Layli Long Soldier is a poet, a mother, a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, and a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She wrote her latest collection of poetry as a response to the congressional resolution of "Apology to Native Peoples," which apologized to Native Americans for their mistreatment by the United States government signed by President Obama in 2010. The resolution is described by Layli as a silent gesture, tacked onto the Defense appropriations bill without any ceremonial acknowledgment or invitation to tribal leaders to witness its signing. Now, Standing Rock has become shorthand for this same painful history of ill-conceived policies and depredation.
HOLD THIS STONE is a two-night performance (Nov 9 and Nov 10) of original poetry, performance, and dialogue by Nikiko Masumoto and Brynn Saito, fourth generation Japanese American writers and artists. How do we carry, reinvigorate and reimagine the weight of our histories? The art will guide us through modes of listening. You can purchase a ticket for Nov 9th or Nov 10th at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3098045
The Yonsei Memory Project, a collaboration led by Yonsei Artists, Nikiko Masumoto and Brynn Saito, utilizes arts-based inquiry to generate dialogue connecting the World War II incarceration of the Japanese American community with current civil liberties debates.
The CURTAIN 5 TheatreGROUP production of HOLD THIS STONE is a fundraiser to benefit the Yonsei Memory Project and its Fiscal Sponsor, The Fresno Arts Council. On Friday, November 10th, Dr. Samina Najmi, California State University Fresno Professor, who teaches courses in contemporary multiethnic U.S. literature, will facilitate Q&A with the audience following the performance. Your ticket purchase to HOLD THIS STONE is a tax deductible contribution to Yonsei Memory Project-Fresno Arts Council.
Poet and CIIS director and educator, Brynn Saito, will share new work and discuss the imaginative power of storytelling in conjuring the past and calling in the future. Brynn will also discuss her work with the Yonsei Memory Project, an interdisciplinary, arts-based collaboration connecting the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans with current civil liberties struggles. YMP is a community-based initiative developed by Brynn and her collaborator, Nikiko Masumoto, a farmer, writer, and performer. YMP relies on the power of art-making for inquiry and change.
Intimate Ecologies: Crisis, Community, and the Poem: This talk will inquire into the limits, complexities, and possibilities of community-based poetry and poetics in this moment of social and economic precarity. Drawing on recent work with the Yonsei Memory Project—an arts-based initiative surfacing connections between the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans and current civil liberties debates—we’ll explore a number of threads, questions: What is the role of poem-making and poem-speaking in maintaining communal memory? What are the implications of considering the poet as diagnoser, preserver, creator, or disrupter within a particular collective? Considering “community” as one form of public intimacy/assembly, we’ll ask: can the poem, too, enact a coalitional space and way of loving? We’ll move through a variety of fields (zen buddhism; critical theory) and conjure writings by Judy Grahn, June Jordan, Gloria Anzaldúa and others in order to trace these lines of inquiry.
JOIN US FOR A LITERARY READING BY THE 17 SYLLABLES ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS COLLECTIVE. Islands occupy a special place in the imagination. They can inspire dreams of fantasy, pleasure and escape, or they can represent loneliness, confinement or a way station on a refugee’s journey. Our panel of writers from the Asian Pacific diaspora will share stories of islands and their particular subcultures, the tension between wanting to belong and wanting to break free, and the uncommon power of these meaningful places that inhabit us as much as we inhabit them. Our writings are set in Guam, Hawai'i, Micronesia, Tahiti, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, as well as the metaphorical islands of illness, incarceration, exile and spiritual growth. The reading will be at PRAXIS, 3047 24th Street, around the corner from the vibrant murals of Balmy Alley.
I'll get to host these wonderful poets! Lee Herrick, Sara Mumolo, Raina J. Leon, Derrick Carr, and musical guest, ContainHer. Lines and lyrics from Litquake Nation! Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors. FB invite here, and website here.
10 Objects, 10 Stories: Ten members of the University of San Francisco community respond to ten unique objects in Something from Nothing: Art and Handcrafted Objects from America's Concentration Camps. Artifacts were created by people of Japanese ancestry while being held in detention centers—Department of Justice camps and ten permanent camps. Perspectives incorporate personal history and stories, scholarly analysis, and creative expression. The event will begin with brief 1-2 minute perspectives from each presenter and followed by a reception. Please RSVP here.
Excited to host these folks! Facebook invite. Website. Lines and lyrics from Litquake Nation! Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors. With James Cagney, Sandra Garcia Rivera, Bruce Snider, myself, and Hierophonic.
Crafting Something From Nothing: Voices from the Camps, Fromm Hall - FR 115 - Berman Room, University of San Francisco
Join the Thacher Gallery for an event featuring poetry, memoir, and performances by survivors and their ancestors. Participants include Brian Komei Dempster, Florence Ohmura Dobashi, Sato Hashizume, Barbara Horiuchi, Kazuko Iwahashi, Janice Mirikitani, Jon Osaki, Brynn Saito, Toru Saito, and Harumi Serata. Co-sponsored by USF’s Asian Pacific American Studies department and the Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies program.
Lines and lyrics from Litquake Nation! Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors. Featuring MK Chavez, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Shelley Wong, Rachel Richardson, and music by AstraLogik. FB Event Info.
Inside Story Time: DEFIANCE, on Thursday May 25th, 7-9 pm, at Ale Industries, 3096 E. 10th Street, Oakland, will feature Micheline Aharaonian Marcom (A Brief History of Yes), Brynn Saito (Power Made Us Swoon), Nazelah Jamision (Evolutionary Heart), Vernon Keeve III (Southern Migrant Mixtape), and Josh Wilson. MCd by James Warner (All Her Father's Guns). More info here.
California poetry has looked to the future, as well as to its complex past and the present, as a way of understanding our place at the edge of the continent. California is about the magic of the land and the promise of possibility— yet the question remains, for whom? Seven contemporary California poets celebrate the diverse poetry of seven distinguished California writers, hoping to provide a lens through which to experience these visions of a life lived in the harsh clarity of a Western light.
Featuring Douglas Kearney reading Charles Bukowski; Victoria Chang reading Diane Di Prima; Brendan Constantine reading Wanda Coleman; Brynn Saito reading Adrienne Rich; Kim Dower reading Gertrude Stein; Amy Gerstler reading Czeslaw Milosz; and Blas Falconer reading Juan Felipe Herrera.
Haiku written in the Japanese American incarceration camps will be read by different performers in this intimate, haunting theatrical production organized by Peter McDonald, Dean of Library Services at the Henry Madden Library. Visit here to RSVP.
A reading with Optimism One and Micah Perks.
Art + POETRY + WINE
Inspired by Litquake's Flight of Poets event, poets Tess Taylor, Dean Rader, Brynn Saito, and Indigo Moor will each read a selection of their poetry in response to art in the Pairings exhibition. Chris Sawyer will bring it all together with a different Sonoma County wine to complement each poem/art pair. For reservations and further information, go to http://www.svma.org/calendar/events/pairings-senses or phone 707.939.7862 x13
Quiet Lightning, California State Parks, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy present Poetry in Parks 2016. This 3rd installation of Poetry in Parks is a free, day-long festival in the historic Cushing Memorial-Mountain Theater in Mount Tamalpais State ParkThe program includes Quiet Lightning’s flagship submission-based literary mixtape, selected through a blind process and published in a book handed out to the first 200 people in attendance, to be followed by an outstanding group of poets that includes Barbara Jane Reyes, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Brynn Saito, Arisa White, Charlie Getter, and Andrew Paul Nelson, and culminates in this year’s Neighborhood Heroes, featuring readings by CA Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, Pulitzer Prize-winning US Poet Laureate Emeritus Kay Ryan, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets Jane Hirshfield, San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia, sci-fi fount and Environmental Fellow Kim Stanley Robinson, and Editor of the New York Times Magazine poetry column, Matthew Zapruder.
“At Home On Earth” is a Living Arts Magazine evening, featuring Judy Grahn, Brynn Saito, Anne Carol, and Asia Morganthaler. Four artists collaborate in a multi-art, multi-cultural, multi-generational show of beauty and caring expressed in poetry, music, and paintings. How do we feel toward earth and her creatures? How can we reunite with the matrix of life in our personal lives? We will include a “live article” looking back at the 1969 history of Berkeley’s People’s Park demonstrations as recorded in Harold Adler’s book, The Whole World’s Watching.
Beast Crawl Presents Kundiman Fellows exploring the Asian American experience in/through the poetic line confronting the boundaries of face, disillusion, being human, being fierce.
Readers: Margaret Rhee, Iris Law, Brynn Saito, and Sally Wen Mao
Curator: Mg Roberts
A Red Hen Press reading at Diesel. DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland hosts another installment of Poetry Flash on Sunday, July 10th at 3pm. The featured guest poets will be Brynn Saito and Jacqueline Tchakalian.
Writing is a tool of inquiry and empowerment for many poets and writers of color; with words, we carve and cobble the "farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears," as Audre Lorde once wrote. Join us on Friday, May 27th (6:15-8pm, CIIS first floor) for flash readings and a panel discussion exploring the themes of writing, identity, community, and empowerment. CIIS faculty and alums Regina Louise, Kenji Liu, Brynn Saito, Diego Basdeo Fitzgerald, and others TBD will read and sign books. We'll also celebrate the launch of the 2016 Interdisciplinary Writers Lab (a collaboration between Kearny Street Workshop and the MFA Programs at CIIS) and Mission At Tenth Inter-Arts Journal, vol. 6.