Power to the Poets: Black History Month


Please save the date for Power to the Poets: Black History Month!

Tuesday, February 2, at 5pm PST/8pm EST via Zoom/FB Live. 

Featuring Glenis Redmond, Bernard Collins, James Cagney, Karla Brundage, McTate Stroman II, Raymond Tyler, Tony Robles, Tureeda Mikell and new San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin. Curated by Aileen Cassinetto and hosted by Elijah B Pringle III.

Livestream here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/power2thepoets/live_videos/

Check out previous POWER TO THE POETS events here.

MiGoZine Year in Poems

MiGoZine Winter 2020/January 2021 Issue: Year in Poems is live! Featuring work by Barbara Berman, Tamiko Beyer, Scott Bird, Karla Brundage, Brian Komei Dempster, Johanna Ely, Paul Fericano, Eugene Gloria, Heath Hyun Houghton, Jenna Le, Timothy Liu, Karen Llagas, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Hilary Cruz Mejia, Cordelia Naumann, Carol Park, Robert Pesich, Elmer Omar Pizo, Jenny Qi, Robert Ricardo Reese, Dena Rod, Esteban Rodriguez, Annie Stenzel, Eileen Tabios, Victor Barnuevo Velasco, Michael Warr, Chun Yu, and Changming Yuan.

Power to the Poets: Vote for Change

Thursday, July 30, 2020, 5pm Pacific

Power to the Poets: Vote for Change


Via FB Live

Hosts: Aileen Cassinetto, Tony Robles & Poetess April J. Armstrong

Featuring (in order of appearance):

Bethlehem and Sad Patrick combine soul, jazz, folk, vocals, guitar and percussion to deliver powerful songs on universal themes — the struggles of modern society, life in the city, and love and heartbreak. The Philadelphia duo has released “Did You Ever Do?”, a polished set showcasing their skills in the studio realm.

Harini Krishnan is the Joe Biden District Delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, the California Democratic Party’s 22nd AD Delegate, a Town of Hillsborough 2020 Citizen of the year Award Recipient, a FUND HER Board Member, an Equal Access International Board Member & Chair of Fund Development Committee. Harini is also an Indian Classical Vocalist & Lecturer, a Harvard Kennedy School Public Leadership Program Candidate as well as Vice Chair of the San Mateo County Arts Commission.

John Wesley Shipp is an award-winning actor, director and political activist. He is known for The Flash, Dawson’s Creek and NYPD Blue. He is currently based in New York.

Karen Bryant Shipp is a singer, organist, and choral director who works as Minister of Music at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA, a progressive Baptist church where she is given the freedom to explore not only all kinds of music, but other religions and ideas. Karen was ordained at Oakhurst in November 2010. She is a political activist who comes from a family of civil rights activists.

James Cagney is a poet from Oakland. He is a Cave Canem Fellow and VONA alum, both programs that foster Black writers. He has performed in venues and museums throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. His first book, Black Steel Magnolias In The Hour of Chaos Theory, is out now by Nomadic Press.

Kai Coggin is a poet, author, and teaching artist living in the valley of a small mountain in Hot Springs National Park, AR. She is the author of three full-length collections, PERISCOPE HEART, WINGSPAN, and INCANDESCENT, as well as a spoken word album called SILHOUETTE. Her poetry has been nominated three times for The Pushcart Prize, as well as Bettering American Poetry 2015, and Best of the Net 2016 and 2018. Kai is a Teaching Artist with the Arkansas Arts Council and Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, and is also the host of the longest running consecutive weekly open mic series in the country, Wednesday Night Poetry.

Indigo Moor is an educator, scriptwriter, award-winning author, and former Poet Laureate of Sacramento. His full-length play “Live! at the Excelsior” was a finalist for the Images Theatre Playwright Award and has been optioned for a film. His latest poetry collection, Everybody’s Jonesin’ for Something (The Backwater Prize in Poetry Honorable Mention Series), is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press in March 2021. Indigo spends his days cleverly disguised as a mild-mannered Physical Design Engineer for computer companies.

Tony Robles, “The People’s Poet,” was born in San Francisco and currently resides in Hendersonville, NC, where he is the Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence. A San Francisco Art Commission Individual Artist Grantee, he was short-list nominated for poet laureate of San Francisco in 2017 and was a Pushcart Prize nominee in 2011. Tony is currently Assistant Publisher at The Cheerful Word.

Raymond Tyler is an Atlantic City-based broadcaster, artist, and producer. He hosts The Saturday Night Mix Tape on FM 91.7 WLFR and The Atlantic City Beat.com on FM 96.1 WTTH. He has worked as a columnist for The Shore Weekly and as a graphic artist/cartoonist for Essence, Vibe and The Source magazines, New York Press and The Philadelphia Weekly. Ray is the founder of The Arts and Media Think Tank and co-owner of The Little Wellness Arts Center and Gallery.

Poetess April J. Armstrong is a South Carolina-based poet, voice-over narrator, and entrepreneur. The author of the poetry collection, A Glass Mirror, April is also the radio/TV host of “Your Oral Diktion” at Black Love Poetry Series.

Hailing from the Bronx in New York, Timothy Proctor was born on January 16,1973. “Mr. Wispers” was a childhood nickname turned pen name when he picked up the artful skill of writing short stories and raps at age 12. Timothy began ghostwriting at 16 and eventually, became a ghostwriter of poetry to well known actors and actresses in Hollywood, CA. He also began honing his poetic skills as a performing artist at the world-renowned Nuyurican. Mr. Wispers is currently whispering yet another poetry album entitled Genesis 1:16. Go look that up, his goal is to be a star.

Tynea Smith is the CEO and founder of the Still Breathing Movement Inc., curator of the Cup of Tee segment and new radio host on the Black Love Poetry Network. Writing since the age of 11 with poetry featured in various anthologies, she has shared the stage with some of the best spoken word artists, under the pseudonym, Prophetic Poet. She now goes by Queen T. She is determined to give life and bring healing with her words as long as God will allow her pen to drop ink.

Lydia Cook also recognized as BornToWrite the Poet is an award-winning spoken word poet, author and inspirational speaker. Her mission and calling is to empower, encourage, and inspire diverse audiences globally. Cook has self published two books to date and her work is featured in five anthologies and in Tennessee and Ohio public libraries. In 2015, Lydia became “Toastmaster Cook,” earning her Competent Communicator Certification from Toastmaster International. Cook is currently an up and coming blog talk radio host with Black Love Poetry Series Network. On the BornToWrite Variety Show, Lydia interviews, and presents her written works “poetic, radio dramas” (mini skits).

Aquil Ali is a proud father of five daughters, one son, and five grands. He is a 30 year veteran of poetry and radio, CEO/Founder of Black Love Poetry Series, host of The Aquil Ali Show with April J., and Honorable Judge Aquil Ali on Hip Hop Court. Owner of Tri-State Dental Lab, in business now for over 50 years, he is also the author of Grindstone 4 Life and Memoirs of a 3x Ex-husband. Currently, Aquil is working on the next Black Love Poetry Series Network endeavors, including getting back into the studios at PeopleTV 24 Channel in Atlanta.

Emunah The Poetess is a wife and mother of 2 and loves all forms of writing, but takes a special interest in poetry. She hopes to become a published author one day and has surpassed her goal of writing 1000 poems.

Elijah Pringle III is a Philadelphia poet, lyric baritone, composer, actor, and artivist. He is the author of At the Cornerstone, Feeding the Sparrow, and Second Saturday at Serenity, and has appeared on radio, TV & stage. He has been quoted in print in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Daily News, and others. He credits his true education to five generations of teachers.

POWER TO THE POETS is a live reading series curated by Aileen Cassinetto. We’ll be broadcasting live on this event page. Video will appear as a post under the Discussion tab. The reading will be archived here.

Power to the Poets: Uproar!

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Please join us on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 5pm Pacific/7pm Central/8pm Eastern for POWER TO THE POETS: UPROAR!

Via Facebook Live

Amos White & Aileen Cassinetto


curates and hosts the Latinx reading series SPEAKING AXOLOTL in Oakland which happens every third Thursday of the month at Nomadic Press Studios. His first book of poems, Baby Axolotls y Old Pochos, is forthcoming from Black Freighter Press.

is a South Carolina-based poet, voice-over narrator, and entrepreneur. The author of the poetry collection, A Glass Mirror, April is also the radio/TV host of Your Oral Diktion at Black Love Poetry Series.

is a visual artist and faculty member at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. He is also a spoken word artist whose humorous style hearkens back to the “Toasting” traditions of African American culture seen in poems like the “Signifying Monkey” or “Shine.”

is the youngest United States Youth Poet Laureate appointed in the history of the country. She is also the first U.S. Poet Laureate to have been appointed from New York (as well as the Northeastern region) and the first Asian-American youth poet laureate of the United States. Youth Poet Laureate is a program of Urban Word.

has toured internationally and is known for both opening and featuring on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam alongside Jill Scott. She has also shared the stage with artists such as Talib Kweli, Nas, Dave Chapelle, and more. Shanelle was spotlighted on the Rachael Ray Show, and was named one of “8 Millennial Feminist Poets That Deserve Recognition” by BET.com and a “Powerful Indie Artist Activist You Should Know” by Blavity.com. She was selected to curate a series of poems for Fast Company Magazine’s 2019 European Innovation Festival at the Gucci Hub in Milan, Italy, and was the subject of a mini-documentary on the Lifetime Network regarding her battle with Lupus. She presently resides in Brooklyn.

is a poet, workshop instructor, entrepreneur, and author of From the Tongue of a Foster Child. He lives in Sicklerville, New Jersey.

is an East Palo Alto native and PhD student in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University. He holds degrees in African American Studies and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University and the University of Oxford. His debut collection, Gentefication, won the 2019 Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry, and is set to be published fall of 2021.

is the author of the internationally-acclaimed, Geography of Tongues, former Poet Laureate of San Ramon, co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, Sangam Arts Mosaic Fellow, TEDx speaker, and 2020 poetry judge of AWP’s Kurt Brown Prize. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in PLUME, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

is a Story Medicine Woman, award winning poet and performance artist. She was a featured poet/storyteller at the National Association of Black Storytellers, Lawrence Hall and Golden Gate Academy of Sciences, Museum of the African Diaspora, Randall and Oakland Museums, The Black Panther’s 50th Anniversary, Octavia Butler’s 70th Birthday, Eth-Noh-Tec Nu Wa in Beijing, China, and at the de Young Museum’s Soul of a Nation. Her book, Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine, was published by Nomadic Press in February 2020.

is the Poet Laureate of Delaware. He is a community-based social worker deeply rooted in the juvenile justice system. Mills has designed and led organizations that provide services for delinquent youth and their families. As a therapist, he serves New Castle County Delaware’s Multisystemic Therapy Services. Mills is a certified A.R.T. therapist, and takes pride in his efforts to utilize art as a tool for foundational change in youth, families, communities, and our society. A cofounder of G.O.A.L.S., and S.Y.A.-Tutoring and Mentoring Programs in Wilmington, Mills is also an honored army veteran who served in Iraq and speaks about his struggles with PTSD as a result of the war.

is Oakland’s 2020 Youth Poet Laureate. She is going into her junior year at Oakland Technical High School, and represents the Oakland community through poetry, media, and public appearances. Her first chapbook, A Heart Full of Hallways, was published in 2020 with Nomadic Press.

is a Philadelphia poet, lyric baritone, composer, actor, and artivist. He is the author of At the Cornerstone, Feeding the Sparrow, and Second Saturday at Serenity, and has appeared on radio, TV & stage. He has been quoted in print in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Daily News, and others. He credits his true education to five generations of teachers.

is Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Our Lady of the Lake University and former Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Salamander, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, and elsewhere. His visual poems have been exhibited in several galleries, including Presa House Gallery, Equinox Gallery, and at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, TX. He holds a PhD from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism & for Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Literature & Arts Magazine.

(THEY/THEM) is a trans non-binary poet from the Bronx. A 2020 Lyvo Fellow and recipient of The Oluwatoyin Salua Freedom Fighters Grant (2020), Gentle’s work has been featured in NYUnited, Bryant Park Poetry, West 10th, PoetNY, Write About Now Poetry, and more. Gentle is a BA candidate at New York University and most recently the author of their first book, Ultram (KDP 2018).

The Founder and Chief Planter at 100K Trees for Humanity, Amos White is a Climate Mobilization Strategist, Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, author, poet, arts impresario, civil rights activist, father, and husband based in Alameda, California.

POWER TO THE POETS is a live reading series curated by Aileen Cassinetto. We’ll be broadcasting live on the event page. Video will appear as a post under the Discussion tab. The reading will be archived here.

Watch Power to the Poets: Poets of Color for Change.
Watch Power to the Poets: A Juneteenth Special.

Power to the Poets: Juneteenth

Friday, June 19, 2020, 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern



Thank you to everyone who supported last week’s POWER TO THE POETS which featured Josiahluis Alderete, Ina Cariño, Bernard Collins, Melinda Luisa de Jesús, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Cole Larry Eubanks, AmbitionthePoet Harper, Venus Jones, Antonio López, Thea Matthews, Indigo Moor, Elijah B Pringle III, Glenis Redmond, Erika Clay Robinson, Tony Robles, Dena Rod & Raymond Tyler.

Due to the number of requests for an encore, we are proud to present


Friday, June 19, 2020
5:00PM Pacific / 8:00PM Eastern
Facebook Live

Aileen Cassinetto (San Mateo) & Raymond Tyler (Atlantic City, NJ)

Special guest:
Howard Wiley is a protégé of the dynamic Miss Faye Carol and Bay Area great Jules Broussard, and is associated with the Thelonious Monk Institute and GRAMMY All-American Jazz Band. After he visited the notorious Angola Prison in Louisiana in 2005, the “Angola Project” was born—a re-interpretation of prison spirituals, traditional spiritual music, New Orleans-style blues, gospel music, and jazz. Wiley has released a trio of masterful solo recordings, performed SFJAZZ Hotplate tributes to Ornette Coleman and Coleman Hawkins, and featured in the de Young Museum’s Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983.

Featured poets:

Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She is the author of numerous books of poetry and feminist critical theory and is also a mezzo soprano.

Vernon Keeve III is a Virginia born writer that California molded into an educator. He lives and teaches in Oakland, CA. His purpose is to teach the next generation the importance of relaying their personal narratives, sharing their experiences, and taking control of their destinies. “Southern Migrant Mixtape” is his first book.

devorah major is San Francisco’s third Poet Laureate. She is an award- winning poet and fiction writer, creative non-fiction writer, performer, editor, and part-time senior adjunct professor at California College of the Arts. She is also poet-in-residence of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Elijah B Pringle III is a Philadelphia poet, lyric baritone, composer, actor, and artivist. He is the author of At the Cornerstone, Feeding the Sparrow, and Second Saturday at Serenity, and has appeared on Radio, TV & Stage. He has been quoted in print in Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Philadelphia Daily News. He credits his true education to 5 generations of teachers.

Kim Shuck is the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco. She belongs to the northern California Cherokee diaspora and has taught American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. In 2019, Kim was awarded an inaugural National Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, a PEN Oakland Censorship Award, and a Golden Poppy Award in Poetry.

McTate Stroman II is a poet, spoken-word artist, and motivational speaker. He has featured at The World Stage in L.A., The Comedy Store, The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, UCLA, and more. McTate is the host and founder of the long-running monthly open mic series, First Thursday’s at De Anza College.

Raymond Tyler is a poet, producer, publisher, radio show host, and founder of The Arts and Media Think Tank based in Atlantic City, NJ.

Maw Shein Win (El Cerrito, CA) is an educator and the first Poet Laureate of El Cerrito. Her books include “Ruins of a glittering palace,” “Score and Bone” and “Invisible Gifts: Poems”. Her newest book, “Storage Unit for the Spirit House” will be published by Omnidawn in Fall 2020.

Angelique N. Zobitz is a poet raised on the Southside of Chicago, and is a recent transplant to the intersection of agriculture and academia in Indiana. She is the author of the chapbook “Love Letters to the Revolution” forthcoming Fall 2020 from American Poetry Journal. She is a Spring 2019 Black River Chapbook Competition Finalist, 2020 Best New Poets nominee and a two-time 2019 Best of the Net nominee.


***Please note that this event will be streamed live and will appear as a post on the event page, under the DISCUSSION tab.

Power to the Poets

Poets of Color for Change

“This felt like a Harlem Renaissance moment.”—Elijah Pringle III

Josiah Luis Alderete (Oakland, CA)
Aileen Cassinetto (San Mateo County, CA)
Ina Cariño (Raleigh, NC)
Bernard Collins (Philadelphia, PA)
Melinda Luisa de Jesús (Oakland, CA)
Tongo Eisen-Martin (San Francisco, CA)
Cole Larry Eubanks (Mays Landing, NJ)
Ambition The Poet Harper (Sicklerville, NJ)
Venus Jones (San Jose, CA)
Antonio López (East Palo Alto, CA)
Thea Matthews (San Francisco, CA)
Indigo Moor (Sacramento, CA)
Elijah Pringle III (Philadelphia, PA)
Glenis Redmond (Greenville, SC)
Erika Clay Robinson (Orange County, CA)
Tony Robles (Hendersonville, NC)
Dena Rod (Berkeley, CA)
Raymond Tyler (Atlantic City, NJ)

Hosted by Aileen Cassinetto & Raymond Tyler

If you were moved by the power of our poets and if you believe that #blacklivesmatter please buy their books, fund their projects, or consider supporting the movement by donating to progressive, nonprofit Black-led organizations such as the Oakland-based Color of Change which seeks to strengthen the political voice of black people by leading campaigns and designing strategies to fight racism and injustice. I also would like to remind everyone to please vote in November. —Aileen Cassinetto, Curator