Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

Podcast @ One World Cafe, Niedecker Poetry Festival, Rev @ Home Milwaukee, Verse WI & WI Book Festival, Dirtcakes

November 3, 2012

Dear friendlies,

I’m writing this from the busiest fall yet since I’ve moved to Milwaukee. I’m writing this from a night which included facepainting, music-making, hot chocolate and singing to the dead. I’m writing you from a warm house set up to receive visitors for a housemate’s 49th mix-tape birthday party tomorrow night. I’m writing this from a place of gratitude for being connected with me on this journey and more to come …

Some news!

1) in Podcast form! 1st Skype reading & interview w/Claire Hart of One World Cafe up!


2) Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival, Saturday, Nov 3

Dwight Foster Public Library, 209 Merchants Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI

11am-12:30pm Nature of Wisconsin Poetry panel (Community Room)

Culture, storytelling, personal experience, how they relate to physical place, community and relationships, create layers for potential poetry. This panel will highlight Wisconsin voices of diversity and the importance of diverse voices in mainstream writing. Each year this conversation gets everyone thinking about poetry, their own and the state of poetry in Wisconsin. This conversation element of the Wisconsin Poetry Festival never disappoints.

Moderators: Kim Blaeser

Panel: Jim Stevens, Ching-In Chen, Kate Sontag

3-5pm Poetry Round Table (Reference Area)

Invited poets will read and discuss their work in small groups. There will be two 40 minute sessions with a 10 minute break.

Group A Kim Blaeser and Robin Chapman – Community Room

Group B Jim Stevens and Anjie Kokan – Wisconsin Room

Group C Ching-In Chen and Sandy Stark – Reference area

Group D Kate Sontag and Fabu Jones – Gallery

3) Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities anthology book launch + 1st Milwaukee Community Accountability/Transformative Justice learn-to-action group gathering, Saturday, Nov 10, 7-10pm

Eight Limbs Housing Co-op, 601 E. Wright St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212

Inspired by other study-to-action Community Accountability/Transformative Justice groups (in Toronto, NY & elsewhere!), this is a call out for folks interested in coming together to learn about strategies to develop knowledge, skills and capacities of our communities to intervene in and end violence (including child abuse, sexual violence and intimate partner violence) without policing and prisons.

At this first gathering, Ching-In Chen — co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities — and others will read/share stories and strategies from the book and lead a discussion around how to support Community Accountability/Transformative Justice work in Milwaukee communities

4) Verse Wisconsin:

my poems, “A Town Where There Are No People” and “In the Beaten Rice Factory” in Verse Wisconsin’s Issue 110 in print & a review of my book in a mash-up review of recent books by twelve women by Wendy Vardman

5) The Creative Side of Publishing panel @ Wisconsin Book Festival, Sunday, Nov 11, 4-5:30pm, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St, Madison WI

This panel will be a guided conversation between publishers to explore and discuss the risks and responsibilities that go with that role. With opportunities for collaboration and partnership, how do we break down barriers and build relations across communities? How do the choices we make help to create community? What are the ethical questions and issues a publisher might keep in mind? How does the literary community intersect and interact with broader communities? What are the political implications, both narrowly and broadly defined, of publishing poems, stories, and essays? Are there advantages to being a mission-driven publication, and if so, what are our missions, and to what extent do we engage in larger social issues? How do we seek out the writers we would like to publish? And how do we find balance between our work as publishers and our own writing lives? Books, broadsides, and magazines from a wide array of Wisconsin poetry publishers will be available for audience perusal. With VW editors and other panelists Oliver Bendorf & Nancy Reddy—Devil’s Lake; Ching-In Chen—Cream City Review; CX Dillhunt—Hummingbird; Frank X Walker—Pluck!, Nov 11, 4PM, Rotunda Studio/Overture.

6) dirtcakes: my collaborative poems, “three seeds” and “six seeds” found a home in the print journal. One of them also is featured online here.


Keep warm, keep writing!

Persona Poetry anthology, LGBTQ in LA Review, Sententia, Rev @ Home in Edmonton & Split This Rock!

March 15, 2012

Lots of news & sunshine these days make me a busy, but satisfied poet.

At awp, was excited to pick up contributor copies of:

1) A Face to Meet the Faces: an Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, edited by Stacey Lynn Brown & Oliver de la Paz, which has my poem, “Chin’s Monologue in the Bucket,” a pre-decessor to the choreopoem, “2 Rumors in a Bucket,” co-written with Serena W. Lin. Excited to be in the good company of 200 other personas written by friends such as R.A. Villanueva, Randall Horton, Blas Falconer, Evie Shockley, Iris A. Law, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kazim Ali, Maureen Alsop, Kristine Uyeda, L. Lamar Wilson, John Olivares Espinoza, Cynthia Arrieu-King, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Jericho Brown, Khadijah Queen, Cornelius Eady, Tamiko Beyer, Rigoberto González, Francisco Aragón, Matthew Shenoda, Vievee Francis, Barbara Jane Reyes, Nina Corwin, Jee Leong Koh, Rachelle Cruz, Derrick Harriell & Tara Betts.

2) Spring 2012 issue of The Los Angeles Review, with a LGBTQ Poets’ Roundtable that I participated in (with a little help from fellow Macondista John Pluecker) along with Angelo Nikolopoulos, D. Gilson and Tory Adkisson, curated by Tanya Chernov.

3) The All Women Writers Issue (What She Says) of Sententia: the Journal, where my poems, “Eleven Seeds” and “Confessional 5B: A Zuihitsu” found a home alongside work by folks such as Khadijah Queen and Metta Sama, curated by Amy King.

Upcoming readings, talks & workshops:

1) This week in Milwaukee, I’ll be reading as part of a faculty/student reading series my department organizes called United We Read at local independent bookstore, Boswell Books2559 N. Downer Ave, Milwaukee WI, Thursday, March 15, 7pm with Lane Hall, Joe Rein & Ann Stewart McBee

2) & over spring break, I’ll be headed to Canada for The Revolution Starts A Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Our Communities talk and workshop at the University of Alberta Monday, March 19 & Tuesday, March 20 nights (details below)

3) & then landing in Washington DC for the 2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival. I’ll be reading as part of the Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, & Spirituality Anthology Reading on Thursday, March 22, 4-5:30pm (organized by anthology editor Kevin Simmonds) as well as Intersecting Lineages: a Solidarity Showcase of African American and Asian American poets on Saturday, March 24, 9:30am-11am (details below)

*** The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Talk & Workshop!


When: Monday, March 19th @ 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Where: Telus Building room 217-219, University of Alberta

The extent of the violence affecting our communities is staggering. Nearly one in three women 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 during 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 friend, lover, mentor, trusted ally.

Join co-editors, Ching-In Chen, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha for a presentation and discussion about potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.


*Please contact Denise at or (780) 492-0614 to register!

When: Tuesday, March 20th @6:30pm

Where: TBA

Curious about how to create ways of dealing with perpetrators of violence that center survivor needs, but don’t rely on the cops, prisons and courts? What about holding ourselves responsible for maintaining the conditions that allow violence to occur? Especially curious about how to do this without burning out? In this introductory, interactive and participatory workshop, we’ll explore different ways communities are experimenting with transformative justice principles to create safety and address harm. Drawing on the smarts of feminists of colour and Indigenous feminists and the experience of people in the room, we’ll share stories, strategies and roadmaps to creating safer communities, and in particular will focus on common challenges to creating successful interventions. This workshop is suitable for all people–no experience necessary. It will be a participatory space where we share the stories and knowledge we already have, grounded in bodies and emotions as well as history and analysis. The purpose is learning and healing together as a tool for building more liberatory, fierce and free communities and movements for justice in the world.

REGISTRATION: PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS WORKSHOP. We want to acknowledge that the analysis, experience and leadership of Community Accountability strategies comes primarily from Indigenous women, women of colour and gender non conforming people, and communities that experience violence disproportionately, especially from the state. We feel it’s important to prioritize access to this workshop to these communities, and others most affected by violence, including sex workers, poor folks, people of colour, Indigenous people, Black people, trans women and folks living with disabilities.

*Please contact Denise at or (780) 492-0614 to register!

ACCESS IS LOVE: The workshop space and bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. We’re reserving seats for folks who need to sit due to disability and chronic illness/pain. We are prioritizing making space for chair users to be present comfortably and with room. Fragrance free is hella love! So that beloved community members including the facilitators can be present without throwing up or having to leave, please come to this event fragrance free! This means no cologne, perfume, essential oil and also switching to unscented products. We know folks have a learning curve around this, but if you can ditch the scented (yup, even with ‘natural’ scents) detergent and fabric softener, it’ll go a long way. Awesome scent-free list here:

About Ching-In: Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). She is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow, part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and has been a participant in the Theatrical Jazz Institute. She has worked in the San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston Asian American communities. Ching-In currently lives in Milwaukee and is involved in union organizing and direct action.

About Leah: Pushcart Prize nominee Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan writer, teacher and cultural worker. The author of Consensual Genocide and Love Cake and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (South End, 2011), her work has appeared in the anthologies Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She co-founded Mangos With Chili, the national queer and trans people of color performance organization, is a lead artist with Sins Invalid and teaches with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. In 2010 she was named one of the Feminist Press’ “40 Feminists Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future.” Her one woman show, Grown Woman Show, has toured nationally, including performances at the National Queer Arts Festival, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Reed College and McGill University. She has taught, performed and lectured across the country, including appearances at Columbia, Oberlin, Texas A&M, Sarah Lawrence, Swarthmore, UC Berkeley, USC, and the University of Toronto. She co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, focusing on creative nonfiction and community-based teaching by writers of color.

* There will be volunteers trained in survivor support present for anyone who needs it during these events.

For you!! A free PDF of the ZINE!:

And the RSAH Tumblr:

If you would like your resources to be made available, please contact Denise.

Proudly brought to you by: APIRG Edmonton rebELLEs Invaluable community members!


2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival

These are Split This Rock Poetry Festival events. You must be registered to attend.

Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, & Spirituality Anthology Reading

Thursday, March 22, 4-5:30pm

Kazim Ali, Ching-In Chen, Blas Falconer, Gregg Shapiro, Kamilah Aisha Moon, Joseph Ross, Kevin Simmonds, Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, and Daniel Nathan Terry

True Reformer, Auditorium, 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC

Collective Brightness is the first-ever LGBTIQ poetry anthology that exclusively features contemporary poets—more than 100 of them from all over the world—as they consider faith, religion, and spirituality from widely varied perspectives including Christianity, witchcraft, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Two Spirit, Agnosticism, Apophasis and Yoruba among others. Together, th poets assembled for the Split This Rock reading—poets from all over America and from various racial, ethnic and religious communities—will read a wide array of these poems.

Intersecting Lineages: a Solidarity Showcase of African American and Asian American Poets, Saturday, March 24th, 9:30 – 11 am

Featuring: Kazim Ali, Ching-In Chen, Rio Cortez, Rachelle Cruz, Monica A. Hand, Alan King, Natasha Marin, Soham Patel, Kevin Simmonds True Reformer Building, Auditorium, 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC,

Inspired by the collaboration and mentorship between Cave Canem (an organization which promotes African American poetry) and Kundiman (an organization which promotes Asian American poetry), this reading features poets hailing from these communities which will showcase the history of solidarity amongst diverse communities.

Kazim Ali, Ching-In Chen, Rio Cortez, Rachelle Cruz, Monica A. Hand, Alan King, Natasha Marin, Soham Patel, and Kevin Simmonds will begin by reading work by ancestor poets who are considered outside of their self-identified community/-ities. Following this, they will share their own work which highlights this kind of productive hybrid fertilization, including inspiration taken from various literary and other creative arts forms such as the zuihitsu, neo-benshi and the theatrical jazz aesthetic. This reading highlights the cultivation and growth which arises from the exchange between African American and Asian American poets.

2012 AWP Chicago: I’ll be …

February 26, 2012

If you’re going to be at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Chicago this week, here’s where you can find me!

All Conference:

I’ll be helping out at the Cream City Review table at the Bookfair, Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue. We will have a new issue to promote, some subscription specials & other fun goodies! Come say hi!

Thursday, March 1, 2012:

1) 10:30-11:30am @ Red Hen Press booth at the Bookfair, Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue

2) 7-10pm @ Ancestors: A Queer Writers of Color Reading

sponsored by the Lambda Literary Foundation

Free Center on Halsted, 3rd Floor, Irving Harris Family Foundation Reception Hall, 3656 N. Halsted St. (at Waveland Ave.)

Chicago, IL 60613, (773) 472-6469

Organized by Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán & Tony Valenzuela

Readers: OluSeyi OluToyin Adebanjo, Nancy Agabian, Ryka Aoki, Tamiko Beyer, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Ching-In Chen, Matthew R. K. Haynes-Kekahuna, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, David Keali’i, Janet McAdams, Deborah A. Miranda, Claudia Narváez-Meza, vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu, Emma Pérez, Jai Arun Ravine, Charles Rice-González, Trish Salah, James Thomas Stevens, D. Antwan Stewart, & Jennifer Lisa Vest.

“Ancestors: A Queer Writers of Color Reading” is a literary reading featuring same-gender-loving, multiple-gender-loving, and transgender poets, non/fiction writers, filmmakers, and performance artists of Indigenous Pacific, Native North American, Arab/Middle Eastern, Asian, Latina/o, and African descent. This event is sponsored by the Lambda Literary Foundation, which nurtures, celebrates, and preserves lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility, and encourage development of emerging writers


Friday, March 2, 2012:

3) 12-1pm @ Red Hen Press booth at the Bookfair, Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue

Saturday, March 3, 2012:

4) 9:00-10:15am @ “Queer Poets of Color on Craft: The Art of Decolonization” Panel
Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St. (between Wabash & State St.), Lobby Level, Honoré Ballroom, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 726-7500

Panelists: Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Samiya Bashir, Deborah A. Miranda, Ching-In Chen, & Tamiko Beyer

There is power in craft. Poets use craft to create possibility, ways of seeing, hearing, and moving the world, re-envisioning it. Queer poets of color use multiple techniques to shape language on the page and stage, the way words flicker across glowing screens and beat against the drums of our ears. From the generation and arrangement of text, to shifts in narrativity and delivery, and the use of multiple registers and media, this panel explores the decolonial power of skillful wor(l)d-weaving.

Too often writers of color are reduced to narrative. There needs to be greater focus on our artistry and poetic craft’s ability to imagine a past, reconceptualize a present, and shape a future. Bringing together poets of African, Arab, Asian, Latina/o, and Native North American descent, this panel delves into intrapoetics and interpoetics, the transfiguring of individual poems and traditions, and interplay between them–queerly decolonizing both texts and communities, and the world they inhabit.


Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán is the author of a poetry collection, _Antes y después del Bronx: Lenapehoking_, and editor of an international queer Indigenous issue of _Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought_. A Wildacres, Paden Institute, and Soul Mountain Resident, he has received scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Lambda Literary Foundation, and Macondo.

Samiya Bashir is the author of _Gospel_, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist, and _Where the Apple Falls_, a Poetry Foundation bestseller, both also Lambda Literary Award Finalists. She is editor of _Best Black Women’s Erotica 2_ and co-editor of _Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art_. A Cave Canem fellow, she is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink.

Deborah A. Miranda is the author of _Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir_ and two poetry books, _Indian Cartography_, winner of the Diane Decorah Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, and _The Zen of La Llorona_, a Lambda Literary Award Nominee. Associate Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, she is co-editor of _Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature_.

Ching-In Chen is the author of a verse novel, _The Heart’s Traffic_, and co-editor of _The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence within Activist Communities_. A Kundiman, Macondo, and Lambda Fellow, she has been awarded residencies by the Paden Institute, Soul Mountain, the Vermont Studio Center, the Millay Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Tamiko Beyer is the author of the poetry book, _bough breaks_, and Poetry Editor of _Drunken Boat_. Her work appears in _DIAGRAM_; _The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide_; and _Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation_. A Kundiman Fellow and Hedgebrook Resident, she received a grant from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund. She was also an Olin and Chancellor’s Fellow while completing her MFA at Washington University.

Queer <3 Poems in Glitter Tongue!

February 15, 2012

For those who know me, I’m not a big V-day celebrator & I don’t usually write ❤ poems. But queer friends I ❤ + collaborative writing = my participation in Glitter Tongue, an online collection of love poems by thirty queer and trans poets! I’m so moved by the glittery, beautiful, sexy words of poets like Margaret Rhee, Tamiko Beyer, R. Erica Doyle, Monica Hand, Meg Day, Joseph O. Legaspi, Kevin Simmonds, TC Tolbert & many many more! & fabulously designed by Oliver Bendorf! Enjoy! 🙂

New poems in Revolutionesque! + Black Warrior Review, also Glitter Tongue coming up!

February 12, 2012

Dear poem-lovers,

New homes for some long-marinating poems of mine:

  1. “To Make Black Paper Sing” — a long series inspired by Mark Bradford’s work — is up in Revolutionesque, the 3rd issue of Esque, co-edited by Amy King & Ana Bozicevic! Happy to be amongst 108 other poets including friends & admired poets like Nikki Wallschlaeger, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Kimberly Alidio, Evie Shockley, Emily Kendal Frey & Cara Benson.
  2. Just received my contributor’s copy of the Black Warrior Review Spring/Summer 2012 issue! Thanks to poetry editor & fellow Grinder AB Gorham for including “Gestations: Pathology, Or Prankster of Memory” & “Island Where These Things Happen”
  3. Lastly, excited about Glitter Tongue, a collection of queer love poems that grew out of a collaborative writing effort among queer-poet-friends (Margaret Rhee, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Tamiko Beyer, Oliver Bendorf, Meg Day) & then expanded to community! It’s our anti-Hallmark version of queer love & will be revealed on V-day! 

Love love!


Re-Frame: A Gathering Weekend in Chicago, Collaborative Poem @ Whistling Fire, Rev @ Home in No More Potlucks!

December 16, 2011

Dear ones,
At the end of yet-another frantic semester & another year’s end, am counting my blessings to be a part of the artist & activist communities from which my work is built. I’m excited to have the opportunity in this post to share some of these communities with you!

1) Re-Frame: A Gathering this weekend in Chicago!

2) Collaborative Poem published on Whistling Fire

3) Revolution Starts at Home interview @ No More Potlucks


1) Re-Frame: A Gathering this weekend in Chicago!

For the last six weeks, I have had the joy of getting to know eight other artists under the guidance of artist facilitators, Baraka de Soleil & Awilda Rodriguez Lora! I’ll be one of three featured artists on Friday, December 16, and participating as a supporting artist on Saturday  (the show will also be on Sunday & Monday though I’ll only be there in spirit, not body).

Re-Frame: A Gathering, a dynamic community project of D UNDERBELLY, offers three unique showings of artists’ process December 16th – 18th at Links Hall & a communal event on December 19th* at Rumble Arts Center [3413 W North Avenue] in partnership with Insight Arts.

Showings:Dec. 16-17 at 8pm & Dec. 18 at 7pm
Links Hall: 3435 N. Sheffield Avenue, Suite 207
Tickets: $12(no food) $15(with food)$25 all three showings.

Communal Event: December 19 at 8pm
Rumble Arts Center: 3413 West North Avenue
Tickets: $12(no food) $15(with food)

Artist Participants:
Victoria Martínez ~ Ching-In Chen ~ Iman Crutcher ~ Michael Johnson ~ Rebecca Kling ~ Anansi Knowbody ~ Sojourner Zenobia Wright ~ Isaac Fosl Van-Wyke ~ Eboni Senai Hawkins

Facilitated by Baraka de Soleil & Awilda Rodriguez Lora

More thoughts and information about Re-Frame: A Gathering please visit:

We also have an online fundraising campaign please support:

*the communal event, hosted by Insight Arts in association with Rumble Arts Center, is an accessible space. we specifically want to welcome the physically diverse-ability community to join us at this unique gathering!

RSVP & 787-671-3393


2) Collaborative Poem published on Whistling Fire

This past summer, I embarked on a collaborative writing experiment on my blog which combined several of my various writing communities while I was at Millay Colony, and am pleased that the first of the poems that were created from that journey has found a home! You can see “seven seeds” up at Whistling Fire


3) Revolution Starts at Home interview @ No More Potlucks

“Accounting for Change” – a Revolution Starts at Home interview I did w/Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is in the L’Amour issue of No More Potlucks here:

Thank you for a beautiful 2011 & looking forward to a brand new year!


Milwaukee’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change — invite to community poets!

August 18, 2011

You are receiving this invitation to participate in Milwaukee’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change event on Saturday, September 24, 2011! 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE is a community action event scheduled for September 24, 2011, which will include readings, demonstrations, and concerts happening simultaneously throughout the world in the name of poetry and change. For more information on this project and to take a look at some of the other events happening, visit:

For Milwaukee, we have envisioned a Poetry Walk/Reading for Justice & Community Action. Poets will gather at 6:30 p.m. at the south end of the Holton Street Viaduct Marsupial Bridge (stairs at Van Buren Avenue and Brady Street near Trocadero) and will begin marching at 7:00 p.m. first over the footbridge to the Joshua Glover Memorial Plaque at Booth and Glover Streets, then northeast through Kilbourn Park, north on Bremen St. to Locust St., and west on Locust St. to Woodland Pattern Book Center (720 E. Locust).

At the event location blog page on the 100,000 Poets for Change website,, Milwaukee poets will sign up for slots to read their poems all along the route, and we will continue the celebration with more readings and the collective writing of a community renga at Woodland Pattern <>.

Our goal is to showcase the diverse stories, voices and strategies of our communities in Milwaukee and to continue to build together and dream up the type of street, neighborhood, city, state and world that we want to live in.

We thought of you as someone who is making change in our community and want to invite you to participate in this event as 1) a poet and organizer sharing your words and 2) as a community leader willing to reach out to others in your community who we may not know about and ask them to participate.

Would you be interested and available to sign up to share a poem (because we are trying to include as many voices and perspectives as possible, we’re asking each poet to share a maximum of one poem, 3 minutes long)? If you would like to sign up, please visit our events page where you can see the schedule, which we will update as poets sign up for slots. Would you let us know the names and contact information of other community poets we should reach out to?

The reading schedule is:

  • 3 slots to begin the event at the gathering spot: Brady and Van Buren end of Marsupial Bridge
  • 3 slots walking along the Marsupial Bridge and east to the stairwell.
  • 3 slots at the Joshua Glover Memorial Plaque at the top of the stairs (Glover and Booth)
  • 13 slots walking through Kilbourn Park and north on Bremen St. to Locust St
  • 2 slots walking east on Locust Street to Woodland Pattern
  • 18 slots inside Woodland Pattern Book Center

Thank you for your help and your work!

In gratitude,

Ching-In Chen

Brenda Cárdenas

Chuck Stebelton

p.s. Simulacra is poem of the day

August 11, 2011

A quick note that my poem, Simulacra, is today’s poem of the day at here.



Collaborative Manifesto Remix!

August 3, 2011

Collaborative Manifesto Remix!

Dear people reading this blog,

Thank you for coming to visit.

Think of this blog entry as a creative invitation to participate in a collaborative writing project that began here and here.

Based on feedback that I’ve received from friends, fellow writers and random blog visitors that more folks want to collaborative and participate in the collaborative manifesto project, I’m excited by the community interactions and the journeys that have arisen.

Yesterday, I arrived at the Millay Colony for the Arts for a month-long writing residency with three other writers, a visual artist and a composer. I’m excited to be creating, walking, dreaming, looking out for other creatures in this place that was the home of the poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. I’d like to commit part of my creative time here to the next phase of this journey. Starting this upcoming Monday morning, August 8, I’ll post an open-ended question or generative prompt inspired by being here or by writing or art-making that has surfaced here on my blog.

If you want to participate, post your writing in response to the question or prompt in the comments section of that blog entry + provide a generative question or prompt for the following day.

Each day until the day I leave Millay (August 25), I’ll post the generative questions or prompt that surface from the previous day’s writing and ask participants to write in response to them. You can answer in whichever way you are moved to — off-the-cuff, improvisationally, in deep meditation, whichever feels right to you. I’ll ask you within your writing response to braid the words of either another participant or writer/artist (other than yourself) in your writing in some way, to honor the collaborative intent of the project, and to credit that other writer/artist by name at the end of your writing (unless that person would rather remain anonymous).

At the end of our time together, I’ll use the writings generated to create a new collage creation to be posted on the blog. I’ll credit you by name as a participant/collaborator at the end of the piece unless you choose to remain anonymous.

If you have questions, curiosities, etc, feel free to e-mail me at chinginchen [at] and ask. Also, if you know of other folks who would be interested in participating, feel free to direct them here, for an explanation of the project.

Queer Border Crossings (NYC), Rev @ Home (Boston, Vancouver, Seattle) & Wingbeats & So To Speak!

July 14, 2011

Dear friends,

It’s been lovely to touch down in summertime Milwaukee & be reminded of the community here & community still being built.  Now, am about to take off on a series of travels to the East Coast and to the West Coast, reading new collaborative work at Asian American Writers’  Workshop & going on tour to launch the Revolution at Home anthology in Boston, Vancouver and Seattle  (more info about events below!) I’ll end up at Millay Colony in August to do a residency before coming back to the Midwest.


Also, excited to receive in the mail recently:

* WINGBEATS: EXERCISES & PRACTICE IN POETRY – Edited by Scott Wiggerman & David Meischen (Dos Gatos Press).  I was introduced to the haibun form by Aimee Nezhukumatathil during a Kundiman retreat and wrote my poem, “Ode to My Hair: a Haibun,” in response to a prompt by my home group leader, the fabulous Joseph O. Legaspi.  This poem is included in Aimee’s chapter, “The Pie Plate: Serving Up a Slice of Travel through the Haibun,” along with fellow Kundis Tamiko Beyer & Sharon Suzuki-Martinez.  Also,  excited to see lots of friends and poets I greatly admire included in the book — Oliver de la Paz, Blas Falconer, Sharon Bridgforth, Harryette Mullen, Afaa Michael Weaver, Tara Betts to name just a few.


* SO TO SPEAK: a feminist journal of language and art’s Fall 2011 edition includes my poems, “American Syntax” and “Sentence Lover’s Letter to Her Girl.”


Thanks for reading!


1) Queer Border Crossings: Ronaldo Wilson, Ching-In Chen, Kit Yan, Rahul Mehta

Thursday, July 14, 2011, 7PM

Even as New York becomes the largest state to legalize same sex marriage, the queer body remains a point of contention in public policy and literature. In writing the queer body, the borders that separate pertain not just to gender and sexuality, but also race and voice, form and genre. In this multi-genre reading, Ronaldo Wilson, Rahul Mehta, Kit Yan, and Ching-In Chen cross borders of both gender and genre. Avant-garde poet Ronaldo Wilson reads from Poems of the Black Object, winner of the Asian American Literary Award–detailing the nitty-gritty of bodily fluids, illicit subcultures, and dream states to critique the objectification of the black queer body. Short story writer Rahul Mehta will take you across continents, uncomfortable family gatherings, and bitter generational rifts to reveal the growing pains of being gay and Indian American in Quarantine. Multi-genre poet Ching-In Chen plays with form and theatrical jazz aesthetics in her latest work. A Hawaiian spoken word artist lost in New York, Kit Yan’s love poems, dirty sex stories, and comedic tales of his childhood are raw, real, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). She is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow and part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. She has worked in the San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston Asian American communities. Ching-In currently lives in Milwaukee and is involved in union organizing and direct action against the draconian proposals of Governor Scott Walker. Her work is lauded by veteran poet Juan Felipe Herrera, as Chinese classic poet “Cho Wen-Chün on fire—with a punk mohawk cut.”

Rahul Mehta earned his MFA at Syracuse University and is the author of the short story collection Quarantine (HarperPerennial). Portions of Quarantine, already a runaway success in India, have appeared in New Stories from the South, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, Epoch, NOON, Fourteen Hills and His essays have appeared most recently in OUT Magazine, Marie Claire India, and The Telegraph (Kolkata). Born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, he currently lives in Alfred, New York, and teaches at Alfred University. Quarantine is described as “A rich study of family ties, romantic failings and cultural disconnection told in crisp, clean prose,” (Kirkus).

Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh Press) and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books), winner of the 2010 Asian American Literary Awards. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, NYU’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, and holds a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. Wilson has won numerous fellowships to include the National Research Council Ford Foundations, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, Kundiman, Djerassi, and Yaddo. A co-founder of the Black Took Collective, he currently teaches creative writing, literature, and African American poetics at Mount Holyoke College. Publishers Weekly calls Poems of the Black Object “erotic verse about gay sexuality, demolition jobs directed at racial stereotypes, and plenty of genre-busting, metafictional, forward-looking hybrid forms.”

Kit Yan tells stories through slam poetry from the lens of a transgender Asian American from Hawaii now lost in the big city of New York. Through touching love poems, dirty sex accounts, and comedic tales of his childhood–Kit takes you on a journey that is raw, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable. Kit’s work has been taught at universities coast to coast. He spoke to over 200,000 from the stage of the 2009 National Equality March, performed on the San Francisco Pride main stage, and is a nationally ranking slam poet. Kit Yan is the first ever and reigning Mr. Transman 2010. “The eloquence of Kit’s spoken-word delivery lies in the anti-racist, anti-homophobic, gender-inclusive, language that ties his lyrics together,” (Bitch Magazine).

The event is co-sponsored by Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY).

@The Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor
Between 6th and 7th Avenues
Buzzer 600
open to the public
$5 suggested donation


2) You are warmly invited to attend our next Global Forum co-sponsored by the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW) entitled,

“The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities”

(in conjunction with the launch of the publication of the same title).

For in-depth dialogue for ways in which we can hold ourselves and our community accountable for partner and sexual violence and exploitation as it occurs within our activist of color and immigrant communities and within our social justice organizations.


Friday July 15, 2011 (5:30 – 9:30PM)


Saturday July 16, 2011 (8:30AM – 6:00PM) | Dinner & Open Mic (6:00 – 8:30PM) — Optional

LOCATION: Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111

ADMISSION:  $25 (Early Registration) |  $35 (Regular)

*Please REGISTER online and PAY at the DOOR.*

(No one turned away for lack of funds! Your contribution helps us cover the costs of lunch and dinners, childcare and interpreting. We appreciate your support!)

Please join us for both days to be part of an historic community forum to share, learn from & learn how to break our silences around partner and sexual violence and exploitation. We will draw courage & strength to give voice, create safety and healing in our communities as an integral and necessary part of the social justice work we do.
** Childcare will be provided

** Multilingual Interpreting will be available (Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole)

** Please be mindful that some folks attending may have chemical and fragrance sensitivities. We would appreciate if you could make adjustments accordingly. See link for more info:


If you have any questions, please contact Monique Nguyen (

3) Vancouver launch of Revolution Starts At Home!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

7-10 PM


Rhizome Cafe

317 East Broadway

Vancouver, BC
FB event:
Come join us for the long-awaited launch of this beloved book! Co-editors Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will be in attendance to read, talk story, answer questions and sign books.

With opening performance by Cynthia Dewi Oka
Come join us for the long-awaited launch of this beloved book! Co-editors Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will be in attendance to read, talk story and answer questions and sign books.

With opening performance by Cynthia Dewi Oka


We’d like to acknowledge that this event is taking place on stolen, unceeded Coast Salish territory, and that it is at Indigenous people’s expense that we occupy this land. Community accountability is work that Indigenous communities have been doing outside of and in resistance to systems of state power since before the arrival of colonial settlers and continue to do. We thank the Coast Salish Nation for letting us be on their land.

While the main space is wheelchair accessible
throughout, the washrooms are on the same level and only semi-accessible. There are two gender neutral washrooms, and the larger of the two may accommodate some but not all folks who use electric or manual wheelchairs; the door swings inward, there is minimal clearance once inside, and there
is little space between the toilet and the sink to transfer.

We will have scent-free seating and maintain clear laneways for folks who use wheelchairs and other access devices to get into the event.

Please do not take flash photography so that folks with epilepsy don’t have seizures; please do not wear perfumes, colognes or essential oils so that chemically injured community members can attend. We will have scent free soaps in the washrooms.

The event is FREE!!! We’ll have some bus tickets available.

Rhizome has a delicious menu including the”Lentils are Everything” Stew with french green lentils, potatoes, spinach
and sundried tomatoes in a mint and lemon-scented stew. Pay as you feel for this dish (including nada).

Here’s a detailed access audit of the space:

4) Seattle launch, The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities
Saturday, July 23, 2011
7-10 PM
Location: The Vera Project (on the corner of Warren and Republican in the NW corner Seattle Center, just north of Key Arena, please note we don’t have a numbered street address because we are on Seattle Center) .

Co-Sponsored by the Capacity Project and For Crying Out Loud.
Books sold by Left Bank Books (http://www.leftbankbooks.c​om/)
FB event:
About the book:

“Was/is your abusive partner a high-profile activist? Does your abusive girlfriend’s best friend staff the domestic violence hotline? Have you successfully kicked an abuser out of your group? Did your anti-police brutality group fear retaliation if you went to the cops about another organizer’s assault? Have you found solutions where accountability didn’t mean isolation for either of you? Was the ‘healing circle’ a bunch of bullshit? Is the local trans community so small that you don’t want you or your partner to lose it?

“We wanted to hear about what worked and what didn’t, what survivors and their supporters learned, what they wish folks had done, what they never want to have happen again. We wanted to hear about folks’ experiences confronting abusers, both with cops and courts and with methods outside the criminal justice system.”

— The Revolution Starts at Home collective

Long demanded and urgently needed, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities finally breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the secret of intimate violence within social justice circles. This watershed collection of stories and strategies tackles the multiple forms of violence encountered right where we live, love, and work for social change — and delves into the nitty-gritty on how we might create safety from abuse without relying on the state. Drawing on over a decade of community accountability work, along with its many hard lessons and unanswered questions, The Revolution Starts at Home offers potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.

For more information:​010/items/87941


The main space is wheelchair accessible throughout. There are two gender neutral and wheelchair accessible bathrooms. There is a lift, parking (Mercer Lot, or Street Parking) and the space is close to transit (Bus Lines 1, 2, 8, 13, 15, 18, 20, 45 & monorail).

We will have scent-free seating and maintain clear laneways for folks who use wheelchairs and other access devices to get into the event.

Please do not take flash photography so that folks with epilepsy don’t have seizures; please do not wear perfumes, colognes or essential oils so that chemically injured community members can attend. We will have scent free soaps in the washrooms.

The event is FREE!!!

More info about childcare and other access coming soon.