Readings, workshops, and more readings

An update on the reading with Thomas Sayers Ellis and James Brandon Lewis at Red Poppy Art House: 

I ended up reading a shorter set: 

  1. Sang a bit from “Piece of Clay”
  2. Disappearance of fireflies
  3. On the football field
  4. The rising
  5. Surviving the burn
  6. The pistol’s confesion
  7. Pillow letter
  8. Bob:  Extinguish the flame

It was a lightly attended reading for magic.  Thomas and James were just so in tune.  It was incredible to watch. They opened, I read in the middle, and then they closed.  I really enjoyed meeting Michael Warr and the founders of the Red Poppy.  I also was invited to participate in the Mission Arts Performance Project reading in a few weeks based on my reading.  What a fantastic happening.  I’ll be there at the beginning of December.  Funny, how I used to claim that neighborhood as (almost) mine.  I was in love, and my love lived there.  I spent a great deal of time there.  When the relationship ended, I still had an affinity for the Mission.  Many of my readings continue to happen there.  It’s the neighborhood that calls me in San Francisco.  If I could afford to live there, I would dare that commute.  It’s a strong and artistic community.

Since then, I have been doing other work.  Writing papers for my educational leadership class, sending emails, sending reading proposals, lots of work and still much more to do.  I have some reading to do by the end of this week.  So much on critical race theory and teacher education, actually, for a themed issue Cliff and I are trying to answer.

I have also been preparing for workshops.  I just did one today as part of an after school program.  I started off with a “what do you know about poetry” prompt, then a poem “Detention in a casket”.  We then did a modified exquisite corpse before watching “Knock Knock” from Daniel Beatty.  They had some time to write and then share out.  In 5 minutes, they had done some phenomenal work.  I was really impressed by the emotional depth within the poems.  One middle school student wrote about domestic abuse.  Another about the loss of friendship and her uncle’s death.  She had written two poems in such a short time!  One poet had only three lines, but we talked together about what else could happen next.  I was very excited with what they produced. 

In a few hours, I am supposed to do a workshop with high school aged students at the East End Community Center before I do my own reading.  I’m planning on reading for 30-40 minutes with time for pauses and questions, laughter and maybe some tears.  I will be reading some work about family here (italicized), so it may be challenging.

What I am thinking about for a list:

  1. A bit of “Piece of Clay”
  2. Spanish interpreter certificate
  3. Transformations (NEWER WORK) 
  4. All that time, waiting to bloom (NEWER WORK)
  5. An owl questions with a human face
  6. Wishing tree
  7. Calypso and the DJ (NEWER WORK – MAYBE)
  8. Quotilla:  Closing the bar (NEWER WORK)
  9. The rising
  10. Cemberlitas hamami  (NEWER WORK)
  11. Genocide bop (NEWER WORK)
  12. Lately I’ve grown accustomed
  13. Wolf Rock School 
  14. The pistol’s confession
  15. GED
  16. To survive
  17. Pillow letter 
  18. Chill (NEWER WORK)
  19. Little Swift
  20. How to live forever (NEWER WORK)

 We will see how it works out.  I

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