Sunday, January 24th: Departures and Arrivals at the Backyard Reading Series

Sunday, January 24th
4:30 pm
917 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94710
(Follow signs to back gate. Do not knock on front door.)

Gate opens at 4:30, readings commence at 5:00, drinking from tiny bottles to follow.

Readings by:
Jezebel Delilah
Diane Glazman
C.E Shue
Ryan Young

Your tickets are booked and your bags are checked. You’ve taken off your shoes and been lovingly caressed by the TSA. Soon you’ll be airborne, hurtling at six-hundred miles per hour towards whatever the future holds. But now it’s time for the waiting, the quiet space between here and there, empty time partitioned by overpriced sandwiches and watered-down bloody marys. Stow your tray tables and put your seats in the full upright position, because in this edition of Backyard, we will be examining everyone’s favorite liminal space: the airport. There will be long layovers and missed connections of all kinds. We will explore the wonders of first-class and the indignities of coach. We’ll discuss where we’re going, and what we’re returning from, and all the lonely and magical places in between.

Pan Am Stewardess costumes encouraged

Free, though donations of cash and beer will be accepted

Reader Bios:
Jezebel Delilah X is a queer, lush-bodied, Black, femme performance artist, writer, actress, filmmaker, educator, facilitator, orator and Faerie Queen Mermaid Gangsta for The Revolution. She loves to flirt, laugh, perform, crack corny jokes, and insert Octavia Butler references into every conversation. She is a Co-Managing Editor for Everyday Feminism; co-host of the queer/feminist Open Mic, Culture Fuck; Creative and Production Director of queer, Black, multi-disciplinary performance troupe, Congregation of Liberation; and on the board of Black Girl Dangerous. She has performed in a wide variety of Queer and Queer People Of Color theatre projects and cabarets, and has been a featured reader at literary events all over the Bay Area. She uses a combination of memoir, poetry, theatre, and feminist storytelling to advance her politix of radical love, socioeconomic justice, anti-racism, community accountability, critical reflection, love, healing, and liberation. She loves romantic songs, romantic films, romantic books, romantic conversations, romantic friendships, and writing long, vulnerable, passionate facebook statuses about romance.

Diane Glazman is an alumna of both the Squaw Valley Writers’ Workshop and Lit Camp. She holds an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State University and is a former student Artist-in-Residence at Recology (aka: the San Francisco dump), for which she created a gallery-show of visual and text-based artwork constructed from recycled and repurposed items brought to the dump’s public disposal area. Her work has been published in several journals including CALYX and sparkle + blink. She is an award-winning writer and photographer whose work has appeared in several literary journals as well as a former freelance writer with more than 250 by-lined articles published on a vast and random variety of topics including finance, travel, health, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Holocaust survivors, and the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a volunteer with the National Park Service’s Mounted Patrol in the Marin Headlands.

C.E. Shue writes about hypnotic lions, robot ghosts, invisible cities and Sleeping Beauty’s dreams. She holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco and her work has appeared in Drunken Boat, Versal, Washington Square, The Collagist, sparkle + blink, Works & Days Quarterly, and other journals. A Kundiman Fellow, she has also received grants from the Provincetown Fine Arts Workshop and the Vermont Studio Center, where she will be in residency in 2016.

Ryan G. Young is a writer living in Berkeley. He writes software documentation for a living.

Get Lit by The El Nino of Love!

Get Lit Reading
Tuesday, Jan. 19th:
Ale Industries: 3096 E. 10th Street, Oakland

Featuring: Candy Shue, Sarah Carpenter, Keeley Ann Finn, Julia Park Tracey, G. Macias Guzman, Nancy Davenport, Jeff Chon, Rajshree Lehka, Garrett Murphy, Hollie Hardy, Tomas Moniz, Fernando Meisenhalter, Kristen Caven, Norma Smith, Leora Fridman

The emcee for the night will be the wonderful Annelyse Gelman.
Music by the ever-so-talented Lake Lady!

Beer made by Ale Industries on site and coffee by our good friends next door, Red Bay Coffee.

Vouched Books will also be joining us! From their website: “Whether we’re reviewing work on our website, hosting a reading, or selling small press books at one of our guerrilla bookstores, the heart of Vouched Books is this: we love small press literature.”

Quiet Lightning at Viracocha on November 5th


I have the good fortune to read at Quiet Lightning:

Monday, November 5th
Viracocha • 998 Valencia @ 21st
7pm doors, show at 7:30

Please come and join the fun!

The show was curated by Chris Cole and Evan Karp and this month’s artist is Kirsten Harkonen.

A Night of Levels and Quadrants with the 'Lectric Collective

The ‘Lectric Collective reading, held on Dec. 9th at the Krowswork Gallery in Oakland was a mind and art expanding experience. Thanks to Sarah, Kelsa and Jill and Jasmine for putting together a great evening of art and poetry.

The theme of the night–accidental recordings and the framing of experience through the art of juxtaposition–made me think about the many tricks I play on myself, all the constraints I put on the writing of the poem in order to court the muse of chance. How do all these little accidents, mistakes, missteps, subconscious encounters, and forays into the unknown end up creating a poem–or a person, or a movement, for that matter?

I went back to the work of the philosopher Ken Wilber and found this diagram (projected onscreen during the reading) that depicts his theory of “All Quadrants, All Levels.” In it, he posits a description of the architecture of the cosmos that includes the interior experience of the individual (perceptions), the objective behavior of said individual (what can be seen and observed), the interior experience of the collective (culture), and the structures that the collective create in order to reflect the culture (society).

Using this rubric, any poem I write is mappable–and in fact, the poem itself can be seen as a map indicating where I am in my life at the very moment that I write it. The poem comes into being in the same way that my self emerges into a moment.

The idea of writing through the various layers of individual and collective experience reminded me of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge‘s poetic statement from the anthology, Lyric Postmodernisms (edited by by the late Reginald Shepherd):

“That particular conjunction of events which includes the history of your body, your experience, and your art vertically, and the time and circumstances you are in horizontally, seeks an expression that is inevitably unique, or new.”

“I have an intuition of a new form, as a new expertise in the topology of expression, emotion, and culture.”

To allow a poem to inhabit a space that is personal, historical, cultural and social seems like another way of explicating imagistically Wilber’s sense of levels and quadrants. For instance, in these lines from her poem, “Tan Tien,” Bersenbrugge approaches the notion of the body as a physical entity, but also one that exists in relation to other people as a link between the natural and manmade structures of the world:

If being by yourself separates from your symmetry, which is
the axis of your spine in the concrete sense, but becomes a suspension
in your spine like a layer of sand under the paving stones of a courtyard
or on a plain, you have to humbly seek out a person who can listen to you,
on a street crowded with bicycles at night, their bells ringing.


Reading with the 'Lectric Collective: Friday, December 9th

Incidental Footage: A Reading/Screening on the Politics of Personal Media
Friday, 9 December 2011

Please join us for a screening of incidental footage: films shot by non-professionals, on non-professional devices, without any intentional staging, along with readings by:


Our aim is to explore the felt effects of a multitude equipped with the power of media-making. This will include screenings of:


We love you and look forward to seeing you. If you can’t make it, we expect you to skype in whatever you happen to be doing instead.


‘Lectric Collective