Archive for March, 2010

2 Rumors in a Bucket choreopoem Saturday as part of TeAdaWorks Festival + new poem up!

March 26, 2010


I’ve driven to Los Angeles every night this week to sit in on rehearsal for this upcoming Saturday’s closing weekend of the TeAdaWorks New Performance Festival.  It’s the culmination of a journey that I’ve been on with eight other TeAda artists, one co-writer, a whole bunch of workshop leaders, two directors & seven very talented actors!  It seems fitting because I’ve been contemplating about my journey in southern California (which will be three years this summer!) and also about leaving it now that I’ve chosen to move to Milwaukee to begin the PhD program in Creative Writing this fall.

Since the theme of this year is collaboration in many ways, this is the first time I’m co-written a choreopoem with another writer and am grateful to my co-writer Serena Lin for suggesting that we work together in this way.  I’ve known Serena longer than any of my other friends in southern California since we met long ago working on the No on Prop 54 Race Information Ban sponsored by Ward Connerly.  We bumped into each other again at a Cornerstone Theater Company reading over six years after we first met and embarked on this journey together where we’ve simultaneously pushed and pulled each other to this (sort-of) finish line.  I’m grateful to the many hands and minds that have helped us along the way – including the other Teada artists, workshop leaders, director and choreographer, staff and actors!

After a guest appearance with our full cast on KPFK’s Flip the Script, host riKu Matsuda said it best – this show is about putting our queer/trans bodies into the histories of our communities and also experimenting with new ways to tell these stories.  If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join us to tell us what you think of our efforts and help us as we continue to develop this choreopoem and also to check out the amazing one-woman shows by two other very talented TeAda artists, Marie-Francoise Theodore and Felicia Montes.

I’m also pleased that “Gripping the Swirling Sky,” a poem I wrote before I moved to southern California has found a home in Arch Journal (thanks to Tamiko Beyer!)

Apt timing as I begin wrapping up my time in southern California to prepare for the big move.

Hope to see you along the way!

* To hear a sneak preview, check out the archive of our Flip the Script KPFK show.

* To hear a short clip of TEADAWORKS Artists Shamkea Cunningham, Marie-Francoise Theodore, Serena Lin, myself and TeAda General Manager Marie-Reine Velez on Muse Salon talk about the TEADAWORKS process and this weekend’s shows.

8th Annual TEADAWORKS New Performance Festival
Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.
4718 W. Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016.
sliding scale $10 – $15.

To reserve tickets call: 310-998-8765 or go to

March 27th at 2pm and 7 pm.
is Marie-Francoise Theodore’s semi-autobiographical piece that charts the journey of a young woman whose true identity is hidden throughout her childhood and the discovery of her true self.

Ching-In Chen and Serena W. Lin‘s multi-genre piece 2 RUMORS IN A BUCKET examines the history of “coolies” (unskilled Asian laborers employed after the fall of slavery) through choreopoem, an experimental poem-play in the tradition of Sharon Bridgforth’s “jazz theater” aesthetic, which incorporates movement, performance and “found text.” Performed by Francis Chin, Ronalee Par, Zumi Mizokami, Amery Ken Thao, Renuka Veerasingam, Lidet Viravong & Saba Waheed.

In LOTERIA XICANA, Felicia Montes uses Indigenous & Mexican music and dance along with remixed versions of “MexSheCan” Lotería cards to weave together the varied identities and experiences of a modern-day Xicana.

Each performance is written and developed by L.A. based artists through an eight-week process of workshops and master classes led by theater and performance art professionals, including local workshop directors known for their work in new play development: Alison De La Cruz and Dom Magwili.

Under the direction of artist Leilani Chan, TeAda Productions exists to enrich the repertoire of contemporary works created and performed by people of color. Begun in 1994, TeAda Productions is a nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to empower underserved communities through the development and presentation of interdisciplinary theatrical performance pieces by, for, and about people of color. By developing groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary performances that incorporate cultural forms such as dance and music with experimental theatrical and performance art practices, TeAda Productions expands awareness, builds communities, and educates the general public about the health, educational, and social justice issues facing underserved communities.

Split this Rock w/Kundiman, Arktoi Reading @ Ruskin + Shiny City, writing tip up!

March 11, 2010

Dear friends,

I have a sweatshirt that I still wear from my days in the Bay from my old activist group, Chin Jurn Wor Ping (Moving Forward for Peace).  On the back is a logo from I Wor Kuen, an activist Asian American group in the 1970’s.  On the front, a design that an artist in our group created for us, which says From Roots to Revolution.

As I get closer to another transition in my life of leaving Riverside and finishing up my MFA program, I hope to remember my roots, both in community and in my writing.


Some new writing up:

— the first poem from my shiny city project — Shiny City, Origins

— a writing tip for Writers at Work

& thank you to Nicelle Davis for a review of The Heart’s Traffic on the Pank blog:  Ching-In Chen’s The Heart’s Traffic (and Quantum Physics as explained on YouTube): A Review by Nicelle Davis

& two upcoming readings/performances details below!

1) 7 & 7 Poets Celebrate Kundiman’s 7th Year 3/11 @ Split This Rock in Washington DC

2) Arktoi Reading @ Ruskin in LA 3/14


7 & 7: 7 Poets Celebrate Kundiman’s 7th Year @ Split This Rock Poetry Festival

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location:  True Reformer Building-1 , Washington, DC  as part of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival


Kundiman poets Hossannah Asuncion, Ching-In Chen, Janine Joseph, Joseph O. Legaspi, Alison Roh Park, Soham Patel, & Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai gather to showcase a provocative range of voices and aesthetics engaging in a poetic conversation about building the imaginative capacity of our communities. Kundiman is dedicated to nurturing emerging Asian American poetry. In a culture where the lives and voices of Asian Americans are often marginalized or excluded, Kundiman works to overturn this inequality by creating a community where Asian American poets can articulate our struggles, possibilities, and liberation.


Red Hen Press Reading Series
Poetry at the Ruskin
, Sunday, March 14th, 2pm
The Ruskin Art Club
800 South Plymouth Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Featured Readers are from Arktoi Books:
Ching-In Chen and Elizabeth Bradfield

Eloise Klein Healy moderating