Chapbook Celebration



Chapbook Celebration Featuring:

Menat Allah El Attma, Gracia Mwambais, Jared Robinson, Jennif(f)er Tamayo, Beth Piatote, Alex Saum Pascual, Nathalie, Rusty Morrison

Thursday, February 23rd 2023 | 6:00 – 7:00pm PST

This event is presented by the Arts Research Center and Engaging the Senses Foundation.



On February 23rd, at 6pm PST, we’ll welcome back our 2020 Poetry and the Senses Fellows for a special evening celebrating the launch of their chapbook. During their fellowship semester the fellows explored the theme of Emergency. This event is part of ARC’s Poetry and the Senses initiative generously sponsored by Engaging the Senses Foundation.


Menat Allah El Attma is an Egyptian Muslim woman, educator, writer, and visual artist. Menat graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English literature and is pursuing her teaching credential. She is a logophile and linguaphile, working to affect a similar love for words/languages in her students through the practice and art of storytelling. She believes art is in the telling of the story as much as the story itself.

Gracia Mwambais a visual artist, composer and writer from DRCongo, by way of South Africa. Currently in her final year of a BA in Art Practice, Gracia works interdisciplinarily to communicate through her work. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue credentials to become a licensed Art Therapist and strong advocate for art as an accessible means of healing and social change.


Jared Robinson is from Indianapolis, IN. He is a poet and scholar in the UC Berkeley English department. In his scholarship, he interrogates the relationship between the transatlantic slave trade and Enlightenment philosophy through careful attention to early African-American literature and its reception. In his poetry, he attempts an understanding of everything else. He does not care for this California weather. He is glad to greet you.

Jenif(f)er Tamayois a queer, migrant, formerly undocumented poet, essayist, and performer. Her poetry collections include [Red Missed Aches] (Switchback, 2011), YOU DA ONE (Noemi 2017) and her latest publication, TO KILL THE FUTURE IN THE PRESENT (Green Lantern Press, 2018). Currently, JT lives and works on Ohlone and Patwin lands and is pursuing her PhD in Performance Studies at the University of California Berkeley. Her research explores how contemporary Black and Indigenous poets use vocal practices to counternarrate histories of colonial violence.


Beth Piatote is author of two books: a mixed-genre collection, The Beadworkers: Stories (Counterpoint 2019); and a scholarly monograph, Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (Yale 2013), as well as numerous essays and short stories stories in journals and anthologies. Her recent work, The Beadworkers, has been long-listed for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and the PEN/Bingham Prize. She is currently associate professor of Native American Studies, where she specializes in Native American literature and law; Nez Perce language and literature; Indigenous Language Revitalization; and creative writing. She earned a PhD from Stanford University.

Alex Saum-Pascual is a digital artist, poet and professor. She is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture (20th and 21st Centuries) and Electronic Literature (Digital Humanities). She is also part of the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media and the board of directors of the Electronic Literature Organization. Her academic work on digital media and literature in the Spanish-speaking world has been published in Spain, Mexico and the United States. Her digital artwork and poetry has been exhibited in galleries and art festivals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Norway and the UK.


Nathalie Khankan is the author of quiet orient riot (Fall 2020), winner of Omnidawn’s 2019 1st/2nd Book Prize, selected by Dawn Lundy Martin. Her work appears in the Berkeley Poetry Review, jubilat, The Volta, and Crab Creek Review. Straddling Danish, Finnish, Syrian and Palestinian homes and heirlooms, Nathalie currently lives in San Francisco. She teaches Arabic language and literature in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley.

Rusty Morrison is the co-founder and co-publisher of Omnidawn (www.omnidawn.com) since 2001. Her five books include After Urgency (won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize) & the true keeps calm biding its story (won Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, James Laughlin Award, N.California Book Award, & DiCastagnola Award from PSA). Her recent book: Beyond the Chainlink (Ahsahta; finalist for the NCIB Award & NCB Award) She teaches in MFA programs as a visiting poet, workshops through Omnidawn and elsewhere. Offering private consultations.


This reading is part of ARC’s Poetry & the Senses Program, generously sponsored by Engaging the Senses Foundation.