May News & June Announcements

May was a fantastic celebration of poetry, art and community at numerous events.  Some highlights:

Legacy of Poetry Day  on May 5

Under the direction of Alan Soldofsky and San Jose State University, this annual event went big at the Hammer Theatre Center with poetry, music, dancing and theatre.  Thanks to all who made it happen!

With poet Lorenz Dumuk and U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera

My family with Juan Felipe

Pachanga on the Paseo!

Hanging in the lounge before the event.

L-R: Arts Commissioners Richard James and Ramona Snyder, PLOTUS, Arts Commissioner Ron Muriera, me, SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia


PLOTUS and Lorenz exchanging artwork!


Out of Our Minds with Rachelle Escamilla

Thank you, Rachelle Escamilla, for having me and Darrell Dela Cruz on your show on May 4th!

If you want to listen in, here it is: Out of Our Minds

ImagineSJ Showcase #8: Poetry

May 12th at Anno Domini was a gathering of spoken word poets talking craft and sharing work with a full house in the gallery. Panel moderated by the amazing Mighty Mike McGee.  Thanks to Future Arts Now!, Anno Domini, Kooltura Marketing and Silicon Valley De-Bug. Check out this Pop Up Editorial by Silicon Valley De-Bug.

Lips Uncurled, Eyes Forward 

Congratulations to Quynh-Mai Nguyen for creating a beautiful community space for poetry, art, activism, dialogue, food and music. The May POETree was created at this event. Here’s part of it: 

be careful with your wings. 
tiempos suaves. swaying in and around me

all the dancers come to one, two three

my everything, everything

is nothing

for once
scars are beautiful. they mean you survived. 
in navigating these grey waters

what if i knew what i was doing?
for community, for vulnerability

for full and complex brilliance

i would build a bullet train

to connect the continents
freedom will rise

justice will cry

heart will shine

my lips are uncurled
lift your head or the crown falls.

a better world is coming.

welcome home,

familiar faces.
the color of my sadness

paints the mountain mist

that surrounds you
the color of my sadness

is the headstone 

of hospital tile white,

the sallow green curtains

that did not give back

my godmother’s name.
ghost hugs. 

you will get them

when you are feeling down.

you won’t feel them,

but they will be there.

you know it’s love

when its light fills an entire community

and everyone wants to play 
in san jose, city by the bay

that gets little play,

but, hey . . . that’s okay
the color of my happiness

is my velvet coated sleeve,

and all the words 

i would bleed for you,

if my mouth knew how 

to sing your name
thud. a sharp violet

the violin sharp

enter the woman in white.

twelve minor chords.

perhaps a b sharp.

the linoleum sings a dirty song

of freedom
wings, arms, legs, heart, mind


don’t let me be hurt.

is it safe?
the pressure of approval

is debilitating

how could i have traveled

so far with you
before i die, i want to feel your warmth.

the color of my sadness

leaves footprints from your front door.

~ POETree, May 2016

Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 11 at Studio Bongiorno

Tuesday, June 14 at Works/San Jose 

Media Poetry Studio summer day camp

Also coming up:

June POETree will take place along with a poetry workshop for students at College of Adaptive Arts.

Stay tuned for other summer activites, including workshops in collaboration with Santa Clara County Public Library, announcement of call for poetry submissions, POETree at summer events, and LitLumpia Fest on Sunday, July 17! 


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