I was thrilled when curator-about-town Lisa Gray (my former Mills student and TA) asked me to host a themed reading for 14 Black Poppies/The Bloom Series. I chose the rich topic, BAD TRIPS, and decided to continue the personal touch by inviting Elaine Lee (one of the first people to publish me) and four folks I’ve taught or mentored through VONA Summer Workshops for Writers of Color, the San Francisco Writers Grotto and LitQuake.
The result is BAD TRIPS: What do a global health epidemiologist, Bedouin-Finnish musician, immigrant rights activist, and host of a Black travel show have in common? From Navigating Tanzania’s Gay Underground to Crossing the Border on an Acid-trip. From Bottoming out at Burning Man to Flying off to Fight Ebola: It’s good stories come from BAD TRIPS! 3 writers + 1 poet + 1 storyteller + 1 singer/songwriter. Music by Hassan el-Tayyab of American Nomad.
Come see THE NEW FACE OF TRAVEL: Tuesday 22 September 7-9PM, Laurel Bookstore, 1423 Broadway, Oakland. Suggested $5 donation.
/// ELAINE LEE is a globetrotter and travel journalist. The editor of Go Girl: The Black Woman’s Book of Travel and Adventure, she has visited 56 countries and made two solo trips around the world. Her ground zero home is in Berkeley, and her cyberhome is www.ugogurl.com. Most recently she taped an episode of Bay Area Check, Please!
/// KARINA MUÑIZ is a Prose Fellow/MFA Candidate in the Community Engagement Program at Mills College, and the Political Director at Mujeres Unidas y Activas, a grassroots organization of Latina immigrants. An alumna of Voices of our Nations Arts Foundation/VONA, she holds Masters degrees in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies from UCLA.
/// TOM PYUN is a travel addict who works as a nonprofit consultant to support his habit. A queer Korean-American man, he lived and worked in Tanzania for two years where homosexuality was criminalized with 30 years imprisonment. He is a 2015 Voices of our Nations Arts Foundation/VONA Fellow and has been published in Reed Magazine.
/// SRIRAM SHAMASUNDER started writing creatively as an undergraduate in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People class at UC Berkeley. He is a doctor/poet who works at UCSF and runs the HEAL Initiative (@healinitiative), a program focused on building health workforce capacity internationally and in the Navajo Nation. He writes to keep his balance and bear witness.
/// HASSAN EL-TAYYAB is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, educator, and cultural activist residing in San Francisco. His critically-acclaimed Americana act, American Nomad, performs regularly at festivals and venues up and down the West Coast and beyond. His memoir is forthcoming this fall from Poetic Matrix.
/// FAITH ADIELE, HOST is author of a travel memoir; subject of the PBS documentary My Journey Home; and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World. She teaches at California College of the Arts, The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and Voices/VONA, where she’s established the nation’s first workshop for travel writers of color.