Struggling to process and confront anti-Black and anti-Asian racism within your social networks? Explore the healing power of creative writing!
Eth-Noh-Tec storytellers Robert Kikuchi Yngojo and Nancy Wang, poet Jennifer Hasegawa, poet/KFPFA journalist Dennis J Bernstein, poet/musician/KPFA & POO DJ Avotcja discuss how social justice informs their art.
Participants will be invited to engage in creative writing exercises around questions like: What arts do you resonate with and why? What are your creative outlets? If I could, this is the story I’d tell.
NOTE: The workshop will be hosted on Zoom and YouTube Live with a sliding scale fee of $5~$15 to help support our presenters, organizers, tech and labor costs. If you are interested in participating but are unable to afford the ticketing tier, please email email@example.com and we would be happy to work with you on making this event accessible.
This workshop is presented in partnership with Write Now! SF Bay, UC Berkeley Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, and Eastwind Books of Berkeley.
Recommended Readings from Eastwind Books of Berkeley.
Photos from left to right: Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and Nancy Wang (Eth-Noh-Tec), Jennifer Hasegawa, Dennis Bernstein, Avotcja.
Jennifer Hasegawa is a poet and photographer. She’s sold funeral insurance door-to-door and had her suitcase stolen from a plastic surgery clinic in Paraguay. The manuscript for her first collection of poetry, La Chica’s Field Guide to Banzai Living, received the Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award. Hasegawa’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared in The Adroit Journal, Bamboo Ridge, and Tule Review; and is forthcoming in Bennington Review and Vallum. She was born and raised in Hilo, Hawai‘i and lives in San Francisco.
Dennis J Bernstein lives in San Francisco. is an award-winning poet and investigative reporter. He is the host and executive producer of Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio. He is the award-winning host/producer of Flashpoints, syndicated on public and community radio stations across the United States. Bernstein is the recipient of many awards including the 2015 Pillar Award in Broadcast Journalism. His essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Denver Post, Philadelphia Enquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, Der Spiegel, and many more. He is the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom and Five Oceans in a Teaspoon.
Recent Works: Five Oceans in a Teaspoon, Paper Crown Press 2019
Radio: Flashpoints, Mondays-Fridays, 5-6 pm
Avotcja (pronounced Avacha) has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe. She’s an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist. She’s a popular Bay Area DJ & Radio Personality & leader of the group “Avotcja & Modúpue.” She is featured on the CD Matter Is by the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra + voices.
Spoken word with Electric Squeezebox Orchestra:
“Matter Is” and “Soundly Metaphysical,” Matter Is, Electric Squeezebox Orchestra + Voices
Poetry online (see poem below):
Bebop, Cubop and the Musical Truth, Tuesdays 8-10pm in KPFA.org or KPFA-FM 94.1
La Verdad Musical (the Musical Truth), Fridays njoon-3pm on www.KOO.org or 89.5 FM
Monthly Open Mic:
Every 4th Saturday 3-5pm. The Music of the Word (La Palabra Musical)
YouTube performance Avotcja and Modupue – Concert at Bird & Beckett Books, Jan 5, 2020, featuring Avotcja Jiltonilro, Sandi Poindexter (violin), Francis Wong (sax & flute) Jon Jang (piano), Sascha Jacobsen (bass), Raul Ramirez (Afro-Peruvian multi-percussion). Video by Lenore Chinn.
I Know We Can!!!
We have been here before
We’ve sang in the face of the Klan
And danced with feet all bloody
On the decks of Slave Ships
On the “Longest Walk”
On Freedom Marches, in Jail cells
And Concentration Camps
That we we’re supposed to call our home
We know this place
The Concrete Jungles, the Reservations
A curse of & by the uncivilized
Who have forgotten
The healing beauty of Grass & Trees
And the gift of clean Water to drink
And have lost their ability to love
We are familiar with
The senseless mayhem of perpetual War
The addictive lust for power
The intoxication of blood lust
And those who prefer
The inhumane sacrifice of their Souls
As they try to steal ours
We have been here before
We know the Hanging Tree, the rope
The rape of our bodies, our Cultures
The theft of our Songs & our Children
We have swam through the slime of misogyny
We’ve been here… we know
Racism, greed & stupidity have no conscious
And it is only a matter of time
Before the insatiable self-destruct
Before they devour each other
We’ve been through it all before
And we can get through it all again
We just have to be careful
The madness of this Narcotic is contagious
We must not get drunk on the stench of this poison
We have too much work to do
We must turn this suicidal Drug
Into fertilizer & let our tears
Fall down on deserts, glaciers & jungles
And run down the faces of
Good hearted people everywhere
I cry & I cry & I cry &
My tears come down like a Waterfall
An unending Waterfall for all the victims of
We have been here before & together we can heal!
I know we can!!!
CREATIVE WRITING FACILITATOR
Shizue Seigel is a Japanese American writer born just after her family’s release from WWII incarceration. She’s led community writing projects for Centers for Disease Control/UCSF, National Japanese American Historical Society, African American Arts & Culture Complex, and others. She was written or edited six books, and her memoir and poetry have been widely published elsewhere. She directs Write Now! SF Bay, which supports Bay Area writers of color through workshops, events and anthologies.
CIVIL LIBERTIES UNITED, Pease Press, San Francisco, 2019. www.peasepress/com
ENDANGERED SPECIES, ENDURING VALUES. Pease Press, San Francisco, 2018
“Who Do You Think You Are?”, L. D. Green and Kelechi Ubozoh, eds,
We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices From Radical Mental Health – Stories and Research Challenging the Biomedical Model, North Atlantic Books 2019
“Swimming in the New Normal,” Deborah Santa, ed, All the Women in My Family Sing, NTTB Press 2018. https://aerbook.com/maker/productcard-3248263-3202.html