Videos from our recent Better Ancestors event at Medicine for Nightmares, hosted by Kevin Dublin + featuring Lorenz Mazon Dumuk, Donté Clark, Kevin Madrigal Galindo & Landon Smith.
Author bios + links can be found here, where you can also watch all previous Better Ancestors events. If you’d like to dig, deep, you can watch all of our events from the past 12+ years here or check out our YT, which has all of those vids + readings from other Bay Area happenings.
If you haven’t signed up for our mailing list you can do that here. Be the first to know about our next event, tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 4. We’ve had one 7/4 event in our dozen years, and we’re sorry that post doesn’t include any coverage of our pre-show gathering in Washington Square Park. But we’ll never forget it. Save the date!
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DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ANCESTOR? WHAT IS THEIR STORY?
"I’d say I have some ancestors I’m obsessed with – two, specifically. One of them, Mar Dun, was a railroad laborer (like so many Chinese men of his era) on the CPRR side of the transcontinental railroad in the late 1800s. He was my father’s father’s father. My father’s mother’s father’s father was also in the US around the same time, but we don’t know what he was doing for work – his family was better off financially, so it’s possible he wasn’t a laborer, but so many men from that part of China (Guangzhou) were doing that kind of work. My current manuscript-in-progress centers on a poem about these two ancestors, imagining and writing my way into what they might have experienced, particularly imagining a world in which they are part of my queer legacy and imagining them loving each other during the years of Chinese Exclusion and the “bachelor society,” when Chinese community in America was so intensely male. And the railroad also obsesses me, particularly given its location so close to a place where I spend a lot of my time/have a home: Lake Tahoe. This poem became about them, about Tahoe, about language, identity, all of that, and now it’s the central poem of a whole book manuscript in which I obsess about all that these two ghosts raised for me/inside of me.”
WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU'VE LEARNED?
"No matter how much you may long for it, there are no do-overs. All you can do is push forward."
WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND SANCTUARY?