Join us on July 4 for an outdoor, early afternoon reading and celebration to be held in Oakland’s Mosswood Park, featuring (pictured from top left) TJ Sykes, SevanKelee Boult bka Lucky 7, Hilary Cruz Mejía, (from bottom left) Briana Swain and Meilani Clay.

This event will also be the launch for our latest book, sPARKLE & bLINK 114, featuring work by authors from last year’s Better Ancestors and cover art by Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh! We will hand out a free copy of the book to the first 50 people at the event.

Plus, Briana Swain will be offering typewriter poems on demand!

This event is free to attend, with sliding scale donations of $0-20 encouraged to help pay the authors.

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INTERVIEW PROFILES
Caroline M. Mar courtesy of the author

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.”

Abigail Stewart courtesy of the author

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."

Karla Brundage by Robert Fischer

WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND SANCTUARY?

"Any beach with sand, and ocean with waves, bodies of water, wind on my face, places where there is movement (not created by me) so that I can be still."