Author Archives: arlene biala

May Highlights and June Announcements

May 3 at the Hammer Theater – Legacy of Poetry Day

I am still in awe of the dedicated and stellar people who worked so diligently to make this magical night happen! From the students and faculty of SJSU, Poetry Center San Jose, Contemporary Asian Theatre Scene (CATS), production manager Rob Riddle, Hammer Theatre Center staff, all the poets and musicians, and the people who came out to the event . . . Salamat to all. Special thanks to Alan Soldofsky for once again possessing the mojo and madness to herd poets, musicians and more.

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Big thanks to Tad Malone at Metro News for including me in the recent literary issue. The article is available here.


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June 13, 7pm.  Join us for the spring mother tongue book release!

I’m so excited to debut this collection of 23 local poets.  100% of book sales at the release party will be donated to Poetry Center San Jose and Works/San Jose! If you can’t make it but want to buy a copy, click here.

The POETree will also be ready for you!


Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on Facebook event page.

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Cupertino Poet Laureate Ann Muto has this event coming up on June 24:


Questions? Contact Ann Muto.

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Details on the Facebook page.

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Subscribe to his great events list here.

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April Highlights & May Announcements

 National Poetry Month left me breathless (in a good way) and I may not make it through the end of this post before nodding off in exhaustion! From school visits to judging poetry contests, there is no doubt in my mind that poetry is very much alive in the County and beyond.

A few highlights:

11-year old America Cihuapilli Irineo kicked off National Poetry Month at San Jose City Hall by sharing poetry for the council invocation on April 4th. 



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Annual SJMA Poetry Invitational on April 20th was fantastic! Thank you to all the participating poets; Jeff Bordona, Paulina Vu and San Jose Museum of Art; Poetry Center San Jose; and all who attended. 

To see photos from the event, please click  here (password is Poems) for photos by Phillip Pasag, Pasag Photography. Here are some of my favorites:

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Join us for San Jose State University’s Legacy of Poetry Day on May 3rd!

Full schedule and details here.



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Just released!  spring mother tongue: Poetic Voices of Santa Clara County

So happy to publish this collection of 23 local poets. Please save the date: June 13th for the reading and release party. Details soon.

Book is currently available for purchase here.

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Details on Facebook event page.

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Details on Facebook event page.

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Details on Facebook event page.

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Details on Facebook event page.

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Subscribe to this great events list here.

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March Highlights & April Announcements

National Poetry Month is Here!

What I love most about being a poet in the South Bay Area is that there is a menu of delicious poetry events EVERY month, not just during April.  So I will share the April menu in this post, but first some highlights from March:

Teen Poetry workshop & POETree pop up at Saratoga Library on March 28th. Thank you to Silicon Valley Reads, Saratoga Library and the Teen Advisory Board for a great night!

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Pinays Write! Poetry Workshop – LEAD Filipino’s Fly Pinays Leadership Summit on March 11th.

I was blown away by my 30+ workshop participants! Smart, inspiring, empowered & empowering Pinays. Salamat to all of them and esp. to Angelica Cortez and Aurelia Flores Bailey for inviting me to participate.

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Poets & Film at Cinequest 2017 on March 3rd at SJSU Yoshihiro Uchida Hall brought out an eclectic mix of poets, music and poetry films. Thanks Kimy Martinez and Cinequest!

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Kicking off National Poetry Month!

April 4 at 1:30pm, San Jose City Hall: Invocation in recognition of National Poetry Month. I have invited a fierce young poet, 11-year old America Cihuapilli Irineo (on the right in photo below) to share a poem for the City Council Invocation at 1:30pm. If you are able to attend, please come! Location and directions here.

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April 20, 7pm


Last year’s Poetry Invitational was jam- packed and extraordinary. Please join me, San Jose Museum of Art and Poetry Center San Jose along with nine #HellaPoetas for a magical night of art, poetry, entertainment and . . . shenanigans. We must have shenanigans. 

Details on the Facebook event page.

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April 24, 6:30pm 2017 SVLaureates Celebration

This year’s Artist Laureates include San Jose’s own Joe Miller (On the Wall category) and Cathleen Miller (Off Stage category)! Also, as a proud little sister I am overjoyed that my brother Jimmy Biala has been named Artist Laureate (On Stage category)! Congratulations to all!

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Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on the Facebook event page.

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Details on Facebook event page.

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San Jose’s own Mighty Mike McGee is non-stop with a myriad of cool events and a monthly calendar to get you involved! Please check it out here.

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Save the Dates

May 3rd, 5pm at Hammer Theater Center: LEGACY OF POETRY event. Details coming very soon!

June 13, 7pm at Works San Jose: spring mother tongue Release Party. Stay tuned for details!

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On a note of gratitude and praise:

Thank you, our dear Juan Felipe Herrera, for two terms as Poet Laureate of the US and for a lifetime as PLOTU (Poet Laureate of the Universe).  Pa’lante!

At Stanford University on March 6, 2017

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February Highlights & March Announcements

Silicon Valley Reads 2017 includes an important exhibit at the Euphrat Museum of Art at DeAnza College that runs until March 23. “Justice for All?” had a full house at the reception on February 15th. Thank you to Diana Argabrite at the museum for inviting me to read poetry as part of it.  I highly recommend you check it out!



Great article highlighting the exhibit here.
Thanks also to Vicky Reader, Morgan Hill Library and Friends of the Library for having me and the POETree for another Silicon Valley Reads event last night!


Be sure to check out the Silicon Valley Reads 2017 calendar of events. There are a variety of author appearances, writing contests, film screenings, social justice forums and more throughout the County.

On Feb. 7 at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park I was honored to share the stage with Barbara Jane Reyes, Veronica Montes and Janice Sapigao for a Pinay Writers event. Thanks to Nicole Hughes and Andrew Unger at Kepler’s for making it happen!

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Friday, March 3 at 7:30pm

Poets & Film ~ A new event of Cinequest Film Festival



More about Cinequest and tickets here.

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For details about this event and LEAD Filipino, visit the Facebook event page.

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For more information, check here.

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Visit the Facebook event page for details.
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Visit the Facebook event page for details.

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Visit the Facebook event page for details.

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Visit the Facebook event page for details.

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San Jose’s own Mighty Mike McGee is non-stop with a myriad of cool events and a monthly calendar to get you involved! Please check it out here.

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January Highlights & February Announcements

My first wish is that I hope you are all taking time to take care of yourselves so that you can care for each other. This is far easier said than done. We are indeed in challenging times and  many have been here before. Breathe. Rise. Resist. Engage in and create art! The arts will always be the powerful tool to help us work through the struggles. 

On the day we recognized Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday this year, many locals came together for a day of solidarity presented by the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI SV).

Here are some images from the gathering, including some POETree offerings.  Thank you to Demone Carter, MALI SV, the School of Arts and Culture @ MHP and all who made it happen.


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Last month I met a stunning young poet. She is 11 years old and her name is America Cihuapilli. I have invited her to share a poem for the invocation at the San Jose City Council meeting on April 4th in recognition of National Poetry Month.  Here is her poem that will be included in the spring mother tongue anthology:

My Name is America Cihuapilli

I am native, independent, and proud 

My name is America 

I stand on this land

with my feet firm on the ground.

My Land, Your Land, OUR LAND!

I AM YOUR AMERICA 

I stand for grace, liberty, and freedom

My name is Cihuapilli 

Mi nombre es Cihuapilli!

Defined as lady princess

I am a warrior woman in the making..

A Guerrera child

Noble, protective, 

Of my culture, de mi cultura

Cautious, elegant, unbreakable 

Reina sin corona

Royalty crownless

Yet, I have my castle

My land 

Mi tierra

AMERICA

I AM YOUR AMERICA CIHUAPILLI

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Please join us! I am thrilled to be presenting at Kepler’s Books along with these stellar writers. Details on the Facebook event page

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February – March 2017

I will be participating in three events for this year’s SVR program:

For all details and a full calendar of events please visit the Silicon Valley Reads 2017 Schedule. There are events for all ages.

For the Feb. 15 reception and reading at DeAnza College – Euphrat Gallery, please visit the Facebook event page

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Details on the Facebook event page

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Details on the Facebook event page

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Details on the Facebook event page

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For more information join the Facebook group page

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San Jose’s own Mighty Mike McGee is non-stop with a myriad of cool events and a monthly calendar to get you involved! Please check it out here.

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Happy New Year! December Highlights & January Announcements

Blessings to all in 2017! I hope you’ve had some time to rest, reflect and recharge.

On December 1st, ImagineSJ had its final event after 11 successful showcases.  The event was hosted by Dem One and included poetry, comedy, art, food & drink to celebrate San Jose’s arts and culture. Thank you to Future Arts Now!, the Knight Foundation and all who made it happen. POETree’s final pop up for 2016! 

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REED Magazine at Christmas in the Park on December 2nd

A fun night of poetry and stories on the Community Stage with fantastic Emcee Kimy Martinez. Thank you to Cathleen Miller and REED Magazine!

(L to R): Cathleen Miller, Al Preciado, Gary Singh, Bill Cozzini, Arlene Biala, Alan Soldofsky, Robert Pesich, Lita Kurth, Kimy Martinez

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December 13th, Poetry Center San Jose’s Well-RED at Works/San Jose presented Red Wheelbarrow 2016 

(Clockwise from top right): Joe Miller, Amy Street, Ken Weisner, Caesar Kent, Julia Rodriguez

The house was packed to celebrate the launch of the new edition of Red Wheelbarrow. Thank you, Ken Weisner, for including me in the lineup of contributing authors. Be sure to get a copy here!

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LAST CALL! 



More details here.

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SUNDAYS, 6-8pm


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Tuesday, January 10, 7pm

Details on the Facebook event page.

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Monday, January 16, 10am

Details on the Facebook event page.

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Save the Date: Tuesday, February 7, 7:30pm

(L to R): Arlene Biala, Barbara Jane Reyes, Janice Lobo Sapigao, Veronica Montes


Details on the Facebook event page.

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Silicon Valley Reads 2017

This year’s theme:


I will be participating in several events and workshops for this year’s Silicon Valley Reads program. Calendar of events coming soon!

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November News & December Announcements 

On November 18th at SV DeBug, San Jose’s own Janice Sapigao released her new poetry collection microchips for millions available from PAWA press.  It was an honor to read alongside Suzy Huerta and Lorenz Dumuk before Janice took the stage to read from her new book. Congratulations, Janice!

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5th Annual Sunrise Ceremony at the School of Arts and Culture @ MHP with Akoma Arts 

This annual event was offered in solidarity with the International Indian Treaty Council’s historic Alcatraz gathering. It is a collaboration with the School of Arts and Culture @MHP, Akoma Arts, Calpulli Tonalehqueh, New  Fire/Yancuic Xihuitl, the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee and the San Jose Black Berets to commemorate all indigenous cultures and traditions in a sunrise gathering. 

Thank you to MC and lead organizer Tamara Alvarado for inviting me to offer a poem at the gathering.

Those who attended also stood in solidarity with the Protectors at Standing Rock who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. For more information Click here. #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife

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Thursday, December 1, 6:30pm


Details on the Facebook event page

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Friday, December 2, 8pm

Details on the Facebook event page

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Friday, December 2, 6pm

Details on the Facebook event page

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Sunday, December 4, 2pm

Details on the Event page

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Wednesday, December 7, 7pm

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Tuesday, December 13, 7pm


Details on the Facebook event page

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Thursday, December 15, 7pm


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Saturday, December 17, 11am


Details on the Facebook event page

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Saturday, December 17, 8pm

Details on the Facebook event page

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SUNDAYS, 6-8pm

Please come check out the weekly open mic!


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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS 

Now through January 6th:



More details here.

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