Saturday, August 09, 2008

Poetry in Berkeley August 10

Arte Poetica - The Dream Poetry Team

With Alarcón, Hirschman, Montoya, and Serrano.

Sunday August 10, 2008

$5 - 7pm

The Dream Poetry Team descends on La Peña for a powerful evening of poetry.

La Peña celebrates California's full-fledged voices of poetry, the ripened voices that have taught up & coming new generations and upheld resolutely the arte poética for the people. With Francisco x Alarcón, Jack Hirschman, Jose Montoya, and Nina Serrano. MC by La Peña's Fernando A. Torres.

Francisco x Alarcón,
Chicano poet and educator, was born in Wilmington, California, in 1954. Raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, he came to California when he was 18 years old. He is the author of a number of bilingual poetry books for children and ten volumes of poetry, including "From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche: New and Selected Poems"; "Sonnets to Madness and Other/Sonetos a la locura y otras penas"; "Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation and Of Dark Love/De amor oscuro". Francisco was one of three finalists for Poet Laureate of California in 2005 and again was selected as a finalist by a California Arst Council panel on June 2008. More information about Francisco can be found here:

Jack Hirschman is San Francisco's Poet Laureate and social activist. He has written more than 60 volumes of poetry, translated more than 45 poems from at least 6 different languages, edited anthologies and journals. Dismissed from teaching at UCLA for anti-war activities in 1966, he moved to San Francisco in 1973. He is the city's present poet laureate. The Before Columbus Foundation presented Hirschman with an American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2002. The citation, written by David Meltzer, reads in part: "Jack Hirschman is an immensely present yet hidden figure in the cultural politics and life of American poetry. Amazingly prolific - on the highest levels of committed artistic and activist involvement - his work is generous, open, and penetratingly critical." More information about Jack can be found here:

Jose Montoya was named Poet Laureate of the City of Sacramento in 2002. As a painter, poet, and activist, Montoya is recognized as a legendary figure who has played a leading role in the Chicano cultural movement. He founded the Royal Chicano Air Force, a California arts collective renowned for its political murals and community projects. His poetry is widely anthologized and has promoted new interest in Chicano literature. Among his most famous poems is "El Louie," about a man with whom Montoya grew up. The poem described Louie's military service in Korea and his later entanglement with drugs, which led to his death. Many critics consider "El Louie" to be a classic depiction of a pachuco. "A Chicano cannot be born. No, the individual becomes a Chicano. The difficulty is not to understand what Chicanismo is but to become and to be a Chicano. What is Chicanismo? Simple: to be like Jose Montoya." (Javier Huerta) More information on Jose can be found here:

Nina Serrano is a poet, writer, storyteller, and independent media producer. Her poems are widely anthologized, most recently in the literary anthology, Under the Fifth Sun: Latino Writers from California and the three anthologies of peace poems Farewell to Armaments. She has won international film awards and served as an Alameda County Arts Commissioner. Serrano, former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program, is a co-founder of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino and produces regular radio programming on KPFA 94.1 FM in Berkeley. "She has lived a relatively long time compared to a butterfly and a relatively short time compared to a rock. There is much she still does not know about the two basic issues: life and death." More information about Nina can be found here:

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