Island Poets to Mark Hispanic Heritage Month
The Alameda Island Poets will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month with featured poets M.K. Chavez, Rafael Gonzalez and Juan Sequeira, at its monthly reading set for Wednesday, Sept. 5, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. The event is hosted by Nanette Deetz and Alameda Poet Laureate Cathy Dana. Admission is by donation and includes light refreshments and an open mic after the featured poets.
Latinx writer M.K. Chavez is the author of Mothermorphosis and Dear Animal, with publisher Nomadic Press. She is the recipient of a 2017 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award and a fellow with CantoMundo, co-founder and co-curator of the reading series “Lyrics & Dirges,” co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival and guest curator of the reading series at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive this fall.
Juan Sequeira was born in Nicaragua and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco. He is a graduate of UC San Francisco and a practicing physcian. His prize-winning work has been published in many magazines including Black Bear Review, Blue Unicorn, Poet Talk and ZYZZYVA. His most recent collection, Mi Tierra, was published by Sugartown Press in 2017.
Rafael Jesús González
Rafael Jesús González was born and raised in the bicultural environment of El Paso, Tex., and Cuidad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, with family on both sides of the Río Grande. After military service, he attended the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México where he studied archaeology, Mexican literature, Mexican history and Mexican philosophy.
During this time, he published his first poems and academic articles in English and Spanish. As a professor of literature and creative writing, he taught at the University of Oregon, Western State College of Colorado, Central Washington State University, the University of Texas, El Paso and Laney College, where he founded the Department of Mexican and Latin-American Studies.
His poetry and academic articles appear in reviews and anthologies in the U.S., Mexico and other countries. A selection of his moon poems, La musa lunática/The Lunatic Muse was published by Pandemonium Press, Berkeley, in 2009. The City of Berkeley honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. He was named the City of Berkeley’s first Poet Laureate in 2017.