bi the way
Venue: Summer Lounge Leg: Two 5:30PM
Julia Vinograd: Between Spirit and Stone
A tribute to iconic, bubble-blowing Berkeley poet Julia Vinograd featuring an excerpt from an in-progress documentary on her life and work, followed by readings of her most cherished poems.
CURATOR: Ken Paul Rosenthal makes visually innovative documentaries that explore the intersection of art, madness and the spectrum of difference. His films have screened widely at national and international film festivals. He is the recipient of numerous festival awards, a Kodak Cinematography Award, and a University Film & Video Association Award. His website is www.kenpaulrosenthal.com/
Jan Steckel’s book Like Flesh Covers Bone (Zeitgeist Press, 2018) won Rainbow Awards for LGBT Poetry and Best Bisexual Book. Her poetry book The Horizontal Poet (Zeitgeist Press, 2011) won a Lambda Literary Award. Her fiction chapbook Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009) and poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) also won awards. www.jansteckel.com
Richard Loranger is a multi-genre writer and all-around squeaky wheel currently residing in Oakland, CA. He is the author of Unit of Agency, Be A Bough Tit, Sudden Windows, Poems for Teeth, The Orange Book, and ten chapbooks, and has work in over 100 magazines and journals. You can find more about his work and scandals at www.richardloranger.com
Paul Corman-Robert’s 2nd full length collection of poems, Bone Moon Palace (Nomadic Press 2021) has been nominated for a CLMP Firecracker Award. He currently teaches workshops for the Older Writer’s Lab in conjunction with the San Francisco Public Library as well as the San Francisco Creative Writing Institute.
Venue: Chapter 510 Leg: One, 4:00PM
fierce words: allgender
Fierce words: an allgender reading
Curated by Natasha Dennerstein, out trans poet, assembles a group of the best Bay Area trans/gender non-conforming writers to sear your ears.
Natasha was born in Melbourne, Australia and has an MFA from San Francisco State University. She has had 5 books of poetry published and her work has appeared in many journals in the USA and internationally. She is an editor at Nomadic Press in Oakland and works for St James Infirmary, a clinic for sex workers in SF.
lynn breedlove is an award winning under achiever, writer, performer, activist, and transportation entrepreneur. he’s fronted Tribe8, The Homobiles and COMMANDO, founded the queer nonprofit ride service, Homobiles, and authored Godspeed, a novel, on st Martin’s press, and Lynnee Breedlove’s One Freak Show, and 45 Thought Crimes, on Manic D press. he looks forward to fucking shit up globally and locally.
Mason J. (he/they) is a Black-Indigenous historiographer, multidisciplinary artist, and cultural worker born and residing in San Francisco. They are co-editor of Still Here San Francisco and author of the 2022 Lambda Literary Nominated [trans poetry] book, Crossbones on My Life. Mason's creations can be found anywhere they need to be.
Avren Keating is a poet, artist and host of the trans poetry podcast Waves Breaking. They live in Oakland, CA.
Cal Calamia (they/he) is a bilingual queer trans educator, activist, and poet. His performative work has been featured at many spoken word series across The Bay, and his first book, San Franshitshow, was published by Nomadic Press last year. They are a secondary Spanish and Health educator in the city and are currently pursuing their MFA at the University of San Francisco.
Jasper Jay has been writing poetically since he was a little past knee high in Appalachia. As a Queer, Disabled, Trans, long-time Bay-Area transplant, he relishes work that lets him engage in intersectional social change. Thankfully, preparing to revisit Beastcrawl has encouraged him to dive back into his love for twisting words.
Venue: Summer Lounge Leg: Three 7:00PM
the throwback special
THE THROWBACK presents THE THROWBACK SPECIAL: A reading featuring five stellar poets. The Throwback was a low-tech literary journal edited and distributed by Dan O’Connell. Several issues were put out in the early 2000s. It will be reborn for this reading.
Dan O’Connell (aka Dan O.) is a four-time award winning poet, and multiple finalist and honorable mention. His poems have appeared over eighty times. He is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Different Coasts, and Theory of Salvation, and the chapbook State of the Union. www.danoconnellpoetry.com
Barbara Saunders writes poetry with mythological, historical, and biographical themes. Her poetry has been published by Highland Park Poetry and won prizes and honorable mentions from the Bay Area Poets' Coalition and the Ina Coolbrith Circle. Barbara has featured at Saturday Night Special, a Virtual (formerly East Bay) Open Mic.
Cassandra Rockwood Ghanem is an award-winning writer and illustrator, recently selected for fellowships and awards from the Center for Book Arts in New York City and Disquiet International Literary Program. Cassandra founded a reading series at the Beat Museum in San Francisco. Her collection, Hot Thicket, was released by Nomadic Press in 2022; IG: cassandrarockwoodghanem; FB: facebook.com/cassandrarr
Mae Yway is a Burmese poet, scriptwriter, and publisher. She has published her writing in periodicals and collections since 2010. The first volume of her poetry, Courier, appeared in 2013; You & I appeared in 2016; Fish and Shrimp was published in 2021. In 2017, Mae founded the poetry publishing house 90/91
Keith Mark Gaboury earned a M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. His chapbooks were released through Duck Lake Books and The Pedestrian Press. He has a forthcoming chapbook from Finishing Line Press. Keith is also the Vice President of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club. www.keithmgaboury.com
Venue: Radio Bar Leg: Three 7:00PM
paper press books
Paper Press Books & Associates Publishing Company is a small press of poetry and fiction directed by author Youssef Alaoui.
Find out more at: paperpressbooks.org
Harmonies of the Sun Join us for a reunion of Paper Press authors and special guest Tureeda Mikell. This will be a powerful lineup you will not want to miss!
Tureeda, story medicine woman, poet, educator, activist for holism, is a U. C. B. BAWP Fellow, author of Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine; released in 2020, coauthor and curator of EastSide Arts Alliance’s, Patrice Lumumba Anthology, released 2021, both by Nomadic Press, and MoAD 2022 poet in residence.
Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine
Metro Film and Arts
Tree of Life Foundation
Cpits.org - Mikell Tureeda Poet
MK Chavez is an Afro-Latinx writer and educator. She is the author of Mothermorphosis, and Dear Animal (Nomadic Press), and the lyric essay chapbook A Brief History of the Selfie. Chavez curates the reading series Lyrics & Dirges and is co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival. She is a recipient of the Alameda County Arts Leadership Award, the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and the 2021 San Francisco Foundation/Nomadic Press literary award. Her most recent work can be found in the Academy of Poets Poem-A-Day series and at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco with the Voice of Trees projects. mkchavez.org
Sharon Coleman's a fifth-generation Northern Californian with a penchant for languages and their entangled word roots. She co-curates the reading series Lyrics & Dirges and co-directs the Berkeley Poetry Festival. She’s the author of a poetry chapbook Half Circle (Finishing Line), and a book of nano-fiction, Paris Blinks (Paper Press).
Missy Church is a death doula and educator living in California. She has created a curriculum to help young children understand death through story, poetry, observation, and personal experience.
Missy is the host of the seasonal open mic, Naked Bulb, in Oakland. Along with Andrew J. Thomas, she publishes local writers through Naked Bulb Press. She also publishes anthologies and has a book of poetry available from Paper Press- Church: Retrospective. paperpressbooks.com/store
Her poetry book, “deathaiku” is available from Collapse Press.
You can follow Missy: Instagram @deathaiku Missy the Death Doula: missychurchdoula.com
While she’s currently on a writing sabbatical in a hideaway she calls “Mermaid Town,” K.R. Morrison is a San Francisco based moon witch, poet, drummer, and high school teacher who has been teaching English and Creative Writing for 18 years. Her first chapbook Cauldrons was recently published by Paper Press Books.
Purchase her book here:
FB: K.R. Morrison
Paper Press Books heartily thanks Joyce Gordon Gallery for hosting our reading at Beast Crawl Literary Festival. Joyce Gordon Gallery is a fine art gallery located midtown Oakland, CA. It exhibits art that reflects the social and cultural diversity of the Bay Area and international artists.
Joyce Gordon Gallery Offers an experience to the public through the Arts Community Building The Bay Area's Cultural Renaissance. Centrally Located in Downtown Oakland near the 12 St. Bart Station the Gallery is easily accessible to visit from all over the Bay. The Gallery offers you some of the most cutting edge Art produced primarily by Black/African Artist from around the globe in all original mediums. Witness the Amazing creativity at our Gallery openings on First Fridays and Celebrate Life through the Arts. When you're here check out our Gallery's gift shop that has an array of locally made Crafts,prints and other fine Art goods representing Oakland's Culturally enriched Arts Community.
Joyce Gordon Gallery is also an Events Destination for Culturally creative activities and on going festivities. Our Gallery is available for Rental for your event needs from wedding receptions to performing arts recitals and more. Please inquire about what we may offer you. Make Joyce Gordon Gallery your Destination Stop when in Oakland.
Venue: Joyce Gordon Gallery Leg: Three 7:00PM
colossus press - home:free
Colossus Press is focused on gathering artists and writers in the spirit of resistance, mobilizing and giving voice to our passion for social justice. We create virtual and concrete spaces where we combine activism and art. We take the direct actions of publicizing pressing issues and making monetary donations to local organizations working on the ground.
-Colossus: Published in 2017 and focused on the immigration crisis, included the work of 13 writers on the theme of immigration, proceeds from readings and book sales were donated to Freedom for Immigrants.
-Colossus:Home, published in 2019, included the voices of 68 writers on the theme of Home and donated all funds collected from sales of this book and from readings are donated to Moms 4 Housing.
-Colossus:Freedom will be published in the summer of 2022. This anthology includes the writing and visual art of 48 individuals responding to the theme "freedom". This anthology includes the voices of currently incarcerated people, their family members, and victims of crime. We have also included writers who haven’t experienced a direct impact from crime or incarceration. All funds collected from sales of this book will be donated to support California Coalition of Women Prisoners.
Home:Free is a reading featuring Tony Aldarondo, Elisa Salasin, Poet E. Spoken, Georgina Marie and Fred Dodsworth. These fantastic spoken work artists will read their powerful work and poems from Colossus:Home and our latest anthology Colossus:Freedom. Join us and celebrate the unstoppable combination of poetry and social justice.
Venue: Chapter 510 Leg: Two 5:30PM
Milvia Street is a print and online journal that has featured the diverse voices and visions of Berkeley City College students since 1989. We nurture the next generations of literary movers and shakers. www.milviastreet.com
Join us for an amazing reading featuring phenomenal emerging LGBTQ+ and BPOC poets: antmen pimentel mendoza, Carla Schick, Christiana Smith, Elaine Dowd, and Jay Whittington. Their creative work is forth coming in the next issue of Milvia Street, Berkeley City College’s art and literary journal. Hosted by Sharon Coleman.
antmen pimentel mendoza (he + she) is a writer currently based in Oakland, CA. His poetry is published in Cosmonauts Avenue, Underblong, and Lantern Review and is anthologized in Peach Mag’s Worlds In Which: Speculative Mix. Her favorite donut is a maple old-fashioned. antmen is online as @antmenismagic.
Carla Schick is a Queer transformative justice activist and writer. Their writing weaves together personal stories, politics, and history to create visions for resistance & liberation. They have been published in Milvia St., Forum Literary Journal, Sinister Wisdom, Berkeley Times, and Earth’s Daughters. The Write Launch published their creative nonfiction.
Christiana Smith is an emerging writer and poet. They write about sapphic and non-binary experiences, family, and the discovery of self. Their love for music led them to poetry. They believe language is always evolving, and learning to evolve with it is a valuable skill.
Elaine Dowd is a Berkeley based poet who believes in the power of story to heal and transform lives. Poetry is her favorite practice, as it connects her to secret portals and new spaces of exploration in which she can dance with both shadow and stars.
Berkeley native, Jay Whittington, found her home within the written word. Painting unique landscapes with words, Jay creates platforms for voices lost within the world's noise. "I write the wrong to right the wrong," Jay uses her pen to bring forth new thought and hope, one letter at a time.
Venue: Binny's Leg: One 4:00PM
Poetry Flash is an online review and literary calendar for California and the West, featuring book reviews, essays, homages, poems, columns, and calls for submissions. Poetry Flash presents a regular reading series in Berkeley, produces the Northern California Book Awards, and sponsors the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival. Our heartfelt mission is to build community through literary events and publishing. See more athttps://poetryflash.org/.
Poetry Flash Readers & Writers
Four poets read to celebrate building community through literature, all of whom have been featured in Poetry Flash Readings, or reviewed and published in Poetry Flash, plus our Associate Editor. The reading will be emceed by Joyce Jenkins, Editor and Director of Poetry Flash.
Heather Bourbeau’s work has appeared in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, Meridian, The Stockholm Review of Literature, and Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. She is the winner of La Piccioletta Barca’s inaugural competition and the Chapman Magazine Flash Fiction winner, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, including Nothing Short Of 100: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story (Outpost 19), America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press), and Respect: Poems About Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press).
Maw Shein Win is a Burmese American poet, editor, and educator who lives and teaches in the Bay Area. Her new collection is Storage Unit for the Spirit House, longlisted for the PEN America 2021 Open Book Award, finalist for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry, and shortlisted for The Golden Poppy Awards 2021. D.A. Powell wrote of it, "Poetry has long been a vessel, a container of history, emotion, perceptions…These poems are portals to other worlds and to our own, a space in which one sees and one is seen. A marvelous, timely and resilient book.” Maw Shein Win’s collections include Invisible Gifts: Poems; her chapbooks include Ruins of a glittering palace and Score and Bone. She is the inaugural Poet Laureate of El Cerrito (2016–2018). http://www.mawsheinwin.com/
Richard Silberg is a poet, critic, translator, and Associate Editor of Poetry Flash. He is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently The Horses: New and Selected Poems and Deconstruction of the Blues, recipient of the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award and nominee for the Northern California Book Award. His books include Reading the Sphere: A Geography of Contemporary American Poetry. He co-translated, with Clare You, The Three Way Tavern, by Ko Un, foreword by Gary Snyder, which received the Northern California Book Award in Translation. He also co-translated Flowers Long For Stars, poems by Oh Sae-Young, This Side of Time, by Ko Un, and I Must Be the Wind, by Moon Chung-Hee. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, Volt, Parthenon West Review, ZYZZYVA, Eleven Eleven, and New American Writing.
Sam Sax’s latest book of poems is Bury It. Tyehimba Jess says, “Bury It, Sam Sax’s urgent, thriving excavation of desire, is lit with imagery and purpose that surprises and jolts at every turn.…A vitalizing and necessary book of poems that dig hard and lift luminously.” Bury It received the 2017 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Their first collections are Madness, winner of the National Poetry Series, and A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters; their poems were included In Absentia: Reflections on the Pandemic. A queer Jewish writer and educator, they are a two-time Bay Area Grand Slam champion, and have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, Wallace Stegner Fellowship, The MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Michener Center for Writers. https://www.samsax.com/
The Bookmark Bookstore is a unique shopping experience located in Old Oakland. Proceeds from the Bookmark benefit Oakland's Public libraries! Shop & support us in our store or online.
Venue: Bookmark Bookstore Leg: One 4:00PM
la palabra musical
LA PALABRA MUSICAL (The Music of the Word), is Oakland's longest running multi-lingual poetry reading. La Palabra Musical has had many homes, most recently at the César Chávez branch of the Oakland Public Library in the heart of the Fruitvale District. Since the onset of COVID, La Palabra Musical has moved to Zoom. We gather on the 4th Saturday of the month from 3-5 pm. Look for more info and links on Avotcja's Facebook page.
La Palabra Musical (The Music of the Word)
Come take a journey of the mind and spirit with Avotcja, Ras Mo, Tony Aldarondo, and Susana Praver-Pérez, master storytellers through poetry and music. We keep the Caribbean in the house!
AVOTCJA is an award-winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist. She’s a popular Bay Area DJ & Radio Personality, leader of the group “Avotcja & Modúpue", and facilitator of La Palabra Musical (The Music of The Word). Avotcja teaches Creative Writing & Drama & is a proud member of DAMO (Disability Advocates Of Minorities Org.), PEN Oakland, and is an alumni of California Poets In The Schools. Her latest book is WITH EVERY STEP I TAKE (Taurean Horn) Website: Avotcja.org
TONY ALDARONDO has performed music and poetry in venues throughout the San Francisco Bay area, overseas and once while standing up on a Jetblue airplane. He is also an actor and a voice over artist. His first poetry book titled, BIG HEART POET from Humming Word Press is out now! Website: tonyaldarondo.com
SUSANA PRAVER-PÉREZ is a Pushcart-nominated poet and a winner of the San Francisco/Nomadic Press Literary Award (2021). Her work has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and her first full-length collection of poetry, HURRICANES, LOVE AFFAIRS, & OTHER DISASTERS was released by Nomadic Press in June 2021. Website: susanapraverperez.com
RAS MO MOSES is a poet, composer, singer, storyteller , educator & recording artist from the island of Dominica. He uses performing arts for violence prevention, gender & race equality, social justice and community building. He has published three books of poetry and two albums of music. Website: rasmomoses.com
Venue: Graffiti Pizza Leg: Three 7:00PM
The Hydra has been soundfully resting under Mount Diablo since the last time a collective of writers of the absurd, horrifying, and weird came together to lull it back to sleep with their tales and slant rhymes; however, recent rumors speaking of the removal of the autonomy of one's body has given the beast nightmares and it stirs, grumbles, and coughs. And, frankly, the readers of this event no longer know if they want to lull the beast back to sleep and pray humanity continues on its gentle slope of progress or wake it with their shrieks and screams letting it run amuck, and hoping some decent semblance of humanity survives to build something new and stark while the ashes of old disappear on the wind.
Award-winning author of Afrosurrealist and multicultural sci-fi and horror, author of Happiness and Other Diseases (Mocha Memoirs Press). Sumiko Saulson writes a column "Writing While Black" for the San Francisco BayView, host the SOMA Leather and LGBT Cultural District's "Erotic Storytelling Hour," and teach courses at the Speculative Fiction Academy.
Ahmed is a Libyan American programmer with a deep love for sci fi and fantasy. Avid reader, turned writer, Ahmed hopes to tackle stories he wanted to see growing up. Stories about third culture kids, North Africa, being Arab and the sanctuary that fantasy gives to those feeling "otherness."
Audrey T. Williams writes speculative fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She earned her MFA from CCA in San Francisco. Her poetry has been published in Space & Time Magazine, FUNGI, and Conjuring Worlds, an Afrofuturist textbook for middle grades. Audrey is a nonfiction contributor to Lightspeed Magazine and Flash Fiction Online. @Virgule2020 @audthentic_stories AncestralFutures.org
Duane Horton is a 29 year old black queer fantasy writer based in Oakland, CA. He spends his time teaching fantasy writing workshops for Oakland youth. And is currently working on a novel. His work can be found in Green Mountains Review and Free Spirit Magazine. On his off time, he can be heard playing his flute.
Trey (also known as Vernon Keeve III) is a Virginia born, queer writer. They currently live and teach in Oakland. They hold a MFA from CCA, and a MA in Teaching Literature from Bard College. Trey's full-length collection of poetry, Southern Migrant Mixtape, was published by Nomadic Press in 2018 and is the recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. Trey continues to write poetry while working on their first novel, and they will be attending Columbia University in the fall to pursue a doctorate in English Education.
Venue: Chapter 510 Leg: Three 7:00PM
the beastly blog
Here is the place for current events, partnerships, and Festival Info.