Celebrate Black History Month with Island Poets on Feb. 7

Courtesy photos - Wanda Sabir

Alameda Island Poets’ monthly free reading Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m., will celebrate Black History Month with local poets Amos White and Wanda Sabir. 

White is an award-winning American haiku poet, author, producer, director and activist, recognized for his vivid literary imagery and breathless poetic interpretations. He has been published in several national and international reviews and anthologies. 

White founded and hosts the Heart of the Muse creative’s salon. He also produces and hosts  the “Beyond Words: Jazz+Poetry” show; produces the Oakland Haiku and Poetry Festival and serves as president and chair of Bay Area Generations literary readings series. White is also a board member with Rhythmix Cultural Works. 

Wanda Sabir, recently appointed to the Alameda County Advisory Board for Realignment, also serves as board member for the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, where she participates on legal visiting teams. She is a depth psychologist, college professor, journalist and scholar. Her interests are violence prevention, trauma and trauma healing. 

She is a trained facilitator for Alternatives to Violence and Restorative Justice practices as well as Healing from Ancestral and Historic Traumas. She is also trained in theater for social justice, such as Boal Theatre. She believes in the transformative power of art in all its forms and looks for the fissures within and without the standing structures where truth can escape. 

Sabir hosted and organized Poetic Protest 2005: Electorial Politics at College of Alameda on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2005. Featured poets included: Sabir, Rafael Jesus Gonzalez, Mary Rudge, Reginald James and others.  

She founded and hosts the annual African American Celebration of Poetry and their Poets, which will celebrate 28 years at a seperate event at 4 p.m., Feb. 3, at the West Oakland Public Library. This event spotlights poetry, dance, performance and art.

After the featured poets, light refreshments and an open mic will be held. Admission is free, but donations are requested. The reading will take place at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. See frankbettecenter.org for more information.

Cathy Dana is one of Alameda’s poets laureate.

Amos White, photo by Adissapong Praphantanathorn