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

A historic gathering of poets of color from the East Coast & West Coast


Please join us for a historic virtual gathering of poets of color from the East Coast & West Coast, organized by Aileen Cassinetto.

Poets of Color for Change

June 11, 2020 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) / 08:00 PM Eastern Time

Via Facebook Live

Josiahluis Alderete (Oakland)
Ina Cariño (Raleigh)
Bernard Collins (Philadelphia)
Melinda Luisa de Jesús (Oakland)
Tongo Eisen-Martin (San Francisco)
Cole Larry Eubanks (Mays Landing)
AmbitionthePoet Harper (Sicklerville)
Venus Jones (San Jose)
Antonio López (East Palo Alto)
Thea Matthews (San Francisco)
Indigo Moor (Sacramento)
Elijah B Pringle III (Philadelphia)
Tony Robles (Hendersonville)
Dena Rod (Oakland)
Raymond Tyler (Atlantic City)

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

We encourage you to power the movement by donating directly to Oakland-based, Black-led nonprofit Color of Change.

MiGoZine, Paloma Press’ online lit mag, is live

As I write this, 20% of the world’s population is under lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. There are now 719,758 confirmed cases worldwide since the illness was first reported in November 2019.

A day after the seven Bay Area counties issued a shelter-in-place mandate, I called for poems on “sheltering,” and in less than two weeks, received over 90 poems from 46 poets, on their personal and shared experiences of self-isolation, paying attention to and tracing the mundane and the fantastic that have become our new normal.

I am very grateful to William Allegrezza (Indiana), Ivy Alvarez (New Zealand), Megan Duffy Brown (California), Cynthia Buiza (California), Michael Caylo-Baradi (California), Douglas Cole (Washington), Joe Cottonwood (California), Robert Cowan (New York), Melinda Luisa de Jesús (California), Simeon Dumdum, Jr. (Philippines), Melissa Eleftherion (California), Hollie Hardy (California), Lee Herrick (California), Georgette Howington (California), Luisa A. Igloria (Virginia), Luke Johnson (California), Persis Karim (California), Mary Kasimor (Washington), Phyllis Klein (California), Abigail Licad (California), Aurelia Lorca (California), Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum (Tennessee), Joseph G. Mendoza (Philippines), Rashaan Alexis Meneses (California), Abigail Milne (California), Claudia Monpere (California), PC Muñoz (California), Tayve Neese (Florida), Cynthia J. Patton (California), Octavio Quintanilla (Texas), Ron Riekki (California), Jacki Rigoni (California), Tony Robles (North Carolina), Lisa Rosenberg (California), Christopher X. Shade (New York), Murzban F. Shroff (India), Kim Shuck (California), Michael Simms (Pennsylvania), Norma Smith (California), Eileen R. Tabios (California), Gabriele Tinti (Italy), Joel Vega (Netherlands), Maw Shein Win (California), Rosemary Ybarra-Garcia (California), Jamie Zou (Connecticut), & Cybele Zufolo (California).

Despite the onslaught of our most recent pandemic, these poets carved out time to create, log their days, and thoughtfully consider which poems best give shape to what we shelter and why.

Faithfully and with great respect,
Aileen Cassinetto
Updated March 31, 2020
San Mateo County, California