Poetry Reading & Panel with FlowerSong Press
Join us for a night of poetry with poets from FlowerSong Press at Word Up Community Bookshop. Featured poets include Matt Sedillo, Briana Muñoz, David A. Romero, Fernando Albert Salinas, Iris De Anda, Natalie Sierra, Gina Duran, and Kristine Esser Slentz. All attendees must be vaccinated and masked at all times indoors.
Based in McAllen, TX, FlowerSong Press nurtures essential verse from, about, and through the borderlands with voices of those from Latin America, the U.S.A. and all over the world. We are Literary, Lyrical, Boundless, and we welcome allies that understand and join in the voice of people of color and our struggle, truth, and hope. www.flowersongpress.com
Collectively, these poets and writers have performed their poetry all around the world, sold thousands of copies of their books, had their work published in hundreds of literary journals and newspapers, performed at hundreds of colleges and universities, been taught at dozens of colleges and universities and have also engaged in powerful work to uplift and transform their communities.
Line up of poets:
- Matt Sedillo, author of Mowing Leaves of Grass & City on the Second Floor
- Briana Muñoz, author of Everything is Returned to the Soil/Todo vuelve a la tierra
- David A. Romero, author of My Name Is Romero
- Fernando Albert Salinas, author of Toxic Masculinity: The Misadventures of a Barrio Boy
- Iris De Anda, author of Roots of Redemption: You Have No Right to Remain Silent
- Natalie Sierra, author of Charlie Forever and Ever
- Gina Duran, author of ...and so, the Wind was Born
- Kristine Esser Slentz, author of woman, depose
ABOUT THE POETS
Matt Sedillo has been described as the “best political poet in America” as well as “the poet laureate of the struggle” by academics, poets, and journalists alike. He has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, at numerous conferences and forums such as the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, and at over a hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, among many others. He is the current literary director of the dA Center for the Arts and author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (FlowerSong Press, 2019), which is currently being taught at California State University at Northridge and Monterey Bay, as well as at Mission College. His Three Act Poem structure has been taught as capstones of coursework at UCLA and Occidental College. His next poetry collection, City on the Second Floor, will be published in January 2022, by FlowerSong Press.
Briana Muñoz is a Poet from Southern California. She is the author of Loose Lips, a poetry collection published by Prickly Pear Publishing (2019) and of Everything is Returned to the Soil published by FlowerSong Press (2021). She has performed poetry in places like UNEAC (The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba), CECUT (The Tijuana Cultural Center), El Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego and beyond.
David A. Romero is a Mexican-American spoken word artist from Diamond Bar, CA. Romero is the author of My Name Is Romero (FlowerSong Press 2020), a book reviewed by Gustavo Arellano (¡Ask a Mexican!), Curtis Marez (University Babylon), and founding member of Ozomatli, Ulises Bella. Romero has appeared at over seventy-five colleges and universities in thirty different states in the USA. Romero’s work has been published in literary magazines in the United States, England, and Canada. Romero was the second poet to be featured on All Def Digital. Romero has opened for Latin Grammy winning bands Ozomatli and La Santa Cecilia. Romero’s work has been published alongside poets laureate Luis J. Rodriguez, Jack Hirschman, Alejandro Murguia, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Romero has won the Uptown Slam at the historic Green Mill in Chicago; the birthplace of slam poetry. Romero’s poetry deals with family, identity, social justice issues, and Latinx culture.
Born in Los Angeles County, Fox Hills, California, Fernando Albert Salinas received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Entertainment from Full Sail University and a Bachelor of Arts in English at California State University, Channel Islands. He is on the Board of Directors for California Poets in the Schools, the Ventura County Area Coordinator, and a Master Poet-Teacher. He is also an Adjunct Professor of English at Ventura College, the Ventura County Area Coordinator and recitation coach for the California Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud program, and the Editor-in-chief for Spit Shine Publishing. As Literary Arts Program Coordinator for the Ventura County Arts Council, he focuses on enhancing the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts, raising awareness of the power of literature, poetry, and the spoken word. In 2012, Salinas initiated the Groundswell Committee: a small collection of local poets, with the support of the Ventura County Arts Council, and created the County’s poet laureate program. In 2018, he implemented a youth poet laureate program for the county. His written poetry has appeared in several publications, including Askew Poetry Journal, Solo Poetry Journal, Miramar, and Lummox Press. He has performed his spoken word internationally.
Iris De Anda, a Guanaca Tapatia poet, speaker & musician has been featured with KPFK & KPFA Pacifica Radio, organized with Academy of American Poets, performed at Los Angeles Latino Book Festival, Feria del Libro Tijuana, Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba and is named one of Today’s Revolutionary Women of Color. Author of Codeswitch: Fires from Mi Corazon. Her second poetry book Roots of Redemption is forthcoming in 2021 with Flowersong Press. Find her on Instagram @lawriterunderground.
Natalie Sierra (she/they) is a first generation Latinx author and poet. Natalie is the author of two collections of poetry, Nadine: Love Songs for Demented Housewives (2015), and Medusa (2020, DSTL Arts Press), for which her poem ‘Medusa is My Sister’ was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has also written two collections of short stories; Temblors (2016), and Strangelove: Tales of Love and Lust (2019). Her work has been featured in dozens of publications, including Dryland, South Broadway Ghost Society, Medium, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition to her own poetic endeavors, Natalie is the Editor-In-Chief of Disquiet Arts, a Gothic literary magazine that publishes work from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, seeking to change the narrative on gothic & erotic content and the ownership thereof. www.pandorademise.com
Gina Duran is currently the Guest Editor of Boundless 2022, of The Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival, DJ/Host for The Collective on KQBH LA 101.5 FM, the author of “…and so, the Wind was Born,” with FlowerSong Press, and declared a Sapphic Author by The Lesbian Review. Duran is a Substitute teacher, Yoga Instructor, Massage Therapist, and an Art, Poetry, and Yoga teacher for the youth. Duran has Associate of Arts degrees in Liberal Arts and Science and Studio Art from Chaffey College, Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and World Literature: Creative Writing and Studio Art from Pitzer College and is a VONA (Voices of Our Nation Artist Foundation) alumna. She is also the founder of the IE Hope Collective; an outreach that helps people living on the streets and in shelters, and provides poetry, art, and yoga workshops for low income, homeless, foster, refugee, and LGBTQ2+ youth (ages 7-18)-—focusing on coping skills, empathy, introspection, mindfulness, and community building—which she developed during her time as a volunteer Community Health Worker for the San Bernardino County and as a Summer Research Fellow at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she published her research titled Sexual Violence and the Assimilation Response of LGBTQ2 Female Identified Latina and Indigenous Americans.” You can find Duran’s readings at the Autry Museum in LA, in the archived Herstory Mixed Tape exhibition.
Kristine Esser Slentz is the author of woman, depose (FlowerSong Press). She is originally from northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) from City College of New York (CCNY) where she is currently an adjunct professor. KRISTINE is a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee, finalist in the 2020-2021 Glass Poetry Chapbook Contest, Spring 2020 Flash Fiction Contest finalist for F(r)iction, CCNY English Department 2019-2020 Teacher-Writer Award, 2020-2021 Rifkind Fellow, and 2021Poets Afloat resident.
Word Up Community Safety Guidelines
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