Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My website

mayachinchilla.wordpress.com mayachapina.com

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry



Please join us Tuesday, March 17th in Mills Hall Living Room for...

Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry

March 17, 2009
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Mills Hall Living Room
5000 Macarthur Blvd.
Oakland, Calif. 94613

Edited by poet Hayan Charara, Inclined to Speak (University of Arkansas Press, 2008) collects poetry from 39 contemporary Arab American poets. Marilyn Hacker writes, “Some of these poets can think and sing in more than one language; they all can think beyond monoglot frontiers.” Hayan Charara is the author of The Alchemist’s Diary (Hanging Loose, 2001) and The Sadness of Others (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006). Elmaz Abinader teaches at Mills College and VONA (Voices of Our Nations Summer Workshops), which she co-founded. Her books include Children of the Roojme (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997) and In the Country of My Dreams (Sufi Warrior Publishing, 1999). Fady Joudah is a physician, member of Doctors Without Borders, translator, and poet. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s recent works is collected in The Butterfly’s Burden (Copper Canyon Press, 2007).

Mills Alumnae Leila Abu-Saba will be introducing the readers.

The reading will be catered by La Med with a reception beginning just before the reading and continuing afterwards, please come by to enjoy the words, drink, and food with us.

This event is open and free to the public.

Please contact Kati Knox at kati_knox AT hotmail.com with any questions.

Thank you.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The People for President: Inaugurate This!

I'm going to the inauguration in DC! Come support these events or let me know if you want to support in other ways. More info to come!




A Bay Area coalition of artists and activists create a visual and performing arts project to take to the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, as a way to inaugurate a collective vision for social change!
You can support this effort and add your ideas to the "Inaugurate THIS!" mural project at the following events at La Peña Cultural Center:


Dec 14 Sunday:International Food Tasting Event 7-10pm
Jan 14 Wednesday: Film Screening & Mural-Making Fundraiser, 8pm
We are looking forward to building with you at one or more of these events!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

poetry is an isosceles trapezoid or a mindless circus

This past week in a workshop I wrote a poem pushing myself to incorporate some of the critiques and challenges that I had been receiving as part of the practice of expanding on my artistry. When it came time for my critique, instead of feeling that the words were being considered, what I heard most reflected was that my experience wasn't theirs. I was asked "was this meant to be read aloud or performed?"

I couldn't help but get the feeling that the poem then and there was disregarded and somehow judged differently because I had chosen to write a narrative poem that was timely, relevant and meant to be understood and I wasn't interested in scattering the words across the page in some sort of cryptic design to be considered more "literary".

Tony Media points out in the introduction to Bum Rush the Page that "Serious poets who also happen to perform well on stage are constantly being called spoken-word artists and are not taken seriously as writers. Poets (especially those of color) who use the word (use language) to effect change are therefore ghettoized by those in the academy and those at the gates as solely (or "simply") oral, urban, or street poets." (xix) I am exhausted and frustrated by this experience.

Like a good friend said to me: "that page/stage conversation is tyyud, tired, seco, boring, exhaustive and really, when you look at it carefully, is more a conversation between the rich and the poor."
Well put friend.

While much of the poetry I write or like may have some relation to spoken word "that which lives in performance" poetry should always maintain as Medina says, "the integrity of the page, of the written word." punto. It's got to be about something and then each word has to be considered. Entendiste?

Lesbian Feminist Strippers and Gay Chickens

Don't they know those chickens are gay?

Feminist Lesbian Stippers putting clothes back on. Love it.