Backyard Poems-Sharon Coleman-Alameda, California 2015

ORGANIZER: Sharon Coleman

Backyards 2015: Poets for Local Change,

a reading for the world-wide 100 000 Poets for Change reading

 Saturday September 26, from 7:00–9:00pm

Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru Street (at Lincoln), Alameda, CA

Our readers:

Giovanna Capone

Nanette Deetz 

Sean Labrador y Manzano 

Connie Post 

GS Scott 

Tamila Walker 

David Welper 

Amos White 

Arisa White


Curated by Sharon Coleman 

Hosted by Jeanne Lupton and Sharon Coleman

Giovanna Capone is a poet, fiction writer, and playwright. She was raised in an Italian American neighborhood in New York, whose strong immigrant influence still resonates in her life. Giovanna’s work has appeared in Curaggia: Writing by Women of Italian Descent, Bless Me Father: Stories of Catholic Childhood, Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, Avanti Popolo: Italian-American Writers Sail Beyond Columbus, Queer View Mirror 2, Lesbian & Gay Short Short Fiction, Fuori: Essays by Italian/American Lesbians and Gays, and The Paterson Literary Review. Giovanna’s play, Her Kiss, was produced by Luna Sea Women’s Performance Project. She also co-edited Hey Paesan! Writing by Lesbians & Gay Men of Italian Descent. Her current project is an anthology by lesbian writers, tentatively entitled Dispatches from Lesbian America. Her first book, published in Jan. 2015, is entitled: IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD: POETRY AND PROSE FROM AN ITALIAN-AMERICAN. Giovanna lives in Oakland, where she works as a public librarian and taught poetry writing workshops through California Poets in the Schools.

Nanette Bradley Deetz is a Dakota/Cherokee/German poet and writer whose poetry appears in the anthologies Turtle Island to Abya Yala: A Love Anthology of Art and Poetry by Native American and Latina Women (Malinalli Press, 2011), Turning A Train of Thought Upside Down (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2012), Alameda Island Theme Poems 2004, 2005, &2006 (Alameda Island Poets Chapter Calif. Federation of Chaparral Poets 2006), Peanut Butter Poetry Jamboree 2002-2007 (Mary Rudge, Alameda Poet Laureate). She is a journalist for Indian Country Today, Native News On Line, and The Alameda Journal. When not writing, Ms. Deetz teaches for Oakland Unified School District and the Dept. of Rehabilitation.

Sean Labrador y Manzano lives on the island off the coast of Oakland and imagines snorkeling or canoeing every day in his birthplace of Hawai’i. He edits the print journal Conversations at the Wartime Café; founder of the reading series Mixer 2.0, an M.F.A.; and curated the symposium From Trauma to Catharsis: Performing the Asian Avant-Garde With Dillon Westbrook and Robert Woodcock, he performs as Jose Rizal in the ninety-minute jazz choreo-poem, “Das Kapital, Volume 4, Elimination of the Industrial Phase and the Accumulation of Debt,” which was excerpted at the SF Jazz Poetry Festival, 2014. This year he did a whirlwind tour of conferences discussing Mark Twain’s Anti-Imperialist Writings to the Asian Avant Garde.

Connie Post is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore. (2005 to 2009)  Her work has appeared in Calyx, Spoon River Poetry Review, Crab Creek Review, Slipstream, The Big Muddy, Valparaiso Poetry Review.  Her awards include the Caesura Poetry Award, the Dirty Napkin Cover Prize and 2nd prize in the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. Her chapbook “And when the When the Sun Drops” won the 2012 Aurorean Editor’s choice Award. Her first book “Floodwater” was released by Glass Lyre Press in 2014 and won the Lyrebird Award.  As Poet Laureate, she started the reading series “Ravenswood” which continues to this day.  She started a youth poetry critique group as well.  Connie currently curates the popular Valona Deli Second Sunday Poetry Series.

GS Scott moved from the east coast to California in l963 when many believed that if just get together and work hard there might be a perfect world. She’s spent much of her life learning from children as a mother and as a teacher. She’s a generous soul at the heart of any community she’s in. Her writing is concerned with daily life, how private and public intersect.

Since Tamila Walker was introduced to poetry in the fifth grade, it has been a prevalent force in her life. It was the first form of expression that allowed her raw desire to be heard, to tell the truths that many didn’t want to speak of, to reveal the worlds that many have never heard of. Poetry was key to unlocking the bounds of the voiceless that saturated the community where she grew up, in West Oakland, CA. Creating an oasis of space inside a place of fear and turmoil, poetry was then and still is, the one thing Tamila can truly escape to and suffer no reprimand of how she felt. She is a twice-published poet in the Milvia Street journal with an arsenal of other writings, and she’s looking for the chance to flood the world with a timeless poetic analysis of the reality at present and of the past.

David Welper’s book Lookbaby deals with the absurdity and immaturity of how we look at our surroundings.  It was reviewed on…and Paul Corman Roberts says, “It’s a damn fine book.”  He has an MA from Wayne State University. His work appears in Cricket, Rivet, Denver Poetry Map, Earl of Plaid, Redfez, Riverbabble.  He’s been a featured reader in NYC, Detroit, and the Bay Area (at Writing Without Walls, Under the Influence, Passages on the Lake, Naked Bulb, and Nomadic Press).  His recent book review of Noah Eli Gordon’s work can be found on  He volunteers in the local Lit community and is a Contributing Poetry Editor at RedFez.  He just finished a new manuscript called Sorry Sir, We’re Gonna Have To Ask You To Leave, which is his take on the Poet as loner/outcast.   He is also psychiatric nurse.  Jazz, redheads, and sushi are some of his favorite things.

Amos White is an award winning American haiku poet and author recognized for his vivid imagery and breathless interpretations. He was a Finalist in the NPR National Cherry Blossom haiku Contest 2013; and received First Place in “The Witt Literary Journal” Haiku Writing Contest. He is the author of the book, “The Sound of the Web: Haiku and Poetry on Facebook and Twitter” (CreateSpace, 2013). Amos serves as host of the celebrated poetry reading series, The Heart of the Muse, in Alameda, California; Board Member, Bay Area Generations: a reading series for the generations; Board Member, Rhythmix Cultural Works; is a member of Alameda Island Poets, and also California Writers Club – Berkeley; and an active reader supporting local San Francisco Bay Area poetry groups and internationally.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the author of the chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon, as well as the full-length collections Hurrah’s Nest and A Penny Saved. Arisa is a founding editor for HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA. She was a 2013-14 recipient of an Investing in Artist Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, an advisory board member for Flying Object, and a BFA faculty member at Goddard College.

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