2024 February Show: Rooted

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Hosted by Kevin Dublin, the February 2024 show theme is Rooted in Words and was held at the Kimpton Alton Hotel in San Francisco and the featured writers are: Nefertiti Asanti, Alie Jones, Karla Brundage, L. Abdul-Kenyatta, devorah major, and Michael Warr. Thank you to Kimberly, Jen, Natalia, and all of the Kimpton team!

Nefertiti Asanti is a poet, cultural worker, and fundraiser from the Bronx. Nefertiti is a recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Watering Hole, Lambda Literary, Anaphora Arts, Winter Tangerine, Museum of the African Diaspora, PEN America, and VONA. Nefertiti’s debut chapbook, fist of wind, won the inaugural Start a Riot! Chapbook Prize. They’re also a recipient of the 2023 SFF/Nomadic Press Literary Award. Their work can be found at Foglifter, Split Lip Magazine, Santa Fe Writer’s Project, and elsewhere. Nefertiti resides in Oakland and has spent the past five years fundraising to increase Black communities' access to resources and participation in the arts.

Alie Jones is a self-care advocate, writer, artist, and Creole mermaid. She is a founder of Bodacious Bombshells, a wellness collective in Oakland. Alie is passionate about centering our breath work as sacred and hopes to build a legacy of awareness and expression. She is the Director and Co-founder of Black Freighter Press, a revolutionary press committed to the exploration of liberation.

Alie graduated with a BA in Cinematic Arts & Technology from CSU Monterey Bay & a minor in Creative Writing & Social Action. She received her MPA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies as well as a MFA from Mills College in Creative Writing. Alie is the host of the podcast called Chit Chat with Aliecat, exploring self-care practices & journeys of self-love.

Karla Brundage is a Bay Area based poet, activist, and high school teacher. She is the founding director of West Oakland to West Africa and author of three books of poetry: Swallowing Watermelon, Mulatta-Not So Tragic!, and her new Book: Blood Lies: Race Trait(or) available for sale from Finishing Line Press. In May, she will be producing "Lake Walking, Revolutionary Talking:" an experimental, multimedia, theater piece which features the voices of poets in Oakland, San Francisco, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana at the San Francisco International Arts Festival on May 4th at the Red Poppy House.

L. Abdul-Kenyatta is the founder and has been Executive Director of The Speakeasy Storytellers since 2002. The Speakeasy Storytellers provide workshops and performances in storytelling and community events. Abdul-Kenyatta Is an old-school poet from Harlem and one of the founding members of Poets for Global Justice. He is an avid writer, poet, workshop coordinator and stage actor. He has performed as a jazz/blues vocalist in Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and across America. He is THE STREETCORNER POET and a professor of URBAN NEWS and JAZZALOGICAL MUSEOETRY.

A California, granddaughter of immigrants, documented and undocumented, devorah major was San Francisco’s Third Poet Laureate. A baker of pies and lover of jazz her poetry has carried her to many countries where she has performed with and without musicians. In 2022 she received Italy’s Regina Coppola International Literary Award. A Willow Press Editor’s Choice, her seventh book of poetry, Califia’s Daughter, was published by Willow Press. Individual poems can be found in many magazines and anthologies including Callaloo, The New Black Fire, Bum Rush the Page, and more. She will put down her pen to march, act and call for justice.

Michael Warr is a 2020 Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Awardee. His books include Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, The Armageddon of Funk, We Are All The Black Boy, and Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry From Chicago’s Guild Complex. He is a recipient of a Creative Work Fund award for his multimedia project Tracing Poetic Memory, PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, Black Caucus of the American Library Association Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His poetry is translated into Chinese as part of “Two Languages / One Community” a collaborative project with poet and translator Chun Yu.