Sharon Coleman/Jeanne Lupton- Backyards: Poets for Local Change Alameda, California 2019

Saturday, September 28, 7-9pm

Frank Bette Center for the Arts

1601 Paru St., Alameda, California 9450

Come join us for a poetry reading by eight incredible poets who are also dedicated to creating change locally and beyond. This is part of the ongoing 100 000 Poets for Change, a global poetry reading on the last Saturday of September.

We are also honoring Jeanne Lupton, who has spent years running the reading series at Frank Bette. She is retiring and this is her final reading.

Rohan DaCosta
Alison Hart
Glenn Ingersoll
Tobey Kaplan
Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross
Dena Rod
Kimi Sugioka
Maurisa Thompson

Curated and MC’d by Sharon Coleman
Hosted by Jeanne Lupton

Rohan DaCosta is a multi-disciplinary artist from the city of Chicago, working primarily through photography, writing, and song. Rohan explores complex dilemmas, and frequencies found in lovers, in families, in ecosystems, and in places. His book of photography, poetry, and song, The Edge of Fruitvale, was published by Nomadic Press on April 28, 2018, and has been nominated for a California Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a CLMP Firecracker Award. His photography has been featured at The Flight Deck Gallery as a solo exhibition titled Ordinary People (2018). His photography has also been featured at Root Division Gallery as part of a group exhibition titled Let Me Be a Witness (2018). In 2018, he was awarded the Individual Artist Funding Grant by the City of Oakland for his arts exhibition, Trap : Trauma : Transformation (April 9 – May 18).

Alison Hart’s debut novel Mostly White (Torrey House Press, 2018) was praised by the National Book Award-winning author Isabel Allende as “So compelling it gave me goosebumps…” Alison identifies as a mixed race African American, Passamaquoddy Native American, Irish, Scottish and English woman of color. She is the author of the poetry collection Temp Words (Cosmo Press, 2015), a play Mother Daughter Dance, and her poems appear in Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California, (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2016).

Glenn Ingersoll works for the Berkeley Public Library, hosting Clearly Meant, a reading & interview series, out of the Claremont Branch. His longest stint running a series was Poetry & Pizza in San Francisco, a monthly reading co-curated with Clive Matson and Katharine Harer, which lasted for seven years. Glenn Ingersoll’s multi-volume prose-poem-epic ‘Thousand’ (Mel C Thompson Pub) is available from Amazon; ebook at Smashwords. He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recent work has appeared in Sparkle + Blink, riverbabble, Humble Pie, and as a Zoetic Press chapbook.

Tobey Kaplan, originally from New York City, with degrees from Syracuse and San Francisco State Universities, has been teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area for forty years. An active member of California Poets in the Schools and Associated Writing Programs, Ms. Kaplan has given readings, workshops and presentations throughout the country regarding creative process, literacy and social change. For several years, she worked with the Native TANF program/Washoe Tribe to coordinate a range of educational services and identify career building programs for the Native American community in Alameda Country.
Ms. Kaplan has received grants from the California Arts Council, 1979-1982 to serve as poet in residence at community mental health centers. Her honors include: being named Dorland Mountain Colony Fellow, honorable mention Crazyhorse poetry prize 2008 and Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts, as well as being the recipient of a Bay Area Award (New Langton Arts, 1996). Among her publications are: Across the Great Divide ( Androgyne, 1995). Her poems are published in numerous literary anthologies.

Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross is a multi-talented, award-winning Bay Area Native well-versed in singing, poetry/spoken word, and journalism. Aqueila has studied and performed throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and is a graduate of Napa Valley College and University of California, Berkeley. Her book of poetry, Stop Hurting and Dance, published by Pochino Press, is a collection of stories overcoming fear, oppression, gentrification, and police brutality; she honors what it means to live with resilience, love and prosperity. She holds the titles of Ms. Oakland Plus America 2014, SF Raw Performing Artist of the Year 2015, and was an Oakland Voices-KALW Community Journalist awardee in 2016 and Greater Bay Area Journalism Awardee in 2017.

Dena Rod is a writer, editor, and poet based in the Bay Area. They run the RADAR Productions weblog and are the Assistant Creative Nonfiction Editor at homology lit. They were selected for RADAR Productions’ Show Us Your Spines Residency, Kearny Street Workshop’s Interdisciplinary Writer’s Lab, and Winter Tangerine’s Summer Writer’s Workshop. Through creative nonfiction essays and poetry, Dena works to illuminate their diasporic experiences of Iranian American heritage and queer identity, combating negative stereotypes of their intersecting identities in the mainstream media

Kimi Sugioka is a poet, songwriter and educator who tries to confront and illuminate the cognitive dissonance she experiences at every turn in society, politics and media. She has an MFA from The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Publications include various anthologies: Standing Strong! Fillmore & Japantown and Endangered Species, Enduring Values, and Civil Liberties United. She has published a book of poetry, The Language of Birds, and, soon to be published, Wile & Wing.

Maurisa Thompson was born and raised in San Francisco, and is a proud alum of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. A poet and educator, she is a graduate of UC Riverside’s MFA program and is currently teaching English at John O’Connell High School in San Francisco. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pedestal Magazine, The Black Scholar, La Bloga, Cosmonauts Avenue, the anthologies A Feather Floating on the Water: Poems for Our Children and En Vuelo: In Celebration of el Tecolote, and The Haight-Ashbury Journal, which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize. She has worked with arts organizations including Richmond’s RAW Talent and the Gluck Fellowship program at UC Riverside. She is currently working on her first poetry manuscript that combines history and folklore with her grandparents’ stories from Louisiana and San Francisco, and a middle-grade novel exploring police brutality, which won the support of a Walter Grant from We Need Diverse Books.


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