San Luis Obispo County Poet Laureate

I was born in San luis Obispo and rerooted here 14 years ago. I have some fierce plans for the future of poetry in our beautiful County. Therefore, it would be my utmost honor to receive your nomination for SLO County Poet Laureate. This will be a lot of fun and involve a lot of people; anyone who wants to pitch in with some great new hands-on creative projects.

Here is my open letter to the SLO County Arts Council. My work and publications are here. Books here.

I am a passionate and creative writer with a deep love for the Central Coast of California. I have been writing poetry for over 40 years, and my work has been published in both literary journals and online publications. I am also an active member of the local arts community, and I have served as a judge for several poetry competitions.

I believe that the role of the Poet Laureate is to promote poetry and literature in our community. I would use my position to:

  • Host poetry readings and workshops throughout the county.
  • Create a website and social media presence to promote poetry in SLO County.
  • Work with local schools and libraries to develop poetry programs for children and young adults.
  • Mentor aspiring poets.
  • Represent SLO County at poetry events and festivals around the state.

I am committed to using my skills and experience to make poetry accessible to everyone in SLO County. I believe that poetry is a powerful tool for communication, and I am passionate about sharing the joy of poetry with others.

I would be a great SLO County Poet Laureate because I am:

  • A passionate and creative writer
  • Experienced in promoting poetry and literature
  • Committed to making poetry accessible to everyone
  • A strong advocate for the arts

I am confident that I can make a positive impact on the SLO County arts community. It would be my privilege to serve as your Poet Laureate.

Zany Off Broadway Production

 It is NOT what it sounds like. Yes this is a wacky and hugely fun and entertaining rock n roll musical play written by Dick Zigun the former Mayor of Coney Island, yes the man who created the Mermaid Parade and many other fun activities that happen at Coney Island. AVT has a long history with Coney Island and the Film Festival at the Museum Theater and Freak Show Theater inside Coney Island USA.

The play is called Killin Republicans but it's not a vindictive against Republicans. It is a retelling of our country's politics and how some people can be crazy enough to want to assassinate a president. It also talks about our society and basically pokes fun at everything.

It takes place inside an airplane flying from London to NYC but gets rerouted to Washington DC. There's music, a live rock band, plenty of laughs, AND I AM THE CAPTAIN! So, fasten your seatbelts. I'm quite a ham it turns out.

Read the writeup here.


International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival

We took another great award at the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival last month. We received the honor of Best Experimental Film!



Bowery Film Festival

Our film DEMISE OF CONEY ISLAND was accepted to the Bowery Film Festival. Every chair is like a lazy boy recliner! Stunned at the opulence of movie theaters these days.

Maintenant Journal Presents: PEACEFIRE

Dear humans of the Earth. We are doing harm to The Mother. Weather. War. Exploitation.

This issue of MAINTENANT Journal is about that. Come to San Francisco on December 3rd to hear some wonderfully talented and widely celebrated poets read on the topic of PEACEFIRE.

But also, I will be reading with NYC poets at the Jefferson Market Library on November 2nd so if you're in the area you should see it. The last one was very successful and well attended, with standing room only.



Fiercer Monsters Now Available on Black Lawrence

Before we begin, I will share some other news with you. I have a book of rich and amazing poems in queue at the publisher. My book of science fiction is circulating with publishers right now. I am also writing a few new books. One is a set of five interlocking tales set in Morocco in the 1930's. The other is a novel about a man who grows a nasty bump on the back of his neck that forces him to become an acclaimed storyteller. They should be ready soon. That amounts to four new books coming. All new tales, all new characters. If you have attended one of my public appearances lately, you've surely heard about them or heard work from them.


My book of short fiction is now available on Black Lawrence Press. I am very happy and proud that these tales will live on. Let them live in your mind and on your shelf. Each one is very different. People react to them in different ways. They usually stick in a reader's mind for years, like good literature should.

Love. Birth. Death. Problems. Heartbreak. Magical Realism, always. These are the birthright of Latin American as well as North African prose. Let them be your companions. See them as extended allegories. See them as instruction for self-actualization, for revolution, for evolved living. See them as quaint bedtime stories or alarming afternoon reading.


Fiercer Monsters

Publication Date: May 2017


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Fiercer Monsters was originally published by Nomadic.

Youssef Alaoui’s short-story collection, Fiercer Monsters, is concerned with the symbology of letters and the word as invocation, contrasted with the futility of language. In these stories, Alaoui presents a Neanderthal oracle, a little girl in Venezuela in the 1950s, a 19th-century hallucinating sailor, and a WWI soldier. The voices are sometimes salty, always salient. Each voice ultimately laments the fall of the tower of Babel and the resulting confusion.


Youssef Alaoui’s investigation sifts through language finding and discarding gods along the way. Not so much a trip down rabbit holes, but rather the invention of mirrors. Storytelling in which you find instruments where time should be. Or the monologue of a man who is shuffling cards near his own crime scene.
Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of someone’s dead already (2015)

When unraveling the layers and folds of a Fabulist, you are never sure whether your experience is new or if you are lost in the embroidery. With Youssef Alaoui you get some kind of delirious weave reminiscent of Donald Barthelme and Arthur Conan Doyle. The ultimate critique is whether you stay engaged or find yourself dumped overboard. That is the game and mystery of Fiercer Monsters. Youssef Alaoui delivers!
Michael Rothenberg, author of Big Bridge Magazine

Fiercer Monsters is a colorful tapestry of stories striking and bleak, elusive and blunt. Alaoui weaves his spicy and tangy world together with gusto. He smudges edible paints on his literary canvas, molds his literary dough without fear, everything goes into his boiling, steaming cauldron and–voila!–he serves you the bright jambalaya of his own folkloric jazz. Dare to meander along his pungent alleys and sunny paths, and connect to your very own Brothers Grimm and the mysterious.
Zarina Zabrisky, author or A Cute Tombstone (2013); We, Monsters (2014)

The fiction of Youssef Alaoui illuminates the labyrinth of mysticism in the body. His book, Fiercer Monsters, navigates unique terrain ranging from the borders of legend to visceral city encounters. Alaoui combines intoxicating visions with an intellectual clarity that challenges the nature of language itself.
John Swain, author or Under the Mountain Born (2015)

Whether he is recasting the Tower of Babel story with forest creatures saved by a shamanic chihuahua, or deciphering Arabish text slang in the mind of a tortured prisoner whose last refuge—that of his imagination—is threatening to implode, Youssef Alaoui is never merely out to entertain, though the richness of his metaphors and the kookiness of his tales do not fail to charm and delight. No, Alaoui is engaged in a fiercer struggle, between cultures intent on destroying each other and themselves, in the cavernous gaps between what can be felt and known and what can be spoken and understood. Vibrantly lonely, steeped in the sad funk of human pathos, the fables and incantations in Fiercer Monsters sing from the belly, from the groin, from the broken bone, and from the whole and sheltering heart.
Sarah Fran Wisby, author of The Heart’s Progress, Plain Wrap Press, 2014