Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I know this is 15 minutes after the fact, so if it can't be counted, so be it...
Was trying to find the right YouTube clips to correspond with the post, figured I'd put this up anyway, even if a quarter-hour late...
See y'all tonight...
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Digable Planets perform at Club Six in San Francisco. For those unaware, Digable Planets is a hip-hop group that came to notoriety in the early ’90s. They’re widely regarded as being the vanguard of fusing jazz music and aesthetics with hip-hop lyricism that tackles a wealth of pressing social and political topics pertinent to communities struggling against structural oppression. In their far too short recording career (the trio produced two albums before disbanding in 1994) Digable Planets always managed to make listeners critically engage with issues pertinent to their own lives, but did so with such smooth musicality (working with both live jazz musicians as well as rhyming over as-yet-unheralded samples of prior jazz classics), that the process was a pleasurable one, even if the content spoke to an at times overwhelming struggle for dignity in the face of prejudice and persecution. Perhaps this has as much to do with their unique presentation as hip-hoppers not only tremendously influenced by jazz history, but also that of the ’60s psychedelic rock music scene and its own cultural signifiers. They’re alter-egos/emcee names, for example, drew from insect taxonomy, which certainly had a hallucinogenic connotation (one was named Butterfly, another Doodlebug, another Ladybug Mecca), and they’d be as likely to rock tie-dye wears and hippie-influenced decoratives as they would North Face fleeces and Timberland worker boots.
Digable Planets has had a series of “reunion” shows over the last few years, in which they’ve toured several U.S. cities and performed their widely revered catalogue with occasional live musical accompaniment (a live percussionist and bassist, for instance), but no album of new material has yet come from these gatherings. I caught word that they’d be in town with several other hip-hop heavyweights from the ’90s a couple weeks ago, and knew I had to make it out (even if it meant that they wouldn’t hit stage until 1 in the morning, wouldn’t be off until 2 or 3, and that such a late-night venture would likely mean I’d be in bad shape the next day, as I tried to push on with my end-of-semester, final-projects-need-to-get-handled agenda!).
Though I was extremely disappointed that Ladybug Mecca had been replaced (the trio’s sole woman, she’s apparently become quite ill in recent years, and is no longer touring with the group; a woman whose name escapes me replaced her that night, handling all of Ladybug’s verses on songs from the established albums), the group still put on a strong show, for a crowd that largely knew their music inside and out. The full live band accompaniment (drums, hand percussion, bass, guitar, keyboard, horns) felt especially noteworthy, given that many hip-hop acts choose simply to appear with a DJ and rhyme over pre-recorded instrumentals. In Digable Planets’ case, the concert actually was a live musical event, with the group’s emcees interacting with, and at times improvising along, the live instrumentation.
Given that so much of hip-hop’s power derives from the energetic reciprocity between performer and audience, the interactions on stage (and the energetic exchanges the crowd accordingly witnessed from song to song) provided a sort of template for how we, as audience, could also share of our excitement and enthusiasm, and return it to the artists giving us of their talents. The content of the set moved fluidly from sociopolitical issues that remain as relevant as when the group initially penned poems about them 15+ years ago (police abuse in communities of color, abortion rights, media control of our imaginations and interactions) to more playful, lighthearted content about romantic relationships, healthy eating, and even the state of today’s music industry. Witnessing Digable Planets’ deliver their unique, not-necessarily-reliant-on-rhymes lyrics, and seeing the extent to which they prioritized the enjoyment of the crowd even while they delivered searing social commentary, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the metaphor of sweetly flavored medicine as a means of ensuring quick and thorough recovery from sickness. If medicine tastes terrible, who wants to take it? But if it’s sweet, appealing, to the point that the person ingesting doesn’t even think of it as medicine, then that person’s likely to take more of it, and recover from their ills that much more thoroughly. The content of Digable Planets’ set at Club Six felt to me like the medicine. The ace musicianship, the banter with the crowd, and the energetic exchanges among the band—then between band and audience—felt to me like the medicine’s flavor, the means by which we would open up to that content and want more of it.
Here’s a fan-recorded clip of Digable Planets performing their seminal hit “Cool Like Dat” at Club Six, then a clip of the music video for that song from back in ’93.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, and also featuring Amina Baraka and the Freedom Now Band
Eastside Arts Alliance
2277 International Blvd, Oakland CA, 94606 ph: 510-533-6629
The lokus were short, and funny, but like a haiku, cramming a lot of thought into a short space. They addressed serious subjects, usually political, and I believe both statements that I quoted above were loku.
He also read one that was simply a repetition of the line "why are they so crazy" about eleven or twelve times. It was really interesting how complex one simple line could be when it is treated as an almost meditative thing. Given current political climates, it really made me think a lot and ask the same question myself - one which I think we may never stop asking.
The entire night opened up a lot of thought for me on different situations and theories that Baraka addressed in his work. It was one of those evenings where you walk out of an event thinking "WHAT just happened in there?" and have trouble coming back down to reality for a moment. We were also able to meet Amiri Baraka afterward, say hi and how much we appreciated hearing him, and even get a picture with him (though the person who took the picture had trouble with my camera and I didn't realize until later that the image was incredibly blurred.) :( I really appreciate his work and how relatable he makes it, how much he inspires his audiences to think and investigate a little deeper what is going on in their surroundings.
marvelous here. The scent
of incense trails through
the hallway in the early
morning. Buddhist altars
are erected loosely on
kitchen tables. The ashes
of the incense gather dust
as do the faded photographs
of families in China and the
calendars of nude redheads
on the wall. Listen to the
78 rpm Chinese records."
Frances Chung seems to take a snapshot of her community, and she puts it all together nicely in the form of a poem. Many of her poems seem specific to a place and time in which she witnessed whatever events she is writing about, and they are very realistic. In this poem she writes about the traditions that are continued despite living in a new country. There is something about the poem that also seems like these traditions have had to change in order to accommodate this new space. The "Buddhist altars ... erected loosely on kitchen tables," sounds like it isn't normally where they go (though I can't be sure of this). I am focusing on this because of the description. If something is loose then it can't be very stable, and so if a tradition is not stable then something must be off about it. It's also interesting that the photographs are collecting dust. Despite having these memories they are slightly forgotten because they are accumulating dust. This is very subtle compared to other poems that speak about adjusting to a new country. I like that Frances Chung and place the reader in one moment of time and as a result you can share the experience with someone else.
Here lies Miguel
Here lies Milagros
Here lies Olga
Here lies Manuel
who died yesterday today
and will die again tomorrow
that they are beautiful people
the geography of their complexion
PUERTO RICO IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
PUERTORRIQUENOS ARE A BEAUTIFUL RACE"
The journeys of Sadie and Maude, perhaps the class systems that exist where you are either given the opportunity to achieve higher education, a different life, or not.
Adrienne Su's The English Canon
It's not that the first speakers left out women
Unless they were goddesses, harlots, or impossible loves
Seen from afar, often while bathing,
She writing about women from the past and ancient times and that men left out women from history.
And it's not that the only parts my grandfathers could have played
were as extras in Xanadu,
Nor that it gives no instructions for shopping or cooking.
I like this line because her father would be limited to sterotypical roles in movies like Xanadu.
The trouble is, I've spent my life
Getting over the lyrics
That taught me to brush my hair till it's gleaming.
She has spent her life brushing her hair to be straight to model an image of white beauty.
Stay slim, dress tastefully, and not speak of sex,
Death, violence, or the desire for any of them
And to let men do the talking and warring
She taught to stay in her place in society and be quiet and don't question or challenge society.
And bringing of the news. I know a girl's got to protest
These days, but she also has to make money
And her share of journalism and combat,
And she has to know from the gut whom to trust,
Because what to do her teachers know, living in books,
And what does she know, starting from scratch?
It is rare these days that we read together, maybe once a year if at all. I always have the sense that reading together with any number of the poets I have know from this loose collective contextualizes each other in a way that reading alone does not. Many of us touch on themes of home, migration, identity, dictatorship and loss, but a love poem or a snapshot of city life or the hybrid existence of being from here and there and someplace new builds a new image, a broader picture, another voice to a chorus of individuals with chris-crossing existences. These voices add nuance to the one dimensional or barely visible images the mainstream rarely lets us see. When we are together in this context the laughter and longing seem that much sweeter and fuller.
The poets present were myself (Maya Chinchilla), Rossana Perez, Leyda Garcia, Gustavo Guerra-Vasquez, Arely Zimmerman and Oriel Siu. Leisy also read a poem after much urging from her class and read a beautiful about the transition from living in one bedroom apartment with her husband and two sons, always living in close proximity to her family and noisy neighbors with questionable activities, to owning a home and her discomfort at the new experience as a new professor mingling with different levels of privilege at wine and cheese events.
This poem marks the moment of an immigrant child, 1.5 generation Salvadoran woman feeling the conflict between success, upward mobility, while remembering her roots and all the struggles she and her family made to get her to this place. It was maybe uncharacteristically "real" for what is expected of a professor with a background in sociology facilitating her first class. That is why it was so powerful to hear from this hardworking, soft spoken overachieving professional. This is one of the markers I think, of this group. None in the group would soley identify as poet or artist except maybe me, and I at least get to tack on graduate student and educator.
After the reading, the poets met to "convivir un buen rato" and Arely or maybe Oriel asked the group what would it take to support your writing. What do you need? The answer was a resounding need for space that is no less urgent than ten years ago: a gathering place and time. To be encouraged. To be valued for this work. Somehow we know in the back of our minds how valuable the space to create is as all the community and family work each one of us does but unfortunately gets pushed back down the list of priorities when making rent and picking up a child at school comes first.
I would like to add a portion of a write up a student did after the class (unprompted and unassigned
I wanted to comment on Tuesday's class. I think it's great to see positive role models that come from the same background as many of us. Through their poems I feel that more awareness was brought to everyday issues and became more personal rather than [soley] academic writing. I was not a fan of poetry until this class. These poems are different from those I have read in other classes because they are relevant to my community and experiences. I remember friends from high school that would write wonderful short stories and poems, but ended up deciding not to go to college. Seeing how one of the guest speakers is finishing up her Ph.D in Spanish literature, I think it would be a great inspiration to many high school students that may not be aware that their writing can take them far. Also if it weren’t for this class I would not really know that these poems or groups existed. I was just wondering where readings or special events held by the group are advertised because seeing the passion the speakers performed their poems with is something to be very proud of.
While it seems that politically charged poetry aimed at moving the masses to action may be thought of as a crutch in Latino/a poetry, I worry that Aragon is not recognizing strands in Latin American poetry that historically have worked within forms and possess high aesthetic value. The danger in overlooking the aesthetic value of the “yo soy/ I am” self mythologizing poem, is to downplay the value of the use of Spanglish, codeswitching and vernacular, or the poetics of witness. This may cause us to miss the precedent of writing Latino/a stories into poetry and overemphasizes the desire to validate ourselves to a mainstream audience. Without the infrastructure of previous forms there is no space for these “new” and experimental forms to emerge.
While I am still interested in publishing my work and the artistry of using the page to allow a poem to travel, I have in the past few years begun to take the performative aspect of the words I write just as seriously as the stories I have to tell. These hybrid performance forms include movement, teatro, music and group choreographed performance pieces. Exploring this stage of my poetic journey I always give thanks to the words that bring me on new roads and discoveries. Nothing I am doing is particularly new because these are forms that have been with us for centuries. What is new is also what is old in that we are recovering what we can and reinterpreting, repurposing and naming forms that work for this time and place. I continue to search for a balance of speaking from my own true voice as well as pushing the heights of my artistry, craft and dicipline. People will always say that this or that art form is played out or that identity politics are dead, but it is only in the challenge of creating spaces where there were none and continuing to challenge the silences, where the art grows vibrantly.
June Jordan from Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint
Vickie Vertiz is always a favorite with her biting wit and uniquely Mexicana-Angelino
story telling. I’ve seen her writing grow over the years and in recent times her readings of her vignetted tales-slash-budding novel has become fearless, reliably nuanced and always a treat. There is a tragic comedic sadness to her writing that at the same time has you laughing with not at her ever flawed characters. Another highlight was Roberto Tinoco Duran
who performed a piece that used his entire body and the space to emphasize punch lines and unexpected turns of phrases.
The evening came to a close with Galeria favorites Leticia Hernandez, Tomas Rivera and Norman Zelaya. Leticia read a poem that she wrote about the founding of the literary series and it’s beginnings in San Jose. I am sure there are some insider secrets in that poem because she always tends to turn toward her husband with some skinny knowing looks. She infuses the poem with her canto call to the luna and the full moon calling us to share poetry and art. She also used her time to announce the upcoming date of her annual women writers event: “Amate”, once a Galeria staple, has now moved to Intersection for the Arts. This is one of the elements I enjoy about this open mic is the way it is a community news service. Tomas shared a poem in a smooth verse that called out the way hipters reveal themselves in the Mission, even when they don’t think they are hipsters evolving into a mediation of sorts.
If Norman Zelaya gets on the mic at the end of the night you now the evening will leave you on a side splitting note. His well drawn out story of a day in the life as a elementary school teacher and the dangers he may face on any given day surely delivered. His use of repetition as he builds his a simple moment into an absurdist folly has you wondering, how did he just do that? He’s making me laugh about the children’s fear of poo?
Each Lunada is a unique moment in time and a great place for bilingual lovers to try out new work. I am more than a fan of that space and it was really nice to take a break from the stress of my super intense final semester. It’s a shame I’ve missed so many great events since grad school has overtaken my life and am looking forward to making it out to more events such as this cherished Mission staple.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
WHO: Poet Hiromi Ito and her daughter Kanoko Ito
WHEN & WHERE: October 19, 2010, Mills Hall Living Room
The writers’ series gave some background on Hiromi as such:
Born in Tokyo, Hiromi Itō is regarded as one of the most prominent poets of contemporary Japan. Since her debut in the late 1970s, she consistently has expanded her creative spheres: from issues of sexuality to the oral traditions of Native Americans, the lifecycles of plants, and migrant and transnational experiences. About Itō’s first U.S. edition of work, Killing Kanoko: Selected Poems of Hiromi Itō, renowned poet Anne Waldman writes, “Her poems reverberate with sexual candor, the exigencies and delights of the paradoxically restless/rooted female body, and the visceral imagery of childbirth. . . . Hiromi is a true sister of the Beats.” Itō has published more than 10 critically acclaimed collections of poetry; several novels; and a dozen books of essays, including Oume (Green plums, 1982), Watashi wa Anjuhimeko de aru (I am Anjuhimeko, 1993), and Kawara Arekusa (Wild grass upon a riverbank, 2005), which won the prestigious Takami Jun Prize. http://www.mills.edu/academics/graduate/eng/the_scene/writers_series.php)
I attended both readings completely unaware of the Hiromi’s and Guillermo’s backgrounds, styles or writings. But what a pleasant surprise both readings were in entertainment, creative escape and literary stimulation. But there were some minor similarities between the two poets for me. Each possessed a commanding presence during their readings. Each conveyed a political and cultural undertone in their writing. Each spoke in their native language in their poetry – Hiromi in all of her poems except for her speaking in between poems and Guillermo mixed English and spanglish in his poems and in his explanations. I did not get to hear the full Pena reading. So I will only discuss Hiromi’s reading.
Hiromi began her presentation by sharing a bit of foundation information for her creative journey. She described the nature of the women’s political movement in Japan and noting her student activism in the time prior to her graduation from university in 1973. But then she says that she that her post graduate efforts were not for society but for herself. She found herself focused on “the body” and how to speak about all the unspeakable activities and parts of the body as relates to women. She found herself using “words that were not my words like fuck, cunt, abortion….” She explained how she has been in the United States for over fifteen years and while she uses English in her daily life, she does not really write in English. Even all of her editors are in Tokyo. In order to accommodate her audience, Hiromi utilized a project of the translation of her poems onto a large white screen which was placed directly next to her podium (it had the feeling of either a multi-media presentation or a lecture with powerpoint). Fortunately, it was not a distraction but a window into another level of Hiromi’s work. Hiromi reads with a rhythm that conveys some urgency and intensity on moment then soft and tender in the next. I think those shifts can be attributed to the content and context of the poetry, the insecurity, frustrations and clumsiness of learning English; recounting the details of miscarriages, abortions, the post partim thoughts of abortion, uterine cancer, the savagery of breast feeding, the mixed feelings of parenthood of the mother and the several of her works from “Enjoy changing of my body”; “Mistreatment of Language”; “Nashite Mounen (Nasty Morning)”; and “Killing Kaneko”.
Hiromi’s poetry is filled with irony and indignation. Her energy is free-spirited and magical. In her poem, “Nashite Mounen” which was her poor English presentation of “Nasty Morning” she tells a story of enthusiasm of her English husband teaching her the language. As she phonetically learned the language, with a Japanese dialect, “More than through skin, more than through sex
Unease is something that becomes clear through language” is how the poem begins and continues to playfully share the joys and folly of learning English. She says that she was jealous of the language and how her learning process was “my language percolated through his voice”. I was totally amused by this piece, especially the lines
Dee suiiteshita retoru omen (the sweetest little woman)
He taught me this once
De suiiteshita meen (the sweetest man)
I imitated him
To get a real experience of Hiromi’s style, visit her reading of “Killing Kaneko” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fub0pQi1OOM
Hiromi reads through this piece with such speed, as though she is in a race. She recounts her motherhood feelings “the experience of having a baby was wonderful. The women before me usually did not have babies, the life of artist did not afford it. My generation could have everything we wanted. Hiromi recited this poem with musical accompaniment on the Biwa, a long acoustic stringed instrument, by her daughter (a former Mills graduate) Kaneko Nishi. A little bit of irony since the poem is actually about her daughter Kaneko and the issues of women dealing with abortion. The subject matter is quite challenging as she explores the forbidden thoughts and feelings women may be having such as “dispose of that little brat”, “I want to get rid of Kaneko without melancholy without guilt”, (breast feeding) “something sweet to come out where there was nothing”, “Let’s get rid of them all together, all the daughters, all the sons, who rattle their teeth, wanting to bite your nipples”, “congratulations on your destruction”. So many forbidden thoughts presented at a breakneck speed and between the poem and the improvisation, the audience was taken on a journey of fear, love, conflict, the challenges and conflicts of being a woman,
Hiromi’s style was influenced by her exposure to contemporary performance style and Japanese storytelling and how the storytellers traveled town to town telling stories mostly about the lives of women. Hiromi’s says that her presentation style is influenced by the space or pause in contemporary and improvisational music. Hiromi spoke of how her poems are written in Japanese and translated by someone else, and how she never even reads those translations. Hiromi is so connected to the unspeakable functions of the body, she even describes her disconnection to reading the translation of her poems by saying “It is like your poop, you don’t want to touch it, right?”.
Hiromi is so real and so vibrant, you become entranced by the rhythm and rhyme (she repeats lines for impact in and throughout some of her poems).
To see and read more of her work visit this site:
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Café Que Tal, 1005 Guerrero St.
Mahnaz Badihian is a poet and translator with five publications. She is editor-in-chief of MahMag.org and currently working on translations of protest poems from Iran.
Tianna Cohen-Paul is a Jamaican spoken-word poet who has performed on numerous stages including the Apollo, the Blue Note, the Green Mill, and Yoshi’s.
Keetje Kuipers is a Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Her book, Beautiful in the Mouth, won the A. Poulin, Jr. Prize and was published by BOA.
Kenji C. Liu is a 1.5-generation immigrant from New Jersey. His writing arises from his work as an activist, educator, and cultural worker.
Truong Tran is a poet, teacher, and visual artist. His most recent book, Four Letter Words (2008) was published by Apogee Press.
I attended this reading briefly after the WritersCorp reading, and was interested in the ways that the older generation was different from the younger. While the reading didn't really seem to pick up until Kenji Liu performed poems about his great-great-great (etc.) grandfather accompanied by a guy playing a small whistle-like instrument, I was mostly interested in the two closing pieces. Second-to-last to take the mic was Tianna Cohen-Paul who performed the usual spoken word fare about some unmemorable things. Since no one else at the reading had performed spoken word, I found myself anticipating that she would also do something else. Anyway, the point of her performance that I found most interesting was when she decided to create new poems on the spot, using topics thrown out by the audience. Disappointingly, instead of going for a unique topic, Cohen-Paul went for topics that she's probably already written poems about like religion. Anyway, I suppose I was just disappointed by her lack of range. Next up to read was Truong, who before he started reading from his new erasures project, talked about how he felt like his older poems were not completely true, how he had felt pressure to say and not say certain things as a younger poet, how one particular poem about Whitman was full of unexpressed desires. Admitting that he has been doing more art than writing lately, Truong decided to read erasures from one of earlier books, in which he was decided to remove anything that had not felt genuine or true. I really admire his willingness to admit to the pressure that he had felt to write about being Vietnamese American as a younger poet. Rarely do poets admit the type of posturing that comes early in our careers, so I was glad to hear Truong call it out, especially after the reader before him seemed to be stuck on reiterating a certain type of identity as a young, black woman poet that I personally found limiting and frustrating...
WHO: WritersCorps teaching artists Anhvu Buchanan, Rick D’Elia, Minna Dubin, Aracely Gonzalez, and Carrie Leilam Love.
With WritersCorps students Indiana Pehlivanova, Annie Yu, Marcella Ortiz, Nicole Zatarain Rivera, Sandra Pulido and Robin Black
WHEN & WHERE: Phase 2 of Lit Crawl: Saturday, October 9, 2010, 7:15 to 8:00 pm
Serendipity, 803 Valencia St, (near 19th St)
During Litquake, nearly two months ago, I attended a reading by teachers and students from WriterCorps. The reading called "City of Stairways: Exploring Place in san Francisco" was was a celebration of the program's most recent book released earlier in the Summer. Since the program is made of up of poets (and fiction writers) of a variety of ethnicities, the reading provided some interesting insight into the concerns of a younger generation of poets of color from the Bay Area. From what I gather, a majority of the teachers are recent MFA grads appearing to be under 35, and the students are high-school and college students who live in and around San Francisco. The idea of place is really crucial to the younger generation of writers because technology has made us so "mobile", able to navigate borders much more easily than in previous generations. In fact, a couple of the student were bilingual - one student-writer read her poems in Spanish then in English, and another student was a recent immigrant from eastern Europe (Bulgaria maybe?) whose participation in the program helped her to learn English. I suppose I'm interested to see how bilingualism will play a role in the poetics of the next generation. Anyway, as for the teachers, one of the most interesting pieces was Anhvu Buchanan's reading of his alphabet poem about phobias, which is apart of a longer project that about mental illness. Since mental illness is a taboo subject in certain communities of color, I do appreciate Buchanan's interest in the topic, though I am unsure of how much he has consciously connected it to the idea of race. Since lots of younger poets of color tend to write a lot and grapple with the idea of identity, I think it's really refreshing to see when that pattern is broken. I was also very happy to see that not all of the student-writers have been pushed into the spoken word / slam aesthetic that seems dominate in youth poetry groups. Melissa Hung, the emcee of the reading, and program manager of WritersCorps shared some of her own poetry at the end of the reading - Haiku restaurant reviews inspired by Yelp. Although the link to technology in those poems is very minor, I do think that poets of color will have some interesting ways of dealing with the internet in the coming years,so it was quite appropriate that hung closed on that note. Overall, I was very pleased by the range of the work presented by these young writers, and left the reading feeling very excited for the what will come in the future.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Making since...well he did just that! From what he ate for breakfast in the morning to watch he watched on the news, everything seemed to be relevant to what people do in society everyday. He makes points about language and everything being political, even the the most arbitrary things in life. He talks about the things that we may take for granted in life and about life in general. He also speaks about identity and also questions it: He repeats various lines that point to him being a black man and a victim in society which reminds me of "praise song for the anynomous brothers" as well as "Usual Suspects" He not only talks about himself, he talks about other Black men that face similar circumstances in society and how can he tackle them or can he not tackle them?
He leaves a lot of questions open-ended to make us think and this is how the audience is an active-participant. I would further discuss others performances but I felt that this was most relevant to our class. It was a great experience! I truly enjoyed it! :)
A lot of her poems speak through repetition, allowing the audience to be a part of the musical intention and as well as being enlightened with political awareness. In one of her performances she speaks about love and the different types of love in reference to history and integrity. There are patterns of language and learning as well as recognizing ancestors who have held onto themselves. This to me speaks to me as having a responsibility to love others, embracing culture, and recognizing ancestors before us. She repeated "We" as a community to have this connection with the audience. As she performed this piece she walked around the room and made eye contact with each and everyone of else which was very up close and personal. I felt that she was successful in getting her message across.
In connection with the class, we have discussed and read poets who speak about embracing identity, acknowledging their roots as a way of moving on toward the future. We have also read poets that have forgotten their native language and feel that they have to learn, or either feel exiled from a place in which they should feel at home. This is indeed relative to the many topics we have discussed in class. I just want to say that D'bi Young creates an experience that fuels your way of thinking, her approach and style is unique as she continues to question not only her position but our position in a living society.