Poets to Mark Native American Month

The Alameda Island Poets November reading will celebrate Native American Heritage Month with featured poets: Alison Hart, Dr. Jennifer Lisa Vest and Nanette Bradley Deetz. The reading takes place Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. 

Deetz hosts the meetings, which take place the first Wednesday of each month, with Alameda Poet Laureate Cathy Dana. Admission is by donation. Light refreshments served, followed by an open mic session. 

Dr. Jennifer Lisa Vest 
Vest, a mixed-blood Seminole poet, philosopher and healer from Chicago has had poetry published in numerous journals such as: the Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Tongues, and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Her work also appeared in: The People Who Stayed: Southeastern Indian Writing after the Removal, Fast Talk and Turtle Island to Abya Yala. 

Vest has performed her poetry throughout the United States and Canada and has also published articles in indigenous, African and Caribbean philosophy. She earned her Ph.D. in ethnic studies and indigenous philosophies from UC Berkeley and was an associate professor in philosophy for 10 years prior to working full time as a medical intuitive. She currently teaches intuitive and healing arts in Los Angeles and runs the Women of Color Medicine Apprenticeship Program in Oakland.

Nanette Bradley Deetz 
Deetz, a blend of Dakota, Lakota, Cherokee and German, holds a masters in theater arts and dance from UCLA and a second masters in counseling psychology. 

Her poetry has been published in Alameda Island Theme Poems; Peanut Butter Jamboree; Turtle Island to Abya Yala: A Love Anthology of Art and Poetry by Native American and Latina Women; and Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down. 

She is a journalist for Indian Country Today, Native News Online and other publications. Deetz received a lifetime achievement award from the Berkeley Poetry Festival this year.

Alison Hart
Alison studied theater at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and education at Saint Mary’s College. She identifies as a mixed-race African American, Passamaquoddy Native American, Irish, Scottish and English woman of color.

Her debut novel Mostly White was released last year. A Black Box Theater produced her play Mother-Daughter Dance in San Francisco. Publications include a poetry book Temp Words and poems in Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry. In addition, her short stories are published in Writing for Our Lives. 

Hart has been a featured reader at: The First Annual Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival in Los Angeles, Works/San Jose Art and Performance Center in San Jose,  and The Oakland Beast Crawl. 

Hart, a music educator, musician and mother, lives in Alameda.

For more information on the Alameda Island Poets, call 205-2375 or write cathydana@gmail.com.

Nanette Bradley Deetz
Alison Hart
Dr. Jennifer Lisa Vest