Merced College's Los Banos Campus will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with a series of readings on April 19. The Campus's Visiting Writer's Program is organizing the event with support from the Los Banos Unified School District and local patrons.
According to the event organizer, Los Banos Campus English professor Meg Withers, the poets included in the "Making the World Whole: Poets Bridging the Divides" event will read from works addressing a wide variety of disciplines, giving a fresh perspective on the interconnectedness of knowledge, according to a news release from the college.
Three venues will host the poets — the Los Banos Campus, Pachecho High School, and the Ted Falasco Arts Center. The community is invited to attend the evening's reading at the Arts Center, which is free and open to the public.
Students from across the Los Banos Unified School District will gather at Pacheco High School to participate in two one-hour sessions of poetry reading and lessons.
For more information, call Meg Withers at (209) 386-6722.
At the Los Banos Campus, students, faculty and staff will hear Francisco X.
Alarcón read a “Call to the Four Directions,” a Nahuatl traditional ritual. This will be
followed by a performance of spoken word/rap poetry by Rico Pabón in the Student
Lounge. Beginning at 1 p.m. classes, ranging from science and mathematics, to arts
and humanities, will host poets throughout the afternoon. The poets will read from their
own or other poet’s works which address the discipline or topics the classes are
Students from across the Los Banos Unified School District will gather at
Pacheco High School to participate in two one-hour sessions of poetry reading and
lessons. In addition to academic and cultural enrichment, this event will also provide a
much needed chance to take a breath and mentally refresh during a rigorous testing
schedule, Withers said.
The public event at the Falasco Arts Center begins at 6:30 p.m. Francisco
X. Alarcón will again open with the “Call to the Four Directions.” Spoken word artist
Rico Pabón will follow with a recitation of his socially and politically conscious work
acompanied by music. The evening will continue with each participating poet reading
one to two of their poems, Withers said. The event will include a raffle of poetry books
benefit the Visiting Writer’s Program. Poetry books which have been donated by poets
will also be given through a drawing to students attending. Books and music will also
be available for purchase by the public.
Following is a list of poets who will participate in this event.
Francisco X. Alarcón, a Chicano poet and educator and author of twelve volumes of poetry,including, From the Other Side of Night: New and Selected Poems (University of Arizona Press2002), Snake Poems (Chronicle Books 1992). His latest books are CeUnoOne: Poems for theNew Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010), and for children, Animal Poems of the Iguazú (Children’sBook Press 2008). He created the Facebook page Poets Responding to SB 1070. He teachesat the UC Davis.
Genny Lim, who has performed in poetry/music collaborations with Max Roach, HerbieLewis, Francis Wong, John Santos and Jon Jang and at World Poetry Festivals in Venezuela,Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Naples, Italy. Her play "Paper Angels" was performedat Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square in 2010 and won the San Francisco Fringe Festival TopTen Award for Best Site Specific Work. Her solo performances include, "Where is Tibet?" atCounterPULSE, AfroSolo Arts Festival, and Women on the Way Festival, and "Falling Flags," atShotwell Studios.
Rachelle Escamilla is a three time James Phelan Literary Award winner, the recipient of theDorrit Sibley Poetry Prize and the Marjorie McLaughlin Literary Scholarship. She is a recentgraduate of the M.F.A. program at the University of Pittsburgh. Her poems can be found inthe latest issues of 580 Split, Cave Moon Press, La Bloga, The Village Pariah and Hinchas dePoesia. She is currently teaching and organizing in and around Hollister.
Sam Pereira, who lives in Los Baños, has recently published Dusting on Sunday, which will bereleased sometime in the next year from Tebot Bach, Inc. His books include The Marriage of
the Portuguese, Brittle Water, and A Cafe in Boca. An "expanded edition" of his first book is due from Tagus Press this month.
Odilia Galván Rodriguez, a poet, writer, and activist, has been involved in social justiceorganizing and helping people find their creative and spiritual voice for over two decades. Sheoffers "Empowering People Through Creative Writing" workshops internationally. She is amoderator and one of the founding members of Poets Responding to SB 1070. She also co-hosts "Poetry Express" a weekly open mike with featured poets in Berkeley.
LJ Moore’s poetry, essays, and photography have appeared in Spectrum, Midnight Zoo, Danse Macabre, Coracle, 14 Hills, Limestone, Jacket, Kalliope, Transfer, Goetry, Sidebrow, InstantCity, We Still Like, Artsmith, The Chiron Review, The Bold Italic, and Quiet Lightning. Her bookreviews have appeared in Jacket, Rain Taxi, Publisher’s Weekly, and on her regular column atExaminer.com. She is a co-founder of Small Desk Press, and is now a director for Invisible CityAudio Tours, which produces surreal audio tours created by local writers, composers and visualartists. Moore was a 2010 writer in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts and lives in SanFrancisco.
Rea Freudenberger lives and writes in San Francisco. She is the former editor in chief ofFourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. When not running amok in the streets, she is currentlyattempting to become the coolest lit nerd that she knows, with no success in sight.
Adam David Miller has served the San Francisco Bay area as teacher, writer, editor, publisher,radio and television programmer and producer. He has received many awards, the PENOakland Lifetime Achievement Award his latest. His memoir, Ticket to Exile, the story of hislife up until his entry into WWII in the Navy, is now an e-book. Mr. Miller’s book about the postWWII phase of his life, is pending, and will be published by Heyday Press.
Rico Pabón was born into a family of musicians and has released five full-length albumsand has appeared on numerous compilations and collaborations. Pabón has had his songsplaced on nighttime television dramas "October Road" and "CSI: Miami." Pabón performs withAguacero, an Afro Puerto Rican bomba group, as singer and percussionist and most recentlybecame the lead emcee for Ensemble Mik Nawooj's rap/classical opera.
Pos Mua is a Merced College instructor and the editor of the first Hmong anthology of poetry,How Do I Begin, as well as his own book of poetry, Where The Torches Are Burning.
Chella Courington is a writer and teacher. With a Ph.D. in British literature and an M.F.A. inpoetry, she teaches at Santa Barbara City College.
Truong Tran is a poet, visual artist and creative writing instructor and the author of fivecollections of prose poems. He has published both nationally and internationally, appearingin Europe and South America at invitational events. His visual works have been shown inSan Francisco galleries, and his show, “At War,” had its premiere at the SOMA art gallery in February.
Rick D’Elia is a poet and teacher. He grew up in Massachusetts and played four years ofcollege hockey on a nationally ranked team. He teaches at WritersCorps in San Francisco andis an amateur boxer.
Safiya Martinez is a playwright, poet and educator. She is currently working on a one-womanshow about being a first-year teacher in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She has performedher self-produced works in New York City and the Bay area.
Paul Ocampo is the author of Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace with Maxine Hong Kingston.He is also published in Walang Hiya: Literature Taking Risks Toward Liberatory Practice,Lodestar Quarterly, among others. He earned an M.A. in Asian American Studies at UCLA, andan M.F.A. in creative writing at Arizona State University. He is currently working on a novel.
Jennifer Reimer has an M.F.A. in writing from the University of San Francisco. Her poetry andfiction have appeared Our Stories, The Denver Quarterly, The Berkeley Poetry Review, TheChaffey Review, 580 Split, Tinfish, Puerto del Sol, Weave, Zoland, and 14 Hills. She lecturesin Chicano/a Studies at UC Berkeley and is the recipient of the 2011 Gloria Anzaldúa Awardfor Independent Scholars, awarded by the Women’s Committee of the American StudiesAssociation. She's the co-founder of Achiote Press.
Javier Huerta is currently a doctoral student at UC Berkeley where his research interests includethe naughty poetics of Keats and the rhythm of immigration. His most recent book of poems,American Copia, based on the statement he was asked to write when he received his legalstatus in the United States, “I am going to the grocery store . . .” has received much acclaim, asdid his previous work, Some Clarifications y otros poemas, which received the 31st Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from UC Irvine.