Archive for May, 2010

2 Rumors @ Playworks, Writing the Desert performance, 580 Split, Lantern Review, Revolution Starts @ Home available for pre-order!

May 29, 2010

Lots of activity as the school year wraps up!  Here’s where you can find me when I’m not hidden away, working on last-minute touches to the manuscript!

In this post, upcoming performances + new work out in the world:

1) 2 Rumors in A Bucket choreopoem as part of UC Riverside Playworks Festival this Saturday!

2) Writing the Desert Reading/Performance Friday night, June 4, 2010, 7-10pm, Culver Center for the Arts, Riverside

3) “Conjure in the Shiny City” in 580 Split

4)  Process Profile on “Olivewood Cemetery: a haibun of Riverside, California” in Lantern Review

5) The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities anthology available for pre-ordering from South End Press


1) 2 Rumors in A Bucket choreopoem as part of UC Riverside Playworks Festival this Saturday!

If you missed the last incarnation of 2 RUMORS IN A BUCKET, a choreopoem that Serena W. Lin & I have been writing, you have a chance to catch it as part of UC Riverside’s Playworks Festival this Saturday night (info below on the whole night’s program).  2 Rumors in a Bucket examines the history of “coolies” in the tradition of Sharon Bridgforth’s “jazz theater” aesthetic, incorporating movement, poetry and “found text.”  Performed by Alejandra Anaya, Elisha Balanga, Jonathan Chalucag, Daniel De Ramos, Anne Marie Iniguez,  Lynne Lee, Randy Lee, Christina Kori Marie & Michael Singh.  Directed by Justin Chao.  


Saturday 5/29 8pm at UC Riverside’s 411 Theater Lab

Therapy by Abbe Loomer Directed by Luis Carazo
Light in the Breaking by Evangeline Ganaden Directed by Joe Powers
Fly me to the Moon by Eva Konstantopoulos Directed by Diana Payne
Two Rumors in a Bucket by Ching-In Chen & Serena W. Lin Directed by Justin Chao

2) Writing the Desert Reading/Performance Friday night, June 4, 2010, 7-10pm, Culver Center for the Arts, Riverside

Writing the Desert

Literary Reading

June 4th 7-10pm

UCR Culver Center of the Arts

3834 Main Street

Riverside, CA 92501


or 951-827-1467

The Writing the Desert literary reading is an extension of UCR Sweeney Art Gallery’s collaboration with the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts project Dry Immersion 3.

The Writing the Desert Project brings together writers and visual artists interested in exploring the unique landscapes, ecologies, communities and aesthetic possibilities of the desert, with a special attention to the desert regions of Southern California.

The event will be a literary reading and display of artwork created by a group of writers and artists from Riverside during a one-month workshop and collaboration process. Featuring the work of Ricky Abitu, Maureen Alsop, Khadija Anderson, Jackie Bang, Ching-In Chen, Nicelle Davis, Evangeline Ganaden, Scott Hernandez, Flora Kao, K. Wallace Longshore, Leora Lutz, Ruth Nolan, Nan Ma, Kaitlin Manry, Douglas McCulloh, Eric Shonkwiler, Jie Tian, Juan Valdivia and Masker Walters.

The event will be held at a limited engagement at the new UCR Culver Center of the Arts. Because of the special nature of this event, an RSVP is required by Thursday, 6/3 by e-mailing or calling Shane Shukis at or 951-827-1467.

MAUREEN ALSOP is the author of two full-length collections Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag), The Diction of Moths (Ghost Road Press, forthcoming) and four chapbooks. She has lived in the desert oasis of Palm Springs for the past ten years.

KHADIJA ANDERSON, writer, Butoh dancer, and MFA candidate at Antioch University returned in 2008 to her native Los Angeles after 18 years exile in Seattle. Khadija’s poetry has been published widely in print and online. She lives in Altadena up against the mountains and spends much time in the desert with her family. She is a 2011 Pushcart Prize Nominee.

JACKIE BANG is a lyric essayist who wishes she were a detective. She has been an acoustic punk street musician, the lead singer of a band that played one show, a waitron and an aging bartender (gender purposefully obscured). When she is not assessing the phonics of other people’s whipper snappers as they read Little Bear, or helping the girls, L and E, make glowing slime out of cornstarch, she teaches detective fundamentals and empathetic poetics at a junior college near you.

CHING-IN CHEN is the author of The Heart’s Traffic. Ching-In grew up in the land of ocean and snow and so has acclimated to the desert by creating her own maps with adopted community and falling in love with the desert-based creations of artists like Noah Purifoy and Flora Kao.

NICELLE DAVIS has lived in many different high desert locations. If she could, she would dress herself only with the dirt of the southwest landscape. Her poems have appeared in several print and online journals. She runs an online poetry workshop at

EVANGELINE GANADEN is a poet whose lyrics of loss, isolation, separation and displacement, and the courage that sustains immigrants in their struggle for identity shape her work. She connects with the desert as a place of contradictions, of profound beauty and desolation.

SCOTT HERNANDEZ was raised on a small farm in southern California. His poems have appeared in Mosaic, Spectrum, The Red Wheel Barrow, Acentos, Cipactli, and the California Poetry collection. His new chapbook entitled “Placasos y Retablos” is out Fall 2010.

K. WALLACE LONGSHORE is a resident of the Mount Rubidoux Manor Retirement Community. A retired political publicist, age eighty-two, and a bilateral below the knee amputee, he received the 2009 Mayor’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the The Mayor’s Commission on Aging. He thinks of himself as a “desert rat.” For him the American arid Southwest is a geography and landscape for greatness. It’s far horizons invite the prophetic view: it cries out for inspired voices. The arid Southwest is the matrix from which a new American greatness can arise.

NAN MA was born in Beijing and moved to Dallas, Texas, when she was fourteen. She enjoys writing creative essays in Chinese and would like to write a novel in English. To her, the desert is a landscape of transformation and poetic paradoxes.

KAITLIN MANRY is working toward her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside. She writes nonfiction and poetry. She has lived in Maryland, Florida, Ohio, Zimbabwe and Washington State. This is her first desert.

DOUGLAS MCCULLOH is a visual artist who tends to combine images and text. His fourth book, Dream Street, was published in 2009 by Heyday Books, Berkeley. The son of a geologist, he grew up tramping through the deserts of the American West.

RUTH NOLAN is a Mojave Desert native who writes poetry and prose and is editor of “Phantom Seed,” a journal of desert-based writing. She teaches at College of the Desert, and is editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts (Heyday Books, 2009). She lives in Palm Desert.

ERIC SHONKWILER is a Midwestern transplant currently living in Riverside. He writes novels, for the most part, and is drawn to the desert for its desolate beauty, particularly the kind that comes from the evacuation of man.

JIE TIAN is an MFA candidate in poetry at UC, Riverside. She is working on a collection of poems for her MFA thesis, and on a novel tentatively titled Journey among the Ghosts. Coming from a place in China that’s green and misty almost all-year round, she is pleased to find — “desert is my home” here in Southern California.

Writing the Desert workshop is generously supported by the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at UC Riverside and the City of Riverside.

3) “Conjure in the Shiny City” in 580 Split

Just received my contributor’s copies of Issue 12 of 580 Split, a beautiful journal out of Mills College.  My poem “Conjure in the Shiny City” has great company with old friends Aimee Suzara, Nina Corwin, Amir Rabiyah, Maiana Minahal, Sharline Chiang & others!

4) Process Profile on “Olivewood Cemetery: a haibun of Riverside, California” in Lantern Review

My reflections on the composition process for writing “Olivewood Cemetery: a haibun of Riverside, California on the Lantern Review blog (in good company with other Kundiman poets Tamiko Beyer, R. A. Villanueva & Janine Joseph)

5) The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities anthology available for pre-ordering from South End Press

Amazing!  After 5 years of hard work with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha & Jai Dulani, it’s live on the South End Press website.  It’s not out until 2011, but you can support by pre-ordering from South End Press!:-)

The Revolution Starts at Home (Paperback original)

Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities
Ching-In Chen (Editor), Jai Dulani (Editor), and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Editor)
Released 2011-03-01
The extent of the violence affecting our communities is staggering. Nearly one in three women in the United States will experience intimate violence in her lifetime. And while intimate violence affects relationships across the sexuality and gender spectrums, the likelihood of isolation and irreparable harm, including death, is even greater within LGBTQI communities. To effectively resist violence out there—in the prison system, on militarized borders, or other clear encounters with “the system”—we must challenge how it is reproduced right where we live. It’s one thing when the perpetrator is the police, the state, or someone we don’t know. It’s quite another when that person is someone we call a friend, lover, and trusted ally.

Based on the popular zine that had reviewers and fans alike demanding more, The Revolution Starts at Home finally breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the “open secret” of intimate violence—by and toward caretakers, in romantic partnerships, and in friendships—within social justice movements. This watershed collection compiles stories and strategies from survivors and their allies, documenting a decade of community accountability work and delving into the nitty-gritty of creating safety from abuse without relying on the prison industrial complex.

Fearless, tough-minded, and ultimately loving, The Revolution Starts at Home offers life-saving alternatives for ensuring survivor safety while building a road toward a revolution where no one is left behind.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic. Kundiman Fellow Jai Dulani is an interdisciplinary storyteller and activist/educator. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is the author of Consensual Genocide.

California Sightings & Delirious Hem, Kundiman Edition

May 23, 2010

Received scrap this week from a friend — “count down/up to take off for another world.” The clock is ticking on my time left in California so some last-minute adventures with my book below:

1) Jubilee/Molossus Showcase Sunday, May 23 @ 1pm @ the Silver Lake Jubilee’s Literary Village with Monica Carter & Jamey Hecht!

2) Press Release Reading as part of Saturation Art & Music Festival @ the Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave. Event is 12-4pm, I’ll be reading in the 1st hour.


Check out We all Belong to a Love Song Called Kundiman, the 1st 2 rounds of Delirious Hem, Kundiman edition, which I curated after contributing a blog post of my own in February. I was curious to see what my fellow Kundiman poets had to say and have been amazed by their insightful, funny, fabulous, gorgeous, fierce and kind words about what they love, their poetic ancestors, each other’s work and more. Check out Tamiko Beyer’s ruminations on Myung Mi Kim, Purvi Shah on the revolutionary potential of the love poem, a delicious lyric essay by Beatrix Yael Villafranca, Cynthia Arrieu-King’s provocative poems, Bushra Rehman on Gloria Anzaldúa, Jai Arun Ravine & Margaret Rhee on each other’s work & Soham Patel on Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge. Round 3 set to go up later this week!

Thanks for reading!

Olivewood Cemetery poem up @ Diagram, LA Review release party + Verbal Coliseum 3

May 5, 2010

Some quick news in the midst of this busy week –

1) Poetry month is over and I’ve happily won a copy of  Victoria Chang’s Salvinia Molesta and chosen two winners – eldritch00 and Evie Shockley — for my National Poetry Month Book Giveaway, using the happy random number generator:



True Random Number Service

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

20      24

Timestamp: 2010-05-03 16:04:01 UTC

Note: The numbers are generated left to right, i.e., across columns.

2)  A poem from my Riverside Chinatown series, “Olivewood Cemetery,” is now up at Diagram.

3)  I’ll also be reading/performing at these two events:

a) The fabulous Stephanie Hammer interviewed me for the Los Angeles Review & we are going to chorally reproduce/recite our conversation at the Skylight Books release party with the help of Nicelle Davis & Noel Mariano.

Los Angeles Review Reading & Publication Release for Volume 7

Wednesday, May 5, 7:30pm, Free

Skylight Books, 1818 North Vermont Ave, Los Angeles


b) Verbal Coliseum 3

May 6th 2010, 7-9pm, Free admission

Spoken Word poetry slam held from the historic second floor balconies of the UCR Culver Center of the Arts in downtown Riverside, melding music and movement to investigate identity, both personal and collective, and explore a sense of place and the human experience.

Nationally recognized and HBO Def Poetry alums Joe Hernandez-Kolski and Besskepp will headline the event from 7-8, followed by spitters and sound souljahs from the Inland Empire from 8-9pm.

A two-time HBO Def Poet, Joe Hernández-Kolski has shared the stage with everyone from Saul Williams to John Mellencamp to Carlos Mencia. Born and raised in the City of Chicago, Joe graduated from Princeton University where he majored in Civil Rights History w/minors in African-American Studies and Theater & Dance. Besskepp (Cory Cofer) is an HBO Def Poet, an award-winning teacher, and author of the book Up the Street Around the Corner.