Living Writers Series Spring 2017
The Lives Of Other Songs
Humanities Lecture Hall, 206
Thursdays, 5:20-6:50 PM
All Readings are Free and Open to the Public
Contact: Christopher Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
April 13: Tongo Eisen-Martin
May 4: Tsering Wangmo Dhompa and Eric Sneathen
May 11: Aisha Sasha John
May 18: Rosa Alcala
June 1: Laren Levin
June 8: UCSC Creative Writing Program, Undergraduate Student Reading
Co-sponsored by The Humanities Division, Porter College George Hitchcock Poetry Endowment, The Literature Department and Creative Writing Program, Chicano Latino Research Center, Literary Cultures/Sawyer Seminar, Latin American and Latino Studies, and The Bay Tree Book Store
Born in San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker, educator, and poet who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. He has educated in detention centers from New York's Rikers Island to California's San Quentin State Prison. His work in Rikers Island was featured in the New York Times . He was also adjunct faculty at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University in New York. Subscribing to the Freirian model of education, he designed curricula for oppressed people's education projects from San Francisco to South Africa. 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. He uses his craft to create liberated territory wherever he performs and teaches. He recently lived and organized around issues of human rights and self-determination in Jackson, MS.
Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
Poet Tsering Wangmo Dhompa’s parents fled Tibet in 1959. Raised by her mother in Tibetan communities in Dharamsala, India, and Kathmandu, Nepal, Dhompa earned a BA and an MA from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, an MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks In Writing the Names (2000) and Recurring Gestures (2000). She has published the full-length collections Rules of the House (2002), In the Absent Everyday (2005), and My Rice tastes like the lake (2011), which was a finalist for the Northern California Independent Bookseller’s Book of the Year Award for 2012. Dhompa's non-fiction book based on her life is called A Home in Tibet (Penguin India, 2013).
Fluent in several languages and dialects—including Tibetan, Hindi, and Nepali—Dhompa writes in English. Through innovative structures and schemas, her poetry articulates the nostalgia of displaced Tibetans, recording the memories of elders in Tibetan communities. In a Verse online review of In the Absent Everyday, Joshua Marie Wilkinson noted the “uncanniness (the familiar strangeness) of myriad lines which simultaneously do and do not cohere at once, which seems disparate and effortlessly linked at the same time.”
Dhompa has received grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Galen Rowell Fund and has been a writing fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Hedgebrook. She is pursuing a PhD in Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Eric Sneathen is a poet who splits his time between Oakland and Santa Cruz, where he is a PhD student. His writing has been published by Mondo Bummer, Elderly, and Faggot Journal , and he is the editor and organizer of Macaroni Necklace, a Bay Area–based DIY literary journal and reading series. SNAIL POEMS is his first book.
Aisha Sasha John
AISHA SASHA JOHN is a poet and dancer. She is the author of THOU (BookThug, 2014), a finalist for the Trillium Poetry Prize, and The Shining Material (BookThug, 2011). Aisha is also a member of the performance collective WIVES, whose show FEELED premiered at the 2016 OFFTA in Montreal, earning them the 2016 Audacity Prize. In 2017, WIVES' ACTION MOVIE will debut at La Chappelle Scenes Contemporaines in Montreal. Aisha has performed in Hamilton, Kelowna, Marrakech, Montreal, New York, Oakland, Ottawa, San Francisco, and Vancouver. She lives in Toronto. The author lives in Toronto, ON.
Rosa Alcalá is the author of a poetry collection Undocumentaries (Shearsman Books, 2010) and two chapbooks: Some Maritime Disasters This Century (Belladonna, 2003) and Undocumentary (Dos Press, 2008). Alcalá has also translated poetry by Cecilia Vicuña, Lourdes Vázquez, and Lila Zemborain, among others. Recent translations include Zemborain's Guardians of the Secret (Noemi Press, 2009), and poems for The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry (2009).
She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing and Bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Lauren Levin is the author of THE BRAID (Krupskaya, 2016) and the forthcoming TWO ESSAYS (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2018) as well as several chapbooks, including The Lens (Little Red Leaves, 2014) and Working (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2012). From 2011-2014, she co–edited the Poetic Labor Project. She grew up in New Orleans and lives in Richmond, CA with her family