Poetry & the Senses 2022/23 Fellows Reading
Thursday, May 4th, 2023
5:00 – 6:30pm PST
This event is presented by ARC in partnership with Engaging the Senses Foundation.
The Arts Research Center will celebrate the 2022/23 ARC Poetry Fellows with an in-person reading of work created during their fellowship semester! This event will feature undergrad fellow Fede Kong-Gonzalez; graduate fellow Marisa Lin; faculty fellow Al-An deSousa; community fellow Aimee Suzara; and luk’upsíimey fellows Phillip Cash Cash and Sarah Hennessey.
Under the theme of Reclamation, the 2023 Spring Poetry & the Senses Fellows were led by Indigenous writers who draw on Indigenous languages and aesthetics: Craig Santos Perez (Chamoru) and ARC director Beth Piatote (Nez Perce). Berkeley’s poetry fellows were joined by writers from University of Hawaii (Perez) and the community-based Nez Perce writing collective, luk’upsíimey (Piatote).
UC Berkeley occupies the unceded territory of the Ohlone peoples, and as a land grant university it benefits materially from the historical and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous land. In 2023, ARC created dialogues with University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, another public land-grant university that also has significant, complex histories with Native territorial dispossession as well as with Indigenous education and outreach. ARC Poetry Fellows from UC Berkeley & the Bay Area were in conversation with the fellowship cohort from UH. In addition, they collaborated with fellows from the Nez Perce writing group luk’upsíimey, which uses poetry to assist in crucial reclamation and linguistic revitalization. The Nez Perce were exiled and forced to disperse from their homelands in Wallawa, Oregon; language and poetry is one mechanism of their return.
The expansion of the Poetry for the Senses model this year, created connections around Indigenous issues across multiple western states and explored poetry and the politics of language in a wider framework. The interest was in creating a trans-Indigenous conversation, with juxtapositions that decenter European thought and begin to translate an oceanic-to-river-to-forest poetic imaginary.
Carol Ann Carl is a daughter of the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. In 2020, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa. Storytelling and writing are personal forms of pedagogical healing. Professionally and creatively, Carol Ann leans into the intersectionality of her identity – indigeneity, science, health, and civic advocacy – to develop narratives of empowerment for the Micronesian community in Hawaiʻi and the wider Pacific Islander community abroad. Currently, Carol Ann is a Research Associate with the Māpuna Lab at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where her work centers cultural reclamation as disaster response. As a storyteller, her collective work KEWERIWER explores the social context of her life and her life as a transformer of that social context. Her poetry has been featured in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Celebrate Micronesia Festival, and the Why It Matters civic engagement docuseries for the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities.
Phillip Cash Cash (PhD) is of the Cayuse and Nez Perce Nations of Oregon and is a younger speaker of Nez Perce, one of the world’s most beautiful Indigenous endangered languages. He is an artist, writer, published poet, translator, and award winning scholar. He received his double doctorate in Linguistics and Anthropology in 2018 from the University of Arizona. He is committed to community-based language research that fosters an exploration of contemporary nascent Indigenous realities.
Al-An deSouza works across photo-media, installation, text and performance works as staging grounds for historical memory and its legacies upon the present. Their works draw upon formal and informal archives, remaking them through strategies of humor, fabulation, and (mis)translation. deSouza’s work has been shown extensively in the US and internationally, including at the Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, Krannert Museum, IL; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Mori Museum, Tokyo. deSouza has published numerous essays and two recent books: How Art Can Be Thought, A Handbook for Change (2018), and Ark of Martyrs (2020), a polyphonic, dysphoric replacement of Joseph Conrad’s infamous Heart of Darkness.
Amanda Galvan Huynh (she/her) is a Xicana writer and educator from Texas. She is the author of a chapbook, Songs of Brujería (Big Lucks 2019) and Co-Editor of Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics (The Operating System 2019). Her debut poetry collection, Where My Umbilical is Buried, is forthcoming in 2023 with Sundress Publications.
Sarah Hennessey is Nimíipuu and she is a poet, performer, playwright, and youth empowerment theater practitioner. Her work highlights the symbiosis of storytelling and language reclamation. By integrating her penchant for literature and performance into her educational outreach, Sarah infuses her instruction with not just interdisciplinary pedagogy, but also both traditional and contemporary storytelling techniques. Her work has been published in literary journals such as Yellow Medicine Review and Pork Belly Press. Her first short play Weet’u Naqaacnim ‘iceyeeye’ (Not My Grandmother’s Coyote) was featured in Lewis-Clark State College’s Humanifest in Spring of 2021.
Fede thinks about dragons, wings, wishes, coincidences, spirals, knots, seeds, breath. They’re only at the beginning of their journey with poetry and the arts at large–an exciting prospect. Their poetry is informed by their queer-chinese-latine identity and they find that art-making is a restorative process. They always emerge from a project having pulled out something they could never quite grab at before. Fede loves love, being undone, and a good string. For the new year they plan to do a bird watching Big Year, learn balance, and be in conversation.
Marisa Lin is a daughter of Chinese immigrants and Minnesota native. Her first training in poetry was through western classical music. A 2023 Roots Wounds Words Poetry Fellow, Marisa is an alum of the VONA, Kenyon Review, and Community of Writers workshops. You can find her work at Poetry South, Porter House Review, The Racket, and elsewhere. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and in her free time enjoys hiking, petting cats, and writing random letters to friends.
Cristina Méndez (she/her/ella) is a Chicana writer and educator born and raised in the Bay Area (Muwekma Ohlone territory). Through her ongoing work alongside Maya Mam activists on projects of language revitalization, she explores the continuum of how people understand and support each other across lines of difference. Cristina is interested in coalitions, tensions, transformational learning, and healing as she envisions other futurities in the present.
Noʻu Revilla (she / her / ʻo ia) is an ʻŌiwi poet and educator. Her debut book Ask the Brindled (Milkweed Editions 2022) won the 2021 National Poetry Series. She is a lifetime student of Haunani-Kay Trask and prioritizes collaboration, movement, and gratitude in her practice.
Oakland-Based Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer whose mission is to create poetic and theatrical work about race, gender, and the body to provoke dialogue and social change. As a playwright, her new work THE REAL SAPPHO was commissioned by Cutting Ball Theater and awarded by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation New Works fund and National Endowment for the Arts, and TINY FIRES will have its World Premiere in 2023. Her poetry book SOUVENIR (2014) was a Willa Award Finalist, and her poems appear in poets.org, numerous journals and anthologies such as Kartika Review, 580 Split, Lantern Review, and two Lockhorn Press anthologies.
Tierra Sydnor (she/her) is currently earning her bachelors in French, English, and German. Her work focuses on how her experience as an African American woman and how that has affected her spiritual and life journey. The daughter of two army veterans, she spent most of her childhood in Fishers Indiana. She has a strong passion for religious tolerance and cross-community cooperation. Tierra in her free time hoards books and watches Golden Girls.
Kellen Trenal (pronounced like “Chanel”) is a visual artist, performer, small business owner, alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, and holistic wellness enthusiast, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Proudly representing both African (Black American) and niimíipuu (Nez Perce) ancestry, Kellen embraces these multiple identities to empower their work in all its manifestations. Kellen shares (he)artwork through Trenal Original, a traditional-arts based, 2SLGBTQ+/BIPOC-owned, small business. Kellen utilizes a wealth of Indigenous knowledge to explore the tradition of continual innovation. The works range from hand-crafted accessories and jewelry design, gallery art, traditional niimíipuu regalia, modern apparel, to much more.
This reading is sponsored by the Arts Research Center in partnership with Engaging the Senses Foundation.