New Publication Announcement: Paris Lit Up

It is my sincere pleasure to be included in this long-awaited issue of the always fabulous, ever famous periodical literary omnibus and record of the Parisian literary saga. Paris Lit Up holds weekly readings at Culture Rapide in the Bastille quartier of Paris, conducts workshops and events, and publishes a yearly magazine that represents the heights of contemporary lit & art.

Issue #9 (auspicious number) arrived today. It includes my poem THE AMULET OF DUBAIS, in which a rich guest offers to purchase an alchemical trinket worn by the host, who refuses, so instead he robs the host and rides off into the night with it, where his cohorts are waiting, as fiery arrows fall. Based on a historical anecdote.

Get yours here and support a good cause!



Reading Canceled, and You Can Help

The Wall and Response exposition and reading at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) that I last mentioned to you on this website was being hotly debated for a few weeks... directly leading up to the date of our reading. It was not fun. One of the Palestinian activists on the mural I wrote a poem for is Leila Khaled.

Someone on the organizational committee at the SFPL decided that a photo of the mural could not be displayed at the library because Khaled is in the mural.

Then, as far as I understood, the mural could indeed be displayed with her in it but, because one of the crowd characters depicted in the mural is holding a sign that says "Zionism = Racism," the exposition could definitely not take place.

Here is the post describing the situation on the Clarion Alley Mural Project blog.

Here is the official library statement on the matter. Never mind. That link no longer functions. But, I will keep it here because it is still informative. It should be possible to research on Archive.org's Wayback Machine.

UPDATE: A few things have happened since that time. First we sent letters to the library and to other places. Then we got organized. Now we're notifying people. The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) created a page and a one click email petition that you can access here.

AROC created specific language to address the problem:


The San Francisco Public Library refuses to allow an art exhibit to include Palestinian solidarity message, furthers Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism. We call on our public institutions to challenge racism, not reinforce it. We demand our public institutions stand on the right side of history and reject all forms of racism, including anti-Palestinian racism. #ZionismIsRacism #SFPLcensorsPalestine

Below are graphics to circulate on social media channels if you so choose.

It is not the goal of this effort to boycott this or any public library, but rather to bring awareness to the issue of censorship. Libraries are essential for communities. Community voices need to be represented, not censored.

If you wish to spread this word as well, as an individual or an organization, here are a few images to use:

 

 
 
 
 



New Interview on SF's Litseen

Quiet Lightning is a San Francisco based literary organization dedicated to celebrating poetry and poets. There is a vast and profound wealth of creative energy in the SF Bay Area and much of it is documented in this huge project, initiated in 2009. Litseen is one aspect of Quiet Lightning, as is The Write Stuff project. I was invited to answer 25 questions. So, without further ado, here's how it went:

click on image for interview

If you could give advice to your 15 year old self, what would it be?

I love you. You are beautiful. I will protect you. No one else will. Let’s get out of here, somehow. Take a bus to the edge of the city. I will leave instructions tucked into your windowsill. Share them with no one.