Monday, November 28, 2016

Resistance, Radio Heart December 8th at Kearny Street Workshop

On Thursday, Decemebr 8th at Kearny Street Workshop, they will convene Resistance, Radio Heart to bring together the community for many reasons including a chapbook launch, a party, and a special award ceremony. The MC will be Paul Ocampo, a Board Member of Kearny Street Workshop.

The aim is to gather artists, activists, citizens of the bay area, in resistance and solidarity. They will dance, drink, and poetry. The exhibit will include specialty books by The Mystery Parade.

This event celebrates the publication of Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2016) by Margaret Rhee. Many of these poems were written with the guidance of Truong Tran and Kearny Street Workshop. The organizers want to take time to honor where the poetry emerged from. "We write together, and not alone."

Scheduled performers include Debbie Yee, Oscar Bermeo, Maria Fiani, Virgie Tovar, Sean Y Manzano, Isela Ford and of course, Margaret Rhee.

 A ceremony will be held to honor artist and poet Truong Tran for years of service, mentorship, and friendship to writers and artists of color in the Bay Area. to celebrate and express their gratitude for his indomitable, gorgeous radical spirit fighting for what is fair and good. This award will be given by CAPRE (Concerned Artists and Poets for Racial Equity) in light of the post-elections, and the need for resistance. They will celebrate Truong with testimonials of his mentorship and impact of his art and poetry, they also invite attendees to share their words of resistance in the space.


Truong Tran
is a poet and visual artist. His publications include, The Book of Perceptions (Kearny Street Workshop 1999, finalist in The Kiriyama Book Prize), Placing The Accents (Apogee Press 1999, finalist in the Western States Book Prize for Poetry), dust and conscience (Apogee Press 2000, awarded the San Francisco Poetry Center Book Prize), within the margin (Apogee Press 2004) and Four Letter Words (Apogee Press 2008). He is the recipient of four San Francisco Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Grants in Writing, one in visual arts, An Arts Council of Silicon Valley Grant, a California Arts Council Grant, a Creative Work Fund Grant and a Fund For Poetry Grant.

Truong lives and works in San Francisco and is currently the visiting Professor of Poetry at Mills College. Truong's poetry has been widely translated in Dutch, French, Vietnamese and Spanish. His collection Dust and Conscience was translated and published in Spanish in 2010 . His Artwork has been shown at Intersection for the Arts, Kearny Street Workshop, and the California Historical Society. In February of 2010, Truong had his first solo exhibition at The Mina Dresden Gallery in San Francisco. In 2011, Truong presented both his visual and written work at the Smithsonian Gallery in Washington DC. In the same year, he along with Former US Poet Laureate Robert Hass were featured US writers at The Poetry Festival International, in Rotterdam. Truong's work has been featured in Interview Magazine Russia, The Huffington Post, The Independent UK, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. In March of 2015, Truong debuted his installation entitled "Framed Targets" at The California Institute of Integral Studies. He continues to teach, write and make art in San Francisco.

When asked by a student "Why are you here?," he responded "I am here to remind you of what you left behind, what you are leaving at the door, what you left at home and what you left of yourselves so that you could cross this threshold, step into the house so that you can see yourselves written and rendered as other. I am here not just as a reminder. I am here should you need me. I am digging a tunnel beneath the house, rock by rock and spoon by spoon. Follow the trail should you need me, should you choose to join me. Bring a spoon. We will do this together."


Isela Ford, born in Mexico and later emigrated to San Francisco, in the mid-seventies, is committed to improving the lives of marginalized peoples and creating opportunities for their voices to be heard. Growing up in the Mission District during the 1970's and 1980's set the foundation for learning, growing, and appreciating people and cultures from all walks of life. Her appreciation and commitment uplifting disenfranchised people, particularly people of color, led her to work for the SF Department of Public Health, specifically working with adults in SF jails for over 15 years.

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently, To the Break of Dawn. He has taught creative writing workshops to inmates in Rikers Island Penitentiary, at-risk youth in the Bronx, foster teens in San Jose, bilingual elementary students in Oakland, and to adults through the Oakland Public Library's Oakland Word program. He is a Bronx Recognizes Its Own, CantoMundo, San Francisco Intergenerational Writers Lab, and VONA: Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation poetry fellow. Oscar makes his home in Oakland, with his wife, poeta Barbara Jane Reyes. For more information, please visit:

Maria Fiani is a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies and Critical Theory at UC Berkeley. Her academic work focuses on P.T.S.D., moral injury, and suicide; in addition to her academic life, she is an ARC fellow, a YBCA arts fellow, co-founder of the Life Writing Student and New Scholar Network and co-founder of an art collective titled (Un)Forbidden: a Valediction

Paul Ocampo was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the US at eleven years old. He earned a Master's degree in Asian American Studies at UCLA and MFA in creative writing at ASU. He has been published in anthologies and magazines including Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace and The New Engagement. He currently works at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus.

Virgie Tovar travels around the world lecturing on the social effects of fat discrimination and diet culture. She is the founder of Babecamp, a 4 week online course designed for women who want to break up with diet culture but don't know how. She started the hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight. Tovar has been featured by the New York Times, Tech Insider, Al Jazeera and NPR.

Sean Labrador Y Manzano lives on the island off the coast of Oakland. He edited Conversations at the Wartime CafĂ©; curated the reading series Mixer 2.0.; organized the symposium “From Trauma to Catharsis: Performing the Asian Avant-Garde;” performed as Jose Rizal in the jazz choreo-poem, Das Kapital, Volume 4, Elimination of the Industrial Phase and the Accumulation of Debt. His current projects examine graduate student suicide, H.D. and colonialism, Balikatan, and race and violence.

Debbie Yee’s poems appear in The Best American Poetry, Chattahoochee Review, Fence, and other publications. A Kundiman fellow and past S.F. Arts Commission grantee, she is a lawyer, baker, mom, and your friend.

Margaret Rhee is an artist and scholar engaged in the poetics and technologies of difference. As a poet, she is the author of Radio Heart; or How Robots Fall Out of Love, and the recipient of poetry fellowships from the Squaw Valley Poetry Workshop and Kundiman. Her project The Kimchi Poetry Machine was sponsored by the UC Invention Lab and selected to exhibit at the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 3. Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies department at the University of Oregon. In 2014, she earned her Ph.D. in ethnic studies, with a designated emphasis in new media studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kearny Street Workshop is located at 1246 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103. Founded as an artist collective in 1972, it is the oldest multidisciplinary arts nonprofit addressing Asian Pacific American issues. The organization's mission is to produce and present art that enriches and empowers Asian Pacific American communities.

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