Allen
“Nuclear dreams" by Martina Robles Gallegos

I Lost My Hometown
By Yumiko K.D.

The blue sky and the clear ocean
no longer show the colour of happiness now
in my hometown of Fukushima
Gentle breeze used to welcome me back here
now feels so chilled

My beloved hometown
Peaceful streets with smiles on people’s faces
Where have they gone?
I’ve always believed
that I had a safe home to come back to

Even the most beautiful cherry blossom tree on the hill
looks lonely, reserved, isolated
in my hometown of Fukushima

Bright sunlight used to embrace me warmly
now feels darkish, unwelcoming, colder
My cherished hometown
Happy times with my close family and friends
Where have they gone?

I’ve always believed
that I had a secure home to come back to

I’ve never ever doubted
that my childhood heaven was there for me eternally

By Odilia Galván Rodríguez
for all who long for a better world
and for never succumbing to government’s fabricated amnesia

no one
wants to take in
the truth of unsaid lies.
seawater looks just fine, let’s go

it’s Spring,
cherry blossoms
bloom. it’s like nothing’s wrong,
as if people are all still here
to see

new blooms
they fall like snow-
flakes, as if nuclear
winter now comes in pink petals

exposed. the truth
of unseen and silent
killers, who foul earth’s precious life ~

belongs to those
who long to return home.
our hope songs caught in sparrow throats.

Ragged Mountain Dream
By Meg Withers

August, 1940

Maple tree with their shapely henna palms
are washing their hands of summer again,
fanning the grasses in the yellow fields.
It’s the way of the world to do these things,
the way you did each autumn, as you made your way
into the Virginia woods, careful and quiet
You were twenty-two and clear-eyed
as any furry beast, long-toed, sliding
into the foliage.

You tread, with your Collie, sack of beans,
fishing gear and bedroll tucked tidy at your back,
your life a numinous green dream.
It was August, the summer of Maria Massie, slow
talk on the verandah, wading in the Tye River,
before Kwajelein and Suva, before Tokyo Bay and
the Pacific, so blue it hurt your eyes, the flotilla of haze gray
Navy battleships, floating in the bathtub of the Pacific, bombs
a child, slapping the water to see which ships would float,
in devastation it chose to make, with simple
chubby fists, the dead faces frozen forever.

Your ships sank, two of them in five years.
You almost survived in the fiery water, pulled each time
gasping, a slender freckled fish, crouched in the bottom
of some lifeboat passing.

Something inside you sank in those years,
some connection snapped, the way the smallest branch
in a morning forest can sound like gunshot,
some lifeline whipping back and away with fierce power,
the sudden release of tension from the break, slamming
you down, as sure as if you’d died there, in the terrible
heat, in the furnace of flaming water.

What you did afterward when there was no cure
for the invisible hole in your gut, not even a name
for the disease you suffered; I imagine it vast and
black, filled with cold ashes; a groan which lay unspoken
in your heart, gnawing a tiny dreadful sound,
the mastication of some horrid insect,
thousands of them, and only you could hear them.
But war was an honorable enterprise.

January, 1956

Eating tart oranges from the backyard tree,
frost scorching fingers and noses.
Bundled in winter on the back steps, I was proud
to be your eldest, the Chosen Child, the shining coin
in the dark pocket of your life, the one
for whom you spun stories, leaning out over the side
of the skiff, scooping tales from the dark lake of your memory,
silver story fishes, wriggling and leaping in the light of your vast
vocabulary. You left out the bloody gutting, the scaling,
parts unhealthy for my ears. your voice, vowel-laden,
the slow Virginia chant of it, rolling us into the green Piedmont
of your innocence. A dark humor carried inside
my mind in a wash of light, watercolors swathed on
fragile, layered vellums of memory.

Even the war years and terrible aftermath tinted – just for me.
Fiji in tropical washes, drinking in open-air bars, 7-foot
constabulary, scarlet, British military jackets, stiff
over pleated white skirts. Drinking Tooth’s lager, Brisbane,
and Red, Aussie sailor, who loved the sea as you did.
Drinking at the California bar in Sasebo, not for the first time,
pulled back over a cliff by a tiny woman, another lifeboat,
as all women were; your diminutive mother, her dark premonitions,
your wife’s stubborn, Italian peasant sense, my devotion,
when no one else would listen, when the relentless darkness moved
over you, unassuageable.

April, 1963

The charred oblivion visiting our house in your form,
empty bottles of Old Grandad, handfuls of Librium, locked-down
in J Ward. You struggle against five-point restraints.
Why is Dad tied up? Silence from your 50’s and 60’s
version of hejira for the spiritually too competent,
eventual tours of state hospitals, your uniforms with gold stripes
exchanged for backless gowns, the cadent military stride replaced
a shuffle of paper slippers, the sloping mouth, medication
electric shock. The worm in you gnawing, hungrier each year,
stripes on your shins from diminishing hatchways
as you come forward in the ship of your mind,
until there is nothing left but empty bottles and cans,
baked beans with spoons stuck in them, tipped
over on your important papers – a death you prayed for every day,
but could not manage to accomplish.

July, 1976

The last time of fire in your brief life, unconscious,
smoke taking you down, spiraling long and slow,
across the black water of your last night,
more flames charring your life, as if you were nothing
but a crumpled page in some unimportant book.
I did not believe in your young death, did not attend
your funeral, would listen to neither the sighs nor
the hallelujahs. I was drunk that year, at 30. I had grown
the same deadly messenger in my own mind,
the scratching noise inside my head, years of insomnia,
mad charge out of my own skin, a rash of journeys
when the gnawing became unbearable. I had learned
to hone my own heart, begged the empty promise
on a ticket, a bottle, a new lover.

August, 1994

After tossing my last bottle into some bush
on the first day of spring in 1985, in Honolulu
or London, or Albuquerque, or Oakland/New York/
Portland/…One place is as good as any other,
my self-created bit of Hell dragged behind me;
sick and noisy umbilicus. Arlington was muggy
that afternoon, cicadas scraping the summer sky,
water-laden, the air of predawn dreams, glazed
by humidity of memories, backwashed by ocean sounds,
or perhaps the sighs of a million sad children.
I passed unnoticed by motionless military guards,
atonement duty for those destroyed by wars
I crept to your graveside, crouched, overflowing
left you the gift of all those unshed tears, for you and
countless fathers of other daughters, row upon marble row
of the buried, hazy in the shade of black oak, maple, elm.
When I walked from that place, I left you
a flow of tears, a plastic statue of a Collie dog,
a sack of beans, and some licorice.
I wanted to give you all the things you would need
for your journey to your ancestors, everything
I could think of – to help you back to your mountains.

Twin Suns
By Red Slider

Wreathes wither on a monument for the dead, a cenotaph
for a past we can no more change than a future we are incapable
of creating—our gestures of reduction, of non-proliferation, of MAD
treaties scattered like flocks of doves over oil-soaked beaches,
upgrades to arsenals we pretend, most of the week, are not there,
nor the sullen nations dressed in solemn poses as if to care
about marks etched on old stone monuments, the echo of apologies
that cannot be made to a promise not to be kept— a silence we declare
artifact of peace, watch from both sides of its arched back
in the pitiless glare of twin suns—shadows on name-burnt walls.

From: Begin the Conversation Hiroshima/Nagasaki, 70 Years of Silence

Water Death
By Sharon Elliott
for all the contaminated oceans

in the depths
of dark unknowable wisdom
we live at the borders
of the sun-penetrated sea

in the hour of vertigo
questions will not be answered
candles will go out
hurricanes will move us
with their silent eye
the center of all storms

the price of fish
will be measured
in lives

As Cherry Blossoms Fall
By Theo Eliades

Fukushima cherry trees
blossom without a witness

radioactive blossoms
pretty as can be

fall like a thousand
tiny bombs

beautiful fallout
nuclear meltdowns

adrift on sea and air
flee the radiation

the tsunami surge
splintered worries piled high

atop buildings
that no longer stand

on the villages without children
only the old tread there

in the place that radiates
the promise of death

And cherry blossoms fall
No witnesses in sight

A terrible waste

Days of Thunder
By Sonia Gutiérrez

There are days of thunder
when ants must carry
food to places thousands
and thousands of miles away.

There are ant colonies,
where lightning bolts do not cease.
All around, there is no calm air;
the air chokes and lightning
strikes incessantly,
sparking fires and pillaging
what is sacred—the tiny chinks
in homes and the dozens
and dozens of tender figs
hanging from trees.

In spite of the elements,
injured ants rise to their feet
as brigades from far away colonies,
bring shovels and lamps to aid—
never forgetting
they are all ants.

Day after day through the rubble,
their screams reverberate.
With muddied faces,
they look for their beloved,
lift their fallen bodies,
and carry them away
because for ants,
saying good-bye is never easy.

Again and again ants resurface
amidst the hail and dark winds—
certain that together they will survive
the days of thunder.

Días de estruendos
Por Sonia Gutiérrez

Hay días de estruendos
cuando las hormigas deben
cargar comida a lugares miles
y miles de kilómetros de distancia.

Hay colonias de hormigas
donde los estruendos no cesan.
Todo alrededor, el aire no tiene calma;
el aire ahorca y los relámpagos
golpean sin cesar,
chispeando fuego y saqueando
lo sagrado—las grietas pequeñas
y las docenas y docenas
de higos tiernos
colgando de los árboles.

A pesar de los elementos,
las hormigas heridas se ponen de pie
mientras brigadas de colonias distantes
traen palas y lámparas para auxiliar—
nunca olvidando
que todas son hormigas.

Día tras día entre el escombro
sus gritos resuenan.
Con sus caras enlodadas,
buscan a sus seres queridos,
y se los llevan
porque para las hormigas
cuando una hormiga muere,
es difícil decir adiós.

Las hormigas, una y otra vez, resurgen
en medio del granizo y los vientos oscuros—
seguros que juntos sobrepasarán
los días de estruendos.

The Repeat Performance
By Dee Allen

yes, the dove
spreads its wings once more
and soars from the
olive branch, aims high,
a funny feeling called
fear startled it into moving,
anywhere but here, so the lovely
dove flies, bound for the powder blue
cloudless void, high above
the olive trees, scorching ground
and the repeat performance
of genocide
enacted below

guns of Assad
trained on his subjects
who want a certain
regime gone, enforced over
40 years of tyranny, create
through destruction over
8500 dead
the Syrian dead and the death tally
keeps on climbing, tanks shelling
Homs, family of five runs for cover in
ldlib, father, mother and children in tow,
hospitals are army torture sites, blue tile
in Damascus
gets a fresh coat of red today, there's no
desperation like the desperation of tyrants
holding onto power at the people's
expense, but to what end

the ghosts of older genocides return,
replayed scenes of violence from our
globe's sordid history, no lessons retained here,
no regard for human life,
Hutus kill Tutsis, Serbs kill Bosnians, Iraqis kill Kurds,
Khmer Rouge kill Cambodians, Nazis kill Jews,
Ottoman Empire kills Armenians
the dove was right to fly away from the scene

DA 21 April 2012 [ after Neeli Cherkovski ]
[ From my third book Stormwater: Poems [ 2012-2016 ]
POOR Press, 2017. ]

Nuclear Dreams
By Martina Robles Gallegos

Childhood dreams failed to be dreams of joy, adventure, and fun.
They were not dreams of mischief or pranks,
nor were they dreams of hope or purpose.
No, those dreams were dreams of doom;
they were dreams of nuclear clouds
incessantly chasing everything into pure vapor or ashes.
Childhood nuclear dreams wouldn’t let me see a future,
but the face of ‘Jesus’ shining between bright clouds
gave me some degree of hope for the present.
I don’t want to regress to childhood dreams;
I kept running away from the nuclear cloud
that disintegrated everything it touched,
and I could never run fast enough.
No matter which way I ran,
the nuclear cloud was right behind!
Why must a child have these kinds of dreams?
Why can’t children dream about unicorns 🦄
or 🌈 or bunnies 🐰 or even a golden egg?
Why must children dream nuclear dreams
that destroy childhood dreams?
Never forget the Fukushima Reactor!
Learn from ‘accidents’ of nuclear plants,
and see the danger they pose to the world.
Childhood dreams are the seeds of the future;
don’t contaminate them with death!

Meet The Poets
“I Lost My Hometown” By Yumiko K.D
“Soulache” By Odilia Galván Rodríguez
“Ragged Mountain Dream” By Meg Withers
“Twin Sons” By Red Slider
“Water Death” By Sharon Elliott
“As Cherry Blossoms Fall” By Theo Eliades
“Days of Thunder”/Días de estruendos” By Sonia Gutiérrez
“The Repeat Performance” By Dee Allen
“Nuclear dreams" by Martina Robles Gallegos

Odilia Galván Rodríguez, poet, writer, editor, educator, and activist, is the author of six volumes of poetry, her latest, The Nature of Things, a collaboration with Texas photographer, Richard Loya, by Merced College Press 2016. Also, along with the late Francisco X. Alarcón, she edited the award-winning anthology, Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, University of Arizona Press, 2016. This poetry of witness anthology, the first of its kind, because it came about because of the on-line organizing work of Alarcón, Galván Rodriguez, and other poet-activists which began as a response to the proposal of SB 1070, the racial profiling law which was eventually passed by the Arizona State Legislature in 2010, and later that year, HB 2281which bans ethnic studies. With the advent of the Facebook page Poets Responding (to SB 1070) thousands of poems were submitted witnessing racism, xenophobia, and other social justice issues which culminated in the anthology.

Galván Rodríguez has worked as an editor for various print media such as Matrix Women's News Magazine, Community Mural's Magazine, and Tricontinental Magazine in Havana, Cuba. She is currently, the editor of Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal online; facilitates creative writing workshops nationally, and is director of Poets Responding to SB 1070, and Love and Prayers for Fukushima, both Facebook pages dedicated to bringing attention to social justice issues that affect the lives and wellbeing of many people and encouraging people to take action. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, and literary journals on and offline.

As an activist, she worked for the United Farm Workers of America AFL-CIO, The East Bay Institute for Urban Arts, has served on numerous boards and commissions, and is currently active in Women’s organizations whose mission it is to educate around environmental justice issues and disseminate an indigenous world view regarding the earth and people’s custodial relationship to it. Odilia Galván Rodríguez has a long and rich history of working for social justice in solidarity with activists from all ethnic groups.

Meg Withers has been writing to save her sanity since she was about 9. Published in literary journals and other creative projects, She has been anthologized several times, and has three published books: Must Be Present to Win (Ghost Road 2005), A Communion of Saints (TinFish 2008). Shadowed: Unheard Voices (Press at Fresno State 2014). The latter was edited with Joell Hallowell. The basis for Meg’s work is concern with the attempt to silence voices.

Red Slider. I am a N. California poet, woodworker and activist. I rarely submit work unless associated with some cause I happen to support. I have a fairly wide cv of publication credits. Among editors who have accepted my work for their publications are Jerome Rothenberg, Dale Smith, David Sutherland, Gene ('Gino') Doty, Janet Buck and editors of similar stature. "Twin Suns" is one of several poems to be found in the pamphlet, "Begin the Conversation —Hiroshima/Nagasaki, 70 Years of Silence". It is available in pdf format from http://poems4change.org/docs/hiroshima-album.pdf

Sharon Elliott has been a writer and poet activist over several decades beginning in the anti-war and civil rights movements in the 1960s and 70s, and four years in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and Ecuador, especially in multicultural women’s issues.  She is a Moderator of Poets Responding to SB1070, and has featured in poetry readings in the San Francisco Bay area. Her work has been published in several anthologies and her poem “Border Crossing” appears in the anthology entitled Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, Francisco X. Alarcón and Odilia Galván Rodriguez, eds.  She has read it in Los Angeles at AWP and La Pachanga 2016 book launch, in San Francisco, at the Féis Seattle (Scots gaelic language/culture workshop) Céiliedh in Port Townsend, WA and at Poetry Express in Berkeley.

Lia Eliades. She sits on the edge of the Indian Ocean, she farmed on the edge of the Australian Outback, she created an idyllic life on the island of Bali, and once called Bangkok her home, but in her heart she is a native New Yorker with a creative soul, whose journeying led to a life of travel, travails, writing, reflection and revelry. Her work is informed by her life and the wonderful people she met along the way, who helped her nurture her voice. Published works in Australia ~ "Outback I Am” Year of the Outback ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) in print and recorded CD. "Letter to Phaon" in "The Writers Passage" Horst Kornberger, “Hindsight” Anthology "A Matter of Luck," Warnbro Writers Group. Upcoming - “Rock the Boat” Synonyms, A Short Story Collection by Serenity Press Publishing

Sonia Gutiérrez’s bilingual poems have appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, Konch Magazine, and Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Change. Her fiction has appeared in the London Journal of Fiction, Huizache, and AlternaCtive PublicaCtions. Sonia’s bilingual poetry collection, Spider Woman / La Mujer Araña, is her debut publication. She is a contributing editor for The Writer’s Response (Cengage Learning, 2016).

Currently, she is moderating Facebook’s Poets Responding, working on her manuscript, Sana Sana Colita de Rana, and completing her novel, Kissing Dreams from a Distance. Her libro artesano for children, El Lugar de los Alebrijes / The Place of Alebrijes (Nódulo Ediciones and *Asterisco Editora de Poesía) is forthcoming. Her poem, “Study Skills” / "Técnicas de estudios" / "Skills de Studying" appear in her manuscript, Legacy / Herencia. Francisco J. Bustos and Sonia Gutiérrez participated in Ilan Stavans's Don Quixote en Spanglish reading at the CECUT in Tijuana, Baja California.

Dee Allen. African-Italian performance poet currently based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s. Author of 3 books [ Boneyard, Unwritten Law and Stormwater, all from POOR Press ] and 15 anthology appearances [ Poets 11: 2014, Feather Floating On The Water, the first 4 Revolutionary Poets Brigade books, Rise, Your Golden Sun Still Shines and the newest from MoonShine Star Company, What Is Love? ] under his figurative belt so far.
Dee Allen is in the process of producing an upcoming 4th poetry volume entitled SKELETAL BLACK.

Martina Robles Gallegos was born and raised in Mexico and came to the United States at almost fifteen. While recuperating from a work injury and stroke, she got a Master’s degree from Grand Canyon University. Works appeared in the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015 and 2017, Hometown Pasadena, Spirit Fire Review, PSH, Silver Birch Press, Somos en Escrito, Lummox, vocal.media, and Basta! Selbor2015@yahoo.com

1 comment:

lawordsnflowers said...

Thank you so much for attending another HITCHED! One thing, our first reader, Reed Maruyama, is a 16 yo local of Los Angeles.